By The Numbers: A Beginners Guide To Food Intake

May 23rd 2016

How to Estimate Caloric Needs and Meeting (and keeping) your goals for the New Year.

A lot of you have a particular goal for the New Year. Some may want to lose weight, while others want to put on a few pounds... Let's jump right in to the numbers! Grab a pen, a piece of paper and a calculator.

First, determine your activity level and if you would like to maintain, lose, or gain weight. Multiply one of these numbers from the chart below by your body weight in pounds and you will get a number of kcal/day. Most of your calories should be from nutrient dense foods.

Nutrient Dense Foods: The value of the nutrients (vitamins, minerals, fiber, essential fatty acids, and phytonutrients) you obtain and absorb from that specific food. Such as Salmon, Eggs, Plain Greek Yogurt, Spinach, Tomatoes, Berries, Whole Oats, Beans, Unsalted Nuts, Fish Oil, Avocados, Ground Flax, Green Tea, and BCAAs (Branch Chain Amino Acids). Please keep in mind this includes macronutrients too (Proteins, Fats, and Carbohydrates).

Macronutrients: Nutrients the body requires in large amounts.

See the chart below! Remember, take what you weigh in pounds and multiply it by one of the numbers below to see where you fall.

Exercise WeightLoss Maintain Weight Gain

1 - 2x a Week at Gym 11 13 15

3 - 4x a Week at Gym 13 15 19

5 - 7x a Week at Gym 15 17 21


((For example I am 235 lbs and want to lose weight to compete in a bodybuilding competition: 235x15=3525kcal/day. Compared to my Mass Gaining Phase of: 235 x 21= 4935 kcal/day

Difference of: 4935-3525 = 1410 kcal/day))

Lets Take the Caloric Estimates Further


A somatotype is also known as body types which is placed into categories of body structure as well as muscle and fat distribution.

There are three different somatotypes and they include:

Ectomorph: Typically thin and skinny and have a fast metabolic rate dominant.

This type should ingest: 25%Protein - 55%Carbohydrates - 20%Fats

**Built for Endurance**

Mesomorph: Typically muscular and athletic and are testosterone and growth hormone dominant. This type should ingest: 30%Protein - 40%Carbohydrates - 30%Fats

**Built for BodyBuilding and Strength**

Endomorph: Typically broad and thick with a low carbohydrate tolerance and slow metabolic rate. This type should ingest: 35%Protein - 25%Carbohydrates - 40%Fats

**Built for Absolute Strength**


All of these somatotypes can be broken down further such as ecto-mesomorph or endo-mesomorph. Can you spot any? Possibly a friend that fits into both!

SO... I Have Selected My Somatotype?

Now that you have selected what somatotype best resembles you, how do you obtain the kcals from each Macronutrient? No Worries... I am going to show you!


I am going to select my somatotype as a Mesomorph.

(Yeah Yeah... I know some of you may disagree!)

Take the number of kcals/day from my weight loss goal seen above=

(3525kcal/dayx0.30)=1058kcals/day PROTEIN

(3525kcal/dayx0.40)=1410kcal/day CARBOHYDRATE

(3525kcal/dayx0.30)=1058kcal/day FAT


There you have it! A simplified lesson in managing calories. Please remember if you are that somatotype that falls between two categories you can manipulate the percentages of macronutrients to see what works best for you. For instance, I am doing well with a 35% Protein 30% Carbohydrate 35% Fat Ratio.


**HINT** Try to sit down and write up your next grocery list using some "and this is just some" of the superfoods as listed above. Create a meal list and prepare on a day you are off from work. You may just start to see some of the results you were looking for! Not having a plan usually leads to the devouring of processed high caloric foods... Trust me I know!


Berardi J. PhD; Andrews R. RD The Essentials of Sport and Exercise Nutrition Second Edition 2014

J.Stone has 14 years experience in the health and wellness field with 10 of those years in the clinical arena. From fitting, casting, and splinting bone fractures to nutrition coaching, sports supplementing and personal training. He has numerous certifications one being a certified Precision Nutrition Coach and Stone is currently studying for ISSN (International Society of Sports Nutrition) certification.