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      01-19-2011, 12:42 PM   #33
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20lbs on a girl is a lot, I would try to gain .5lbs-1lb a week and adjust accordingly.

You need to start to track your daily intake.

What is your current caloric maintenance?

What does your typical day look like regarding macro nutrients (Fat, Carb, Protein)

Caloric deficit = lose weight

Caloric surplus = gain weight

Calculating Calories and Macro's

Basic Terminology
1/ BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate): This is the amount of calories you need to consume to maintain your body if you were comatose (base level)....
2/ NEAT (Non-Exercise Associated Thermogenesis): The calorie requirements added by your daily activity that is NOT exercise (eg: washing, walking, talking, shopping, working). This is generally the most marked variable in a persons daily calorie requirements and something that everyone has a good amount of control over. This is what people term INCIDENTAL EXERCISE. It is also what helps keep 'constitutionally lean' people LEAN (they fidget)!
3/ EAT (Exercise Associated Thermogenesis): The calorie requirements associated with planned exercise.... Unless someone is doing a whole heap of exercise (eg: two or more hrs training a day) it usually doesn't add a stack of calories to your requirements (30 minutes of 'elliptical training isn't going to do it')
4/ TEF (Thermogenic effect of feedng): The calorie expenditure associated with eating.... REGARDLESS of what myths you have been told - this is NOT dependent on MEAL FREQUENCY. It is a % of TOTAL CALORIES CONSUMED (and 15% of 3 x 600 cal meals is the same as 15% of 6 x 300 cal meals). It varies according to MACRONUTRIENT content and FIBER content... For most mixed diets, it is something around 15%.... Protein is higher (up to 25%), carbs are variable (between 5-25%), and fats are low (usually less than 5%). So ->> More protein and more carbs and more fiber = HIGHER TEF. More FAT = LOWER TEF.
5/ TEE (Total Energy Expenditure): The total calories you require - and the sum of the above (BMR + NEAT + EAT + TEF).

How much do you need?
There is therefore a multitude of things that impact a persons MAINTENANCE calorie requirements
- Age and sex (males generally need > females for any given age)
- Total weight and lean mass (more lean mass = more needed)
- Physiological status (eg: sick or injured, pregnant, growth and 'enhancement')
- Hormones (eg: thyroid hormone levels, growth hormone levels)
- Exercise level (more activity = more needed)
- Daily activity level (more activity = more needed)
- Diet (that is - macronutrient intake)

In order to calculate your requirements the most accurate measure would be via Calorimetry [the measure of 'chemical reactions' in your body and the heat produced by these reactions], either directly (via placing a calorimeter where the heat you produce is measured) or indirectly (eg: HOOD studies where they monitor how much oxygen you use/ carbon dioxide and nitrogen you excrete over a given time). Although accurate - this is completely impractical for most people. So we mostly rely on pre-set formula to try to calculate our needs.

Estimating Requirements
The simplest method of estimating needs is to base your intake on a standard 'calories per unit of weight (usually kilograms)'. Typically:
- 26 to 30 kcals/kg/day for normal, healthy individuals with sedentary lifestyles doing little physical activity [12.0-14 kcal/pound]
- 31 to 37 kcal/kg/day for those involved in light to moderate activity 3-5 x a week with moderately active lifestyles [14-16 kcal/ pound]
- 38 to 40 kcals/kg/day for those involved in vigorous activity and highly active jobs [16-18 kcal/ pound].
For those involved in HEAVY training (eg: athletes) - the demand is even greater:
- 41 to 50 kcals/kg/day for those involved in moderate to heavy training (for example: 15-20 hrs/ week training) [18.5-22 kcal/ pound]
- 50 or above kcals/kg/day for those involved in heavy to extreme training [> 22 kcal/ pound]

Then a number of more complex formula which calculate BMR can also be used - which is then multiplied by an 'activity variable' to give TEE.
To go over a few BMR calculations:
1/ Harris-Benedict formula:
Particularly inaccurate - It was derived from studies on LEAN, YOUNG, ACTIVE males in a COLD lab MANY YEARS AGO (1919) and is notorious for OVERESTIMATING calorie requirements, especially in those that are overweight. IF YOU WANT AN ACCURATE READING, DON'T USE IT!
For MEN: BMR = 66 + [13.7 x weight (kg)] + [5 x height (cm)] - [6.76 x age (years)]
For WOMEN: BMR = 655 + [9.6 x weight (kg)] + [1.8 x height (cm)] - [4.7 x age (years)]

2/Mifflin-St Jeor:
Developed in the 1990s. More accurate than the above as it is more realistic in todays lifestyle settings. It still does not take into consideration the difference in metabolic rate as a consequence of high BF%. Thus, once again, it also overestimates needs in highly obese individuals. So - be warned it can OVERESTIMATE your needs.
For MEN: BMR = [9.99 x weight (kg)] + [6.25 x height (cm)] - [4.92 x age (years)] + 5
For WOMEN: BMR = [9.99 x weight (kg)] + [6.25 x height (cm)] - [4.92 x age (years)] -161

This is considered the most accurate formula for those who are relatively lean and who have a good understanding of their bodyfat %.
BMR = 370 + (21.6 x LBM)
Where LBM = [total weight (kg) x (100 - bodyfat %)]/100

To then convert to a TOTAL expenditure requirement you multiply the result from the above equations by an Activity Factor
1.2 = Sedentary (Little or no exercise and desk job)
1.3-1.4 = Lightly Active (Light exercise or sports 1-3 days a week)
1.5-1.6 = Moderately Active (Moderate exercise or sports 3-5 days a week)
1.7-1.8 = Very Active (Hard exercise or sports 6-7 days a week)
1.9-2.0 = Extremely Active (Hard daily exercise or sports and physical job)
(note: these activity factors generally include your LIFESTYLE (work) as well as your EXERCISE (gym/ sport) and a TEF of ~ 15% - which is an average mixed diet).

Just How Accurate are they?
Although these can (sometimes) give rough ball-park figures, they are still 'guesstimations'. And most people OVERESTIMATE their activity factor, and UNDERESTIMATE their bodyfat - and end up eating TOO MUCH. So - use these as 'rough figures' and then monitor your weight/ measurements for 2-4 weeks. IF your weight is stable/ measurements are stable, then you have likely found your maintenance intake.

Using the Above to Recalculate Based on Goals
You will then need to DECREASE or INCREASE intakes above based on your goals (eg: lose or gain mass).
To do this, instead of using 'generic calorie amounts' (eg: 500 cals/ day), you need to calculate it on a % of your maintenance. The effect of a given calorie amount on an individual is going to be markedly different based on their size/ total calorie intake. For example - subtracting 500 cals/ day from a 115# females 1500 total intake is 1/3rd of her total cals but 500 cals/ day for a 215# male on 3500 total intake is only 1/6th of their total... And it will result in markedly different effects on their energy levels and weight loss.

Generally speaking:
-> to ADD weight: ADD 10-20% calories to your total from above
-> to LOSE weight: SUBTRACT 10-20% calories from your total from above
Then monitor your results and adjust as required.

Macronutrient Needs
Once you work out how many CALORIES you need to reach your goals you need to work out how much of each particular macronutrient you should aim for. And this is one of the areas that is MOST confused in the calculation of requirements!! So... Let us go through it and try to make it as simple as possible! This should NOT be based on a generic RATIO of total calorie intake such as '30:40:30 or 40:40:20. Your body doesn't CARE what % intake you have for macronutrients. It works in terms of SUFFICIENT QUANTITY per LEAN MASS or TOTAL MASS. Therefore your level should relate back to your BODY and your needs!!

1. Protein: Most studies out suggest that in the face of ADEQUATE calories and CARBS then the following protein intakes are sufficient:
STRENGTH training -> 1.2 to 1.6g per KG bodyweight (about .6 / pound)
ENDURANCE training -> 1.4 to 1.8g per KG bodyweight (about .8 / pound)
ADOLESCENT in training -> 1.8 to 2.2g per KG bodyweight (about 1g / pound)
BUT they also acknowledge that protein becomes MORE important in the context of LOWER calorie intakes, or LOWER carb intakes.

Anyway - you can see that the general recommendations given in the 'bodybuilding' area (1g / pound) is nearly double this! And although the evidence out to suggest a NEED for this requirement is scarce - some general 'bodybuilding' guidelines would be based as follows:
If bodyfat UNKNOWN but AVERAGE = 1-1.25g per pound weight
If bodyfat KNOWN = 1.25-1.5g per LEAN weight

If you are VERY LEAN or if you are on a LOW TOTAL CALORIE INTAKE then protein becomes more important - so stick toward the higher levels:
Average bodyfat, lower calorie intake = 1.25-1.5 x pound total mass
Bodyfat known, lower calorie intake = 1.33-2 x pounds lean mass

If you are VERY OVERWEIGHT, VERY INACTIVE, and NOT on a lower calorie diet then you should stick closer to, or decrease slightly BELOW the above levels:
protein = something around the 1 x total weight (down to 1 x LEAN MASS).

2. Fats: Generally speaking, although the body can get away with short periods of very low fat, in the long run your body NEEDS fat to maintain general health, satiety, and sanity. Additionally - any form of high intensity training will benefit from a 'fat buffer' in your diet - which acts to control free radical damage and inflammation.

General guides:
Average or lean: 1 - 2g fat/ kg body weight [between 0.45 - 1g total weight/ pounds]
High bodyfat: 1-2g fat/ LEAN weight [between 0.45 - 1g LEAN weight/ pounds]
IF low calorie dieting - you can decrease further, but as a minimum, I would not suggest LESS than about 0.35g/ pound.
Note 1: Total fat intake is NOT the same as 'essential fats' (essential fats are specific TYPES of fats that are INCLUDED in your total fat intake)...

3. Carbs: VERY important for athletes, HIGHLY ACTIVE individuals, or those trying to GAIN MASS - Carbs help with workout intensity, health, and satiety (and sanity). But there are no specific 'requirements' for your body. Carbs are basically used by most as 'the extra stuff'.
If you are an athlete - I would actually suggest you CALCULATE a requirement for these:
moderately active: 4.5 - 6.5 g/ kg (about 2 - 3g/ pound)
highly active: 6.5 - 9 g/ kg (about 3 - 4g/ pound)

But for 'general folk' to calculate your carbs you just calculate it from the calories left over from fats/ protein:
carb calories = Total calorie needs - ([protein grams as above x 4] + [fat grams as above x 9])]
carbs in grams = above total/ 4

Please do not listen to what you see in bold below, it is completely incorrect. Meal timing is completely irrelevant and your body will NOT go catabolic if you go more than 3 hours of not eating. You do not need a PT, half of them don't know shit. Read what I posted above and go from there.

Originally Posted by tony20009 View Post
I'm assuming you want to gain muscle mass weight and not fatty weight (the latter can be done just by eating junk and fast foods).

To gain muscle weight, you must do two things:
  • Exercise your muscles so they will grow. This basically means lifting weights. There are a wide variety of approaches to lifting and most all of them work. What matters is which one is right for you at your current condition. There are approaches for folks who are already well developed, approaches for folks who are effectively just starting, approaches for targeting specific objectives, and so on.

    If you haven't been pursuing a weight training regimen, you'll want to start out with a basic program that focuses on developing strength in your body parts as well as developing your core -- abs and back -- muscle strength and control. Indeed, you'll need to do basic strength training -- which will build mass -- before you really focus on the major mass building techniques. The reason for this is so you don't hurt yourself when you really start piling on the weights and so that you learn the correct form for all your exercises. Indeed, if you do an exercise using perfect form, you'll get the most out of it.

    Now, as for how to get started, I'd recommend a personal trainer. I started with one and worked with him five days a week for a year. It did wonders. Not only did it make working out fun -- and I can assure you I don't, even now, think working out is that much fun -- but it made sure I got the absolute maximum out of my workouts. If you don't go with a trainer, you're going to have to go to a book store.
  • Eat right to both feed your muscle growth as well as prevent your body from thinking there's a "famine." So what's the famine thing?

    Your body needs nourishment all day long. When you let your body go for extended periods without food, it thinks there's a famine and when it has extra calories, it will store them as fat rather than burning them off.

    You prevent the famine perception by eating small meals all day long -- every 2-3 hours. A small meal is basically an amount of food roughly equal to the size of your fist. I tend to go with oatmeal with brown sugar and fruit, and a small bit of salmon in the a.m. about 45 min to an hour before working out. A few grapes or a banana or other small bit of fruit during my workout. A piece of fruit right after the workout. Then I do a protein shake and a full on meal -- this tends to be my largest meal of the day. It'll have protein, complex carbs, and fats. If I'm in a hurry, I may go to Chipotle and get a burrito bowl: black beans, chicken, tomato salsa, corn salsa and lemon juice. For the rest of the day, it's small things like a PB&J sandwich, fruits and nuts, and other complex carbs to keep my body fueled. I'll have some fish, chicken or turkey or lean pork in the evening and then one or two more small meals before going to bed.

    In addition to preventing famine, you should seek to eat as many calories as your body will burn. Don't eat fewer or you will lose weight. If you eat more, and you aren't effectively preventing the famine, you'll gain weight, but it'll be fat. Just make sure you are feeding your muscles enough protein so they can repair themselves from the lifting. This is how they grow. A good trainer can help you figure out what the right proportion of protein, fat and carbs is given your goals.

One thing you should keep in mind is that you really need to consider you basic body type. If you are an ectomorph, you aren't going to get big and bulky like a collegiate wrestler; your body just isn't designed that way. What you can do is get very lean, muscular and strong and look like a runner, maybe a basketball player, or decathalete.

Good luck.

Last edited by Quick6EF; 01-19-2011 at 12:51 PM.