Nutrition is a complex subject and explained in great detail in our workout and nutrition programs. What is taught in our programs is the most accurate means of determining nutritional needs. However, we understand how difficult it can be. To help get people on the right track, we want to provide some free and easy calculations to help you guys get started on the right track for your health and fitness goals!
Daily Calorie Needs Calculator
This calculator is courtesy of myplate.gov. MyPlate is a great way to track meals and gain additional nutrition education that may support the programs we provide.
To start calorie calculations, click Start under Get Your MyPlate Plan in the box below.
(If currently on a TLR program select "more than 60 min/day of moderate activity" when prompted)
Fitness Goal Adjustment
After daily calorie needs calculation has been made, consider the following goals:
To gain weight we want to ingest more calories. The number of calories needed may vary depending on activity levels and the timeframe that the weight is wanted to be gained. However, for safe weight gain (about 1-2 pounds per week) we can estimate to add approximately 500-1,000 calories per day.
To lose weight we want to ingest less calories. The number of calories needed may vary depending on activity levels and the timeframe that the weight is wanted to be lost. However, for safe weight loss (about 1-2 pounds per week) we can subtract approximately 500-1,000 calories per day
To maintain weight consume what has been calculated. Do not add or subtract calories.
Macronutrients are the major subcomponents of nutritional needs. Simply put macronutrients are fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. There are many different beliefs on what macronutrient split a person can have and any good nutrition specialist will tell you that to say any split is a definitive answer for everyone would be naïve. Truth is, each person has a different chemical composition and dietary needs and may benefit from other considerations. At Train Like a Ranger we highly encourage each individual to track their meals and experiment with what is working and what isn't. We encourage people to do their own research and make adjustments accordingly. Fad diets typically demonize carbohydrates; however, healthy sources of carbohydrates provide much needed fuel for muscle growth and performance (primarily glycogen). You will notice that we suggest a diet with a good dose of healthy carbohydrates, moderate protein intake, and lower in fat for healthy athletes. Additionally, we typically promote a diet for healthy athletes as being low in saturated fats, sugar, refined carbs, and within the recommended daily intake of sodium.
Overall, macronutrient beliefs and splits may vary. We find that a split of approximately 40%-60% Carbs, 20-30% fats, and 10%-30% proteins fit for most people with their athletic goals. Below is an examples of a macronutrient belief for differing athletes. We find that these percentages can vary quite a bit per different concepts and beliefs. What is most important at the end of the day, is that the food sources consumed are healthy and whole food sources.
(purely powerlifting, sprinting, etc.)
Anaerobic Glycolytic-Oxidative Glycolytic Athletes
(Most advised for Train Like a Ranger Athletes)
(Endurance athletes, cross-country, marathon runners, etc.)
Calculating Calories for Each Macro
By now you should have your daily calorie needs but now we need to calculate how many calories go into each macronutrient category. We will show you how to calculate for this based off of the recommended macronutrient split for Train Like a Ranger athletes using a 2,000 calorie diet.
Macronutrient Calories= Daily Calorie Needs x (Macronutrient Percentage/100)
Using 20% fats, 25% proteins, and 55% carbohydrates we can calculate the following
Fats= 2,000 calories x (20/100)= 400 calories
Proteins= 2,000 calories x (25/100)= 500 calories
Carbs= 2,000 calories x (55/100)= 1,100 calories
Converting Calories to Grams
When reading a nutrition label, the measurements do not read in calories, they read in grams. To find what you need you must convert calories to grams for each macronutrient.
1 gram of fat= 9 calories
1 gram of protein= 4 calories
1 gram of carbohydrates= 4 calories
Continuing the example from above we can convert the following
Fats= 400 calories/9 calories per gram= 44 grams
Proteins=500 calories/4 calories per gram= 125 grams
Carbs= 1,100 calories/4 calories per gram=275 grams
Reading a Nutrition Label
Image reference: How to Read Food Nutrition Labels - Maine SNAP. (2021, January 04) [Image]. Retrieved January 24, 2021, from https://www.mainesnap-ed.org/eat/reading-food-labels/
Label Number Breakdown:
Will give you how many servings are in a container. Remember 2 servings means that you multiply everything displayed below by 2. Sneaky right? That is how manufacturers add more poor content without your awareness.
Calories, you will be able to count your calories here, in this container there are 2 servings at 250 calories (2x250), so there are 500 calories in this container.
Shows the nutrients contained in the product. You want to limit things like saturated fats and trans fats. Cholesterol is another lipid (type of fat) that needs to be limited for your heart health. Saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol are the number one factors that clog arteries and lead to heart disease. Cholesterol should be limited to 300mg or less per day. Speaking of heart disease: sodium needs to be limited. The American Heart Association recommends 2300mg or less per day. Limit added sugars to less than 30g per day. Excess sugar leads to health issues like diabetes. Stay away from refined sugars.
These are what we call micronutrients. They can be important. Most of the time you will see vitamins displayed here. Notice the percentages to the right (we will get to this again in a second).
Notes that the percentages are based on a 2,000-calorie diet, yours is a little different; however, the daily recommended value is still a good rule of thumb to follow.
This is your daily recommended value based off of a 2,000 calorie diet. As stated these percentages could be higher or lower based off your caloric needs, but it works decently as a quick reference. Let us look at sodium again, if we were to eat this entire container which has 2 servings of each value displayed, we would be eating 40% of our daily recommended value for sodium! (1 serving sodium= 20% DV).
Train Like a Ranger Meal Plans