How much do I need to eat to burn fat/build muscle?
Here’s an important fact you need to know – you cannot lose fat and build muscle at the same time! It’s almost impossible. The only time you’ll see if, if at all, is the first month or two, and it’s called “newbie gains.” Then after this, it’s either lose fat or build muscle…
The body needs an excess, or sufficient number of calories OVER your maintenance level (BMR) to build muscle. If you are in deficit to your BMR, you’ll lose fat.
Figure out how many calories (kcals) you need to attain whichever goal you have:
1. This will help you figure out your BMR:
2. After you find your BMR, goto this page and take your BMR and multiply it by your activity level. (FYI, no one is sedentary – only people stranded to a bed.) Do lightly active as a minimum, but us CrossFitters, use Moderately or Very active.
3. Then, see this page for ideas on gaining weight:
4. Or, goto this page for ideas on how to lose fat:
How to figure out how many calories you burn in a CrossFit WOD:
There’s no real accurate way to come up with a number, and calories are not really important anyways. There are online calorie trackers/counters that may give you an estimate, but they do not factor in the effects 4-8 hours after you complete a hard WOD! Calorie trackers on treadmills and other machines just give you a rough guess. A two hour slow jog might burn more calories than a 15 minute WOD, but an intense WOD will boost metabolism for a longer period/throughout the day, increase production of testosterone and HGH, and lead to all sorts of other benefits on the CNS and neuroendocrine side of things. Shoot for improving performance and eat good food in appropriate quantities, use the above BMR calc and formula to give you a baseline or starting point, and your weight and bodyfat will adapt in whatever direction you want, whether it’s gaining or losing weight.
Your diet cannot be sloppy if you want to attain goals. I personally strive for 90% in my diet and the other 10% is whatever I feel like. For m, 100% clean Monday-Friday. Then on Saturday and/or Sunday, it’s my “let’s live life”‘ meals, nights out with buddies, etc. I usually only make it 1-2 meals instead of the whole day, but that is just me. The foods you need to bring in have to be natural, non-processed, whole foods. 1 ingredient foods.
See this site for a list of foods that are perfect for consumption (unless you’re doing Paleo, some of these will be off limits of course):
Once you incorporate proper foods in your daily diet, you won’t want to go back to unknown, processed foods. Your gym performance will improve, bodyfat levels will be maintained, hormone levels will be balanced – the list is endless.
Once you figure out how your body reacts to what you feed it, you can adjust your intake to those that align to what you’re looking to accomplish. Combine that with your current workout routine (Badger CrossFit), you won’t have to “count” calories or think about this much. You’ll know what you need after some experimenting and trial-and-error. Measuring your food, making your meals for the week on Sundays, etc. is all part of it. Life is not about counting calories and worrying about diet. It needs to be enjoyed. Do the dirty work now, and then enjoy the fruits of your labor in and out of the gym/kitchen later.