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Muscle-Building Workout and Diet

What’s up, guys? Sean Nalewanyj on –,
and in this video today I want to give you what I think is the simplest and probably
the most accurate method to calculate maintenance calories for beginner. So if you’re looking to build muscle with
a focused bulking phase or lose fat with a cutting phase, then regardless of what anyone
tries to tell you on the nutritional side of things managing your net energy balance,
so your total calories in versus your total calories out, is the most important baseline
factor in your entire diet. And it’s the underlying foundation that everything
else gets built upon, your macronutrient breakdown, your food selection your meal timing, your
supplements all of that comes after you’ve figured out how many calories you need to
be consuming per day based on your goal. And figuring out your calorie maintenance
level, so how many calories you need to consume per day to maintain your current weight, that’s
the very first step in the process so that you can then add the necessary calorie surplus
on top of it for bulking, or the calorie deficit needed to stimulate fat loss. Now, the normal route that most people go
when they’re trying to figure out their maintenance calories is they use a calorie calculator. There’s a bunch of different ones out there,
the Harris-Benedict formula to Katch McArdle formula, now there’s basic body weight multipliers,
and all those methods can have their place and they can work fine for a lot of people,
especially if you are in within, at least, a moderate body fat percentage and your activity
level is somewhere around average. I’ve used calculators personally and I’ve
recommended them to others as well to use as a basic starting point, but the downside
is that depending on the person and depending on certain factors involved, sometimes they
can be fairly inaccurate. And that’s because, well, for starters differences
in body fat percentage are gonna have an impact on your resting metabolic rate because the
more lean mass you carry the more calories you’re gonna burn, and calculating your body
fat percentage itself is also really difficult to do accurately. And then on top of that the type of lifestyle
that you lead in terms of how active your job is, or how much you walk per day, that
can easily add up to several hundred or a thousand calories or more per day in terms
of your total expenditure. And then also the activity multipliers that
the calculators use are also just rough estimates as well. And they’re kind of subjective, too, because
different people are gonna have different ideas in terms of what it means to be lightly
active, or moderately active, or highly active, and that’s going to affect the results even
further. Now, this other very simple method that I
want to give you is also not perfect, because no method for calculating calorie maintenance
level is, but assuming your body weight has been at least somewhat stable over the previous
week or two and it hasn’t been significantly increasing or decreasing, then instead of
using a preset calorie calculator and then adjusting your food intake to that number
what you want to do is the opposite. So start with what you’re eating right now,
figure out how many calories that represents, and then use that as your estimated calorie
maintenance figure. Because if your body weight has been reasonably
consistent and your overall activity level hasn’t been significantly fluctuating from
week to week, then whatever daily amount of food you’re eating right now is what you require
to maintain your current weight. The maintenance calories are all there right
in front of you and all you need to do is just go ahead and add them up. So what you want to do is manually log your
diet for about a week or so, just eat how you normally would, use a nutrition tracking
app or you can even just log things manually, make sure to take into account every food,
every snack, and every drink item that goes into your mouth without skipping over anything,
then find out what the daily average is and then use that as your estimated calorie maintenance
level. And then from there either apply your calorie
surplus for bulking or your calorie deficit for cutting, and then just use that as your
starting point for your bulking or cutting phase. Again, this isn’t going to be perfect but
if you add things up properly then it’s most likely going to be more accurate than using
a preset calculator. And you can check out two previous videos
that I did, the links are in the description box, where I discuss how to track your progress
and how to adjust your calories during your bulking or cutting phase depending on how
your body weight is changing from week to week. Remember that no matter what calorie calculation
method you use, it should always just be treated as an estimated starting point and you’re
still going to need to go ahead and track your body weight closely and then adjust things
if it’s going up too quickly or going down too slowly. And just as a final point here as well, if
your body weight has been kind of all over the place lately, or your food intake is really
inconsistent from day to day, or your activity level has been significantly fluctuating and
you’re really just not sure how to go about calculating how many calories you have been
eating on average, then in that case, yeah, using a preset calorie maintenance calculator
is fine. And a few methods you can use are to either
multiply your body weight in pounds by between fourteen to sixteen, going with the lower
or higher end depending on how active you are, or you can use the Harris-Benedict formula,
which I’ll link in the description box below for you to check out, or if you do have a
fairly close idea as to what your current body fat percentage is then you can use the
Katch-McArdle formula, which I’ll also post down below as well. So thanks for watching, guys. I hope this advice was helpful. If you do want to get a complete step-by-step
roadmap when it comes to all aspects of proper nutrition for building muscle and losing fat,
along with fully structured training and supplementation plans as well, then you can grab my complete
Body Transformation Blueprint program by clicking up at the top of the screen or visiting For those who are new to the channel my brand
new science-based pre workout fish oil and multivitamin are also now available over on, the link is in the description box. And make sure to hit the like button, leave
a comment, and subscribe below if you haven’t already, in order to stay up to date on future
videos. Thanks for watching, guys. And I’ll see you in the next video.

19 thoughts on “The Easiest Way To Calculate Maintenance Calories

  1. Any way you can make a video on sugar? It’s super confusing I’ve been seeing recently that you should stick to lower gi carbs except for post workout in a surplus or you will gain fat instead of muscle. Really confused on this because I’ve been eating clean mostly but fit in a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios (80-100g) with some skim milk after dinner and wonder if that’ll really affect me body composition wise in a surplus.

  2. You're the man when it comes to giving advice about health and fitness thanks for giving us your wisdom I appreciate every video u do.

  3. For the second method isn’t it x1.55 for moderately active and not 1.5? Cause it makes a noticeable difference lol

  4. Harris Benedict always worked pretty well for me, i end up in the right ball park when using it and just make minor tweaks here and there to bring weight up or down.

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