Posted by: Pirate | 2004/09/28

Gaining in a balanced way

Hi there,

I’d like your viewpoints on the following:
Firstly: An easy way to determine base calorie requirement = weight (in pounds) x 17 or weight in kg x 34.7

Example: A 82kg guy needs 3066 calories per day to sustain his weight.
Secondly to provide your body with the correct balance of food stuff you need close to the following ratio: 25% Protein, 55% Carbs & 20% Fat.
So because 1g of protein = 4 calories that means the 82kg guy need 192g of protein per day (around 30g per meal in 6 meals per day).
Next you need 422g of Carbs (1g of Carbs also = 4 calories) per day (made up of simplex and complex carbs – normally the simplex straight after a workout). This gives you around 70g per meal. I don’t like low-carb diets as your body will first take the energy it needs from your muscle you trying to build and only later from your fat reserve.
Lastly you need some fat (as fat is an important building block of Testosterone). I don’t agree with no-fat diets – rather manage your intake. 1g fat = 9 calories thus you only need 68g per day or 11g per meal.

This however is the correct balance if you want to stay on say 82kg. If you however want to increase or decrease your weight, start with 300-500 extra/less calories per day to gain or loose about 1 kg per week. Don’t shock your body by trying to add/loose all at once. Remember that the additional calories must then also be in the ratio of 25:55:20.

Start by weighing everything you eat on a ‘normal’ day (breakfast is easiest cause it normally stays the same) to see where you sitting.
Eg: 50g Oats = 6.2:28.1:4.6; 250ml 2% milk = 8.25:12:5; Sugar = 10g carbs for 2 spoons. W/W Toast = 6.4:35:1.2 for 2 slices; Margarine = 5g fat. Peanut butter = 6.7:2.5:12.5. TOTAL 27:87:28
Things like Protein shakes, Meal Replacements etc are good for correcting the balance where needed and are easy to take before and after a workout.

Try to balance each meal, so you don't take all the carbs you need for the day in a single meal.


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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Pirate
Many of the points you make are basically correct. However, to accurately work out an ATHLETE'S energy requirement one needs to do a rather complicated calculation using his Basic Metabolic Rate, an activity factor which is determined by the type of exercise he does and for how many hours a day. I don't usually do this type of calculation for Readers. Now your 82 kg man aged 25-50 years, only requires 2 900 kcal a day to maintain weight and I would reduce his protein intake to 15% of energy requirement, carbs to 65% and keep fat at 20%. Thus he would require 15/100 x 2900 /4 = 109 g of protein a day, which is more balanced, plus 470 g of carbs and 64 g of fat a day, which you can distribute over 3 or 6 meals. I agree that to lose weight one would reduce the energy intake by 500 kcal a day, down to 2400 kcal. Otherwise I agree with your approach of not using a carb-free diet or cutting out all fat. Just reduce the proteins a bit as 192g per day is a whopping amount of protein to ingest - this can lead to kidney strain, calcium excretion, etc. If your 82 kg man eats 192g of protein a day, this works out to 2.3g of protein per kg of body weight. According to Burke and Deakin (2000), only elite and ultra-athletes who train at high altitudes for many hours a day require 2.2g of protein per kg body weight. Other athletes require between 1g and 1.7g of protein per kg body weight a day and once you have reached steady state you only need 1- 1.2 g of protein per kg a day.
Best regards

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