Understanding how to calculate your caloric needs to reach your goal – such as muscle growth – can help you to best understand how to give your body precisely what is required to get there. That said, it’s not uncommon to forget about this step. Controlling your calories is important to losing weight. If you do not control your calorie intake, you will not be able to burn fat. That said, your food calories are also the energy your body needs for growth in areas well beyond stored fat.
Calculate Your Caloric Needs for Muscle Growth, Not Just Fat Loss
Among the top mistakes people make as they try to build muscle and reduce body fat is in failing to properly calculate their caloric needs. Without knowing how much your body requires to reach your goal, you likely won’t reach it nearly as efficiently.
If you calculate the calorie count, you will be better able to maximize muscle growth. After all, it’s not just a matter of cutting back and hoping your body will burn its fat stores to build muscle. That technique, more often than not, causes you to lose muscle, not gain it. Instead, there is a great deal more to consider than just adding or cutting back at random.
How to Calculate Your Caloric Needs
Let’s look at how to calculate your caloric needs for maximum muscle growth:
Reducing Calorie Count Versus Burning Fat Through Exercise
The first thing you have to consider is whether you want to burn fat by reducing calories or through exercise. If you are aiming to lose fat yet retain muscle, you will need to limit your calorie count to a certain extent. This means that you will need to burn more calories than you are consuming. You will need to exercise vigorously and consume fewer calories.
On the other hand, if you burn fat through exercise only, you will be able to burn fat and stimulate muscle growth. You will need to exercise vigorously and increase your calorie intake. You will need to increase your calorie intake by 15 to 20 percent. This is where you need to be careful when you calculate your caloric needs. The calorie count should be sufficient that there are some calories left for muscle growth.
Figuring Out the Basal Metabolic Rate
The number of calories your body needs to go about its daily routine is known as the basal metabolic rate. However, it only includes regular activities that you perform. Extra activities such as exercising, sports, and training with weights require you to consume extra calories. The basal metabolic rate defines the calorie count that is required for regular body functions. These functions include digestion of food, respiratory functions, and maintaining the bodily temperature.
Calculate Your Caloric Needs with Your BMR
Once the BMR has been determined, you will be able to calculate the calorie count you require for your body’s upkeep. This can be done by including the results from the BMR in the activity multiplier.
- For men, the BMR calculation formula is 66 + [13.7 X bodyweight (kg)] + [5 X height (cm)] – [6.8 X age (year)]
- For women, the BMR calculation formula is 655 + [9.6 X bodyweight (kg)] + [1.8 X height (cm)] – [4.7 X age (years)]
After calculating the BMR, you will multiply the value with the activity multiplier. You need to calculate it according to your daily activity level.
- If your activity level is Sedentary = BMR X 1.2
- If your activity level is Lightly Active = BMR X 1.375
- If your activity level is Moderately Active = BMR X 1.55
- If your activity level is Very Active = BMR X 1.725
- If your activity level is Extremely Active = BMR X 1.9
Use the abovementioned methods to calculate your caloric needs for maximum muscle growth.