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Bulking vs Cutting

Knowing Your Calorie Count


Many will learn if they have not already, so many factors play into achieving certain fitness goals. One cannot simply go by what works for someone else and assume that it will have the same effect on them. Fitness is relative. But a person can take what has worked for other people and use that as a starting point for themselves to see what works best.


When it comes to bulking up or cutting weight, it is easy to say there are so many factors that play into a person purposely and effectively achieving their goals. Training properly and being on point with sports nutrition is important, but this article will discuss the most critical component to bulking up and cutting weight effectively; calorie counting.


Now, one’s total calories are comprised of 3 macronutrients (carbs, protein, and fats). The breakdown of these 3 is critical to body composition (muscle-to-fat ratio). Speaking from strictly a calorie perspective though, this article will help anyone get a good calorie “base count” to divide up into those 3 macro levels. So, knowing how many calories one should eat all together will give them an idea of how much of those calories they can break into carbs, fats, and protein (1 carb= 4 calories, 1 fat gram= 9 calories, 1 gram of protein= 4 calories).


How Many Calories Do You Need?


From a maintenance calorie count standpoint, there are numerous formulas to utilize. A very popular and maybe the simplest formula to use would be taking your current body weight and multiplying it by 100. So, a 150lb person would take their weight and multiply by 100, getting a total of 1500. So, 1500 calories would be a decent starting point to figure up how many calories one needs to maintain that weight. When it comes to bulking or cutting, it is not just a matter of adding a bunch of calories to gain weight or taking a bunch away to lose weight. When bulking, one wants their weight to be clean, meaning as much muscle as possible. When cutting weight, one wants to preserve muscle as much as possible. A general rule of thumb is “working within 500”. This means calorie surplus for bulking on top of the maintenance number of calories should be within 500 calories to help prevent unhealthy gains. The same goes for cutting weight. Starting off by cutting no more than 500 calories from a daily maintenance calorie count is wise. This will help prevent as much muscle catabolism as possible.


Please note, there are other factors that play into calculating this (workout goals, fitness levels, health, activity levels, etc.), but in general, this formula will provide a good starting point for anyone interested in learning how many calories they need to maintain, bulk, or cut weight.


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