We all have wondered at least once if we are eating the right amount of food, or more likely if we are eating too many calories and too much food. To be honest it all depends. The Beachbody calorie calculator says that I need 2,764 calories a day to maintain my weight. But my good friend Michael who's trying to lose weight while doing P90X only needs 1,380 calories to reach his goal. Then once he gets to his goal weight and size he will then have to increase his caloric intake to give his body enough fuel for the day. Even after my daily workout I usually stay fairly active, whether it's taking my kids to practice and coaching their football teams to maybe a second workout with a friend. So I usually consume around 3,200 calories a day and that's where I feel my best.
There are a ton of factors involved when trying to figure out what your intake should be: gender, height, weight, age, and your level of activeness all need to be taken into account. You can also take in account some basic numbers. One gram of fat is nine calories, one gram of carbohydrate is four calories and one gram of protein is four calories. Once you better understand what you're putting into your body the better your results can be. If you're more active then your body will require more calories but if you sit on your couch all day then you wont need nearly as many. As I've mentioned in other blogs just try and regulate what goes into your mouth. Go for the whole grain pastas and breads, go for grilled chicken instead of breaded, use spray butter replacement instead of real butter. If you can do all of these things you will be eating healthier and you will feel better. You've got to watch your sodium levels too, even more so those of you in the under 10% body fat. I know that for myself when I was around 4% body fat for a period in my life I really had to watch my sodium intake or I would get bloated and lose that definition I had.
But you must be very careful. A lot of people will workout really hard and then later feel that they have earned a cheat meal and they go to some fast food place and pig out because it's okay. It's not okay. You lose all the progress you made that day and you feel bad after eating it too. You would be surprised how many calories something can have even if it looks or sounds like it would be healthy. If you are really committed to losing those pounds and getting into the best shape of your life then you will do it. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. If it were easy then everyone would be fit.
So stick to your diets and exercises, and I know it's difficult and never fun but count your calories that way you know exactly what you're putting into your body. As Tony Horton says "Abs are made in the kitchen."