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Here we go people, the first blog post on the new APEX Fitness Coaching website and it is going to be a doozy!

As a personal trainer and a nutrition coach certified through Precision Nutrition I get people asking me daily how many calories they should be eating. and this is a great question because ultimately what you eat, determines how your body changes for the best part!

Or is it?

Well technically no it comes down to energy balance. So the food we eat is the energy in and the amount of energy we burn is energy out.

Take in more energy than you expend and you will gain weight. Burn more than you take in and you lose weight....easy.

But how many calories do you actually need?

The government give you figure of what you should eat but let me tell you this, they are massively inflated figures. if you eat what the government tells you to eat you will almost certainly put on weight.

So how do we determine how many calories we need to eat?

There are a couple of ways to do this, some are good, some are shit and some are worse than shit. Ultimately there isn't any totally accurate ways to dictate this outside of a laboratory so we just have to get as close as possible.

1) Government guidelines

As I have already said these figures are generic and unfortunately not two people are the same! how could the government possibly think that if one person looses weight on 2000k/cal per day that another one will have the same results. Its idiotic. so please don't do this.

2) ask a shit personal trainer

This is an inflammatory one. ultimately there are shit people out there who are happy to take your money and give you advice on something they know very little about. If you go to someone and they give you calorie recommendations without giving you a full body composition assessment, sit down with you and discuss goals and do not do a detailed physical activity questionnaire please tell them to fuck off.

3) ask a decent personal trainer

On the flip side to above you could find a good personal trainer who does all those things and uses scientifically backed equations to estimate your calories. This is a good choice. If the equation is decent then ultimately you could get some decent results but that being said at this stage it is ultimately a guess still.

4) trial and error

So this is the most accurate way to determine your base calories needed to maintain your body weight. Essential it is a 3 step process.

-Firstly you start tracking everything you eat and drink, track your weight and monitor those 2 factors for 2 weeks.

If you on average your eating 1850 calories per week and your weight has stayed the same you know with a certain degree accuracy that this is the amount of calories you need to maintain your weight.

- Next you need to decided on what your overall goal is and adjust your calories to achieve those goals.

If your goal is to lose weight then reduce that number of calories by 10-20%

If your goal is to gain weight then increase those calories by 10-20%

- last but not least MONITOR and evaluate.

KEEP TRACKING! You have now established what your base calorie requirements are, you have altered that number based on your goals and now you need to make sure its working. Yes there is a lot of research and science based around calorie intake but it is still not an exact science. Lots of things can effect how we process calories and how many we need. So monitor! if that number you came up with isn't working then change it until it does work

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