Determining maintenance caloric intake

20.13 First you must accurately record your bodyweight. Every time you record your bodyweight you must use the exact same conditions—same time of the day and relative to the same activity of your bowels and bladder, and while maintaining approximately the same intake of fluids (so as not to be dehydrated).

20.14 ^e best way to determine the caloric intake that maintains your body-weight is to keep your food intake steady for a period without trying to gain or lose weight. While doing this, calculate your daily caloric intake. Get a kitchen scale, a book that gives you the caloric and macronutrient value of each food and drink item you consume, a calculator and notebook. Keep a log of the caloric value of everything you consume, together with how many grams of carbohydrate, protein and fat you take in. At the end of a period of three weeks, compute your daily average caloric intake.

20.15 If your bodyweight is constant over this three-week period, you will have discovered your maintenance intake. If you lose or gain weight, make an adjustment to your daily caloric intake and carry out a further test period. Continue this process until you find your maintenance intake.

20.16 Once you know how many calories you are targeting each day for maintenance purposes, you should only need a week or two of weighing and computing to familiarize yourself. Unless you are always changing your food selection, or are making very fine adjustments, you can quickly get to grips with sizing up your food for its caloric value without having to weigh and compute every item. But you will need to check on foods you add to your diet that are not regular inclusions. To make it very easy, you could compose several dietary schedules that meet your needs, and rotate them. To keep tabs on your caloric intake—to see whether or not you are straying from your target—keep a dietary log on a sporadic basis.

20.17 All this numerical work is time consuming, and involves some hassle. But it is necessary because without it you will never really know where you stand nutritionally.

^e harder and more seriously you train, the greater the need to satisfy nutritional requirements. Better to oversupply on the nutritional front than undersupply. Do not give your all in the gym and then sabotage your progress by cutting corners with your diet!

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