Understanding Calories:
The Most Important Part of Healthy Eating
The most important part for your fitness and dream body is nutrition, and the most important part of nutrition is knowing how many calories to eat.

Fortunately, we make it simple!

Enter your weight, body fat percentage, activity level, and fitness goal in the table below. This all determines how many calories you need to eat in a day (something called the total daily energy expenditure (TDEE).

A few quick notes, make sure to weigh yourself first thing in the morning. This is before drinking and eating, and after any bowel movements. For better accuracy, weigh yourself over a few days and take the average.

Second, if you don’t know your body fat percentage, there is a table a bit further down to help you figure it out.

You can enter all your information below:
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Now keep in mind that this calorie amount is not exact. Each person is different. Make sure you're diligent (at least in the beginning) with tracking your weight and caloric intake, and adjust as necessary for you..

Not sure what these other numbers mean? Keep reading, we got your back :)

But first…
Determining Your Body Fat Percentage
Knowing your body fat percentage is critical to knowing how many calories to eat. While it's difficult to get an exact percentage, it's simple to get close. We recommend two ways.
 
First, buy a pair of body fat calipers. These cost less than $10 for a good pair and are accuracy within a couple percent (this is all we really need).

There is a one point or three point method for determining your body fat percentage. Both get you close enough, but we recommend that you use the three point method. This accounts for your fat thickness at three different points, so it's a bit more accurate.

Second, you can compare your figure to the images below:
It's important to understand that all of our body types are different, so while you won't find an exact match, it's important to get close. This allows us to get a good starting point for our calorie needs.
What Calories Mean For You?
Many people think that calorie tracking is a lot of work. In reality, it's pretty simple once you get the hang of it and only takes a few minutes a day.

All those “innovative” diets rarely discuss calorie tracking, which is why they're worthless. We're here to tell you that dieting in the typical sense is not necessary if you make understanding calories work for you.

Watch this video to learn more:
Simply, a calorie is a unit of energy and it's the most important thing you need to understand for burning fat and building lean muscle.

It's another form of joules and BTUs, but used specifically for food.

And a quick note on the units for the scientifically minded, all the calories you see on food labels are really kilocalories (kcal), which is different compared to the form of calories used in anything besides food.

Back to the main point…

Calories are important because each day for you is an energy balance. You eat a certain amount of calories and burn a certain amount. If you eat more than you burn over time, you gain weight. You burn more than you eat, you lose weight.

In fact, calorie balance is the single most important part for proper weight management.

This is a the first law of thermodynamics, so there are never any exceptions.

Once you know your caloric need, you can adjust your diet to meet your goals. Want to lose weight? Eat a 20% caloric deficit each day...

Want to build muscle? Eat about 10% more calories…

As long as you are consistent and understand your energy balance, you will meet your goals. No special diets necessary.
Maximizing Progress With Macronutrients
We highly recommend that you plan your macronutrients and align them with your goals. This will maximize your efforts.

However, this isn't a matter of life or death, so you really don’t need to get super strict with your macronutrients.

If you want to maximize your physical potential, definitely track them, but by tracking your overall calories and trying to eat healthy most of the time, most of the work for your fitness goals are already complete.

It's sometimes hard to believe, but you can completely disregard the macronutrient breakdown, eating candy and treats all day and still lose weight, as long as you burn more calories than you consume.

Technically, you can eat anything, but we highly recommend not doing so because poor overall health and muscle loss are likely to result.

Moreover, if you eat poor quality foods consistently, your metabolism can slow and you'll need to eat even less to lose weight.

It's important to eat a lot of healthy foods like vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, high fiber whole grains, and healthy fats because this makes sure you get many important vitamins and minerals.
It also helps keep you healthy in the long run and this is really the most important part of all.

It's important to focus on a high protein diet, especially for athletic people, with higher amounts of carbohydrates and lower levels of fats.

This is because higher levels of carbohydrates helps reduce bodily stress and fatigue compared to a lower carbohydrate, higher fat type of diet, and helps with protein synthesis, which is needed to promote or maintain muscle. 

We recommend that as long as you're eating the right number of calories, focus on eating healthy at least 80% of the time with most of you calories coming from proteins and carbohydrates.

This should get you the right amount of vitamins and minerals, all while allowing the occasional treat.
The Science Behind the Model
Our calculator is based on the Katch-Macardle model. It's usually the most accurate because it accounts for body composition (many others only use height, age, and weight).

Your body has a certain number of calories that it burns by simply living. If you were lying in a coma all day, this is the amount of energy your body requires to maintain homeostasis, called your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR).

Since we live in a universe where there are laws of thermodynamics, when you move, take action, and attack average, your body uses fuel. The energy needed for this living life thing is called Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE).

There is the energy required for digesting and utilizing food, called the Thermic Effect of Food (TEF), but this is built into the calculations, so no need to worry it.

To transform your body, you need to focus on the balancing the energy in your food with your activity and overall goal.

If you want to lose weight, you need to burn more energy than you consume. To maintain weight, eat the same. To gain weight, eat more. This is a simple energy balance and an unchangeable law of thermodynamics.

The actual Katch-Macardle equation looks like the following:

    BMR = 370 + (21.6 x LM)
    TDEE = BMR x activity multiplier x fitness goal multiplier.

Your activity multiplier accounts for how often you exercise and move around. The more active, the more calories needed, so the higher the multiplier.

The fitness goal multiplier accounts for whether you want to lose, maintain, or gain weight.

We added in the breakdown for your macronutrients too, with a focus on a high protein, high carbohydrate diet, which is critical for helping maintain or grow muscle mass and getting you leaner and stronger.

By properly using the calculator, tracking your progress, making any necessary adjustments, and staying consistent, you will meet your goals.
So Now What?
Action, action, and more action!

Results will not come unless you act upon your knowledge. Now that you know, make sure to apply it, starting today.

If you need some help, like with simple, healthy recipes and the knowledge of meal preparation to make your dream body a reality, we got you covered.

In all the information we offer, we promise to give you what works. No special marketing tactics, no you need to try this magic pill, and no false claims that are impossible to meet.

We offer one thing and that is the truth, plain and simple. We want your trust because we're confident that we can help you get leaner and stronger.

All you need to do is take action.
Copyright 2017. Attacking Average, LLC. All rights reserved.