How much protein do I need

Why is this important?

Most people think of muscle bound body builders when they think of protein intake, but protein is used for much more than bulging muscles. Protein helps to make up everything in your body from the hair on your head to the nails on your toes and everything in between down to cellular level. So it’s important for you to take in enough for your body to use.

Athletes have the added burden of having to make sure they take in extra amounts of protein to ensure it is available to aid the body in rebuilding muscle fibers and in recuperation. The harder and longer you exercise the more protein you use, and the more you need to rebuild and replenish.

Keep in mind that there are more than enough food sources of protein available (Chicken, Beef, Dish, Tofu, Beans) without having to resort to supplements. Also, it’s estimated the body can absorb at most around 30 grams of protein at one serving, so there is no need to have a 50 gram serving of protein shake along with your 24 grams of protein bar in addition to your chicken breast and egg salad.

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How many calories do I need

Why is this important?

A calorie is a unit of energy and is what gives your body the ability to function. It is the fuel for your body, just like gas is for a car. Without enough calories you will run out of gas and be lethargic, but too many calories will eventually get stored as fat. It’s important to get a good idea of your caloric consumption so you make sure you have enough energy to function but not so much that you start to carry it around on your body.

If you are looking to monitor your caloric intake, it’s a good idea to get a journal, use a spreadsheet, or download an app for that (I like lose-it app myself). It’s important to track over the long term so you can observe and modify your behavior as needed.

We won’t be going into whats the best way to lose weight, there are plenty of tools, diets, and opinions online for that. This page is just focused on the math for maintennance. If you want to gain weight, then consume about 500-750 calories more a day. If you want to lose weight, subtract about 500-750 calories a day.

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Body Fat Calculator

Why is this important?

Body Fat percentage measures the amount of fat stored in person’s body. This will include both the essential body fat needed as well as the excess body fat stored. The remainder, or “non-fat” is everything else including bones, blood, liquids, tendons, ligaments and of course muscle. Knowing your body fat percentage is a good indicator of health and fitness levels, even more relevant than measuring weight alone.

There are different recommended levels of body fat from different authorities, a rough guideline taken from wikipedia is as follows:

Description Women Men
Essential fat 10–13% 2–5%
Athletes 14–20% 6–13%
Fitness 21–24% 14–17%
Average 25–31% 18–24%
Obese 32%+ 25%+

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BMI Calculator

Why is this important?

BMI (Body Mass Index) is a number calculated by using a person’s weight and height. This number is used as an indicator of how likely you are to have a weight problem. This is important because it can help you determine how likely you are to have or develop weight related diseases. The scale is something like this:

  • 0 – 18.4 = Underweight
  • 18.5 – 24.9 = Normal
  • 25 – 29.9 = Overweight
  • 30+ = Obese

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Target Heart Rate

Why is this important?

To keep it simple, making sure your heart rate is within your target heart rate zone is a good way to ensure that you are burning calories and improving your cardiovascular fitness. It is also a good indicator of your intensity.

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