Achieving your target weight goal should not be the difficult challenge so many encounter; however, so many seem to have a hard time keeping on a path to reach it…sound familiar?
Many people struggle to stay on track to hitting their weight goals, and the solution may be as simple as dusting off a calculator, doing some math, and keeping track.
First, we’re going to assume that you have all the other parts dialed in – workout routine is built to get your results and you are eating a macronutrient balanced diet. What we are going to work on here, for you, is the science of weight control for achieving your target weight.
Let’s start with losing weight
Dropping weight for most means lowering body fat composition. In numbers 3,500 calories is a pound of body fat. To lose a pound, per week, you need to create a deficit of 3,500 calories. You can get there through burning calories (exercise), diet (eat less), or both.
Easy – maybe. So why do so many start this path, see beginning results, and then nothing? Answer is easy (hint, but keep it a secret…it’s the math)
What is the math of weight management
Everyone has a basic daily caloric intake need – officially known as your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE).
This is the amount of calories you need on a daily basis to maintain your body weight. There are two formulas (using the MIFFLIN ST. JEOR EQUATION):
Men: 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (y) + 5
Women: 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (y) – 161
Basic Activity Factor
1.2: If you are sedentary (little or no exercise) = BMR x 1.2
1.375: If you are lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week) = BMR x 1.375
1.55: If you are moderately active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week) = BMR x 1.55
1.725: If you are very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week) = BMR x 1.725
1.9: If you are extra active (very hard exercise/sports & physical job or 2x training) = BMR x 1.9
Let’s meet Alex. Alex weighs 108 kg, 180 cm tall, 36 years old, and does light sport 3 days a week. Following this:
((10 x 108) + (6.25 x 180) – (5 x 36) + 5) x 1.375 = 2791 calories
Per week, Alex needs 19,537 to maintain his weight of 108 kg.
Now to lose a pound (.45 kg), Alex needs to reduce his caloric intake to 16,037 per week. And so he does, and the weight starts coming off, until it doesn’t. What happened?
This is where you are now going to understand how to avoid this pitfall. As the weight comes down, the math changes.
Let’s assume Alex is now 103 kg:
((10 x 103) + (6.25 x 180) – (5 x 36) + 5) x 1.375 = 2723 calories, or, 19,061 calories per week.
If Alex still has his diet adjusted to 16,037 calories per week, his deficit is only 3,024. A lot, but not enough to get off a pound. And as his weight drops, this will continue to be an issue.
And this is the mistake so many make in trying to achieve their target weight – keeping up the simple math behind the numbers.
So how do you avoid this? Simple – we recommend that for every 5 kg of weight loss, you do the math – work out your new TDEE.
If you are not seeing great results, and think your program is not working – it likely is for the most part, but it needs updating.
If you want to put away the calculator, you can head here, for a free online TDEE tool.
But you want to gain weight
Adding high-quality protein to your diet is essential for building muscle. Based on current research, your should consume 0.8g of protein for each kg of body weight as part of your TDEE. Let’s be clear – 0.8g per kg, just to maintain weight.
Research suggests that to support muscle development, one should increase protein intake to 1.5-2.0g per kg of body weight. For example, in a 90 kg individual, that would equate to 135-180 grams of protein per day. We strongly recommend your protein intake come from natural food sources; seek guidance from a registered dietician if you want to assess the affects of supplementation on your specific body.
In the end
This is why fitness programs, the good ones, will cycle through different elements every 3-6 weeks (depending on the program). It is because your body adjusts to a diet and workout. The same effort and calories that worked when you started a routine are not the ones that are going to get you across the finish line. Achieving your target weight means taking the time to monitor your progress, and make adjustments.
– Train Hard!