I see this error all the time; people wonder why their hard work is not paying off. You need to understand your body’s caloric needs and respond accordingly! The science is solid: To gain weight, consume more calories than you burn. To lose weight, burn more than you consume. It really is that simple.
Taking every daily activity into your schedule and diet plan may seem like a stretch, but it isn’t. Ignoring something as small as a protein bar can have a huge impact over the course of several days. The difference between gaining and losing weight is only about 600 calories!
Okay, now you know why it is so important to stay on top of things. You’ve figured out how much you need to consume, but now there’s just one problem: how many calories do you burn when lifting weights? It is definitely a good question and it depends on the person. The amount of energy you expend also depends on the intensity of your workouts.
Sprinting is going to be more intense than jogging: common sense. Generally, I expect to use around 500 to 700 calories per training session. However, I train on a high intensity schedule that incorporates a lot of volume. Your needs are probably different.
That’s fine! Regardless of how hard you train and what body type you fit into, there is a simple and easy way to determine how many calories you need per day. Eat the same number of calories every day for a week, say 2,500. If you haven’t gained or lost weight by the end of the week, you know your calorie maintenance is 2,500. That means to lose weight, try to gain around 2,200. To gain muscle, eat around 2,800.
You will have to experiment to find out how many calories your body needs. Goal number one is to feel more comfortable knowing how your body responds. Calories are not the only important thing to consider. You also need to eat enough protein.
Try to eat at least 1.5 g of protein per pound of body weight. Chicken is a great source of protein that doesn’t have a lot of calories, it’s perfect for fueling your body when you’re trying to lose weight. On the other hand, red meats like beef and pork are excellent high-calorie protein sources for those trying to gain muscle.