Coach Jack explains TDEE (how much to eat)
How much do I eat?
The biggest question on everyone’s mind. Second only to “what are my macros?”
This is what I recommend:
Find out your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) for maintenance. Yes for Maintenance. A caloric deficit is not required to lose weight. Can it assist in losing weight? Yes it can but only if done properly and not chronically. It is far more healthy to eat at a maintenance with proper Macros in order to keep insulin low enough/glucagon high enough to prompt weight loss.
More about that here: Insulin and Glucagon
Rules for the TDEE Calculator:
1. Use your current weight not your goal weight.
2. Read all the notes on the calculator as well as the notes in the little question marks next to the data entry fields.
3. You can eat to your TDEE and still lose weight. If it is above 2500 for a woman and 3000 for a man you can click the check mark next to “Show me the Max calories I can eat” and it will drop the calcs down to these numbers. I have found that it can be very hard to get above these numbers while still maintaining the proper protein to fat ratios so you can cap the calories there if you wish.
Tdee Calculator here: TDEE Calculator
Once you find your caloric need you need to figure out your macros or how many grams of each you need. Here is what I recommend to all my clients:
20g TOTAL carbohydrates – Not net carbs. Every gram of carb whether it be fiber or sugar has some insulin response. Ask a type one diabetic if they can ignore the effects of fiber and not take insulin after eating fiber. Hint: They can’t.
1.0g of protein per Kilogram of IDEAL BODY WEIGHT (You can find your ideal weight here: Ideal Weight Chart)
Here is an example using myself:
200lbs total bodyweight
From the Linked chart above that makes my ideal weight 170lbs
Convert to KG by dividing by 2.2 = 77.3kg
So my ideal protein level would be:
77.3 x 1.0 = 77.3g
For Athletes (an athlete is someone who competes in sport professionally not an average gym goer or recreational athlete):
An athlete, as described above can go higher in protein. Not more than 1g per KG of ideal weight is needed really but you can go as high as 1.5g
The rest of you calories should come from fat.
If your TDEE is 2,000 calories this is how it would break down for a lightly active woman:
20g total carbs = 20×4(4 calories per gram of carb) = 80 cals
55g protein = 55×4(4 cals per gram of protein) = 220 cals
That leaves 1700 cals for fat. There are 9 calories per gram of fat so:
1700/9= 189g of fat
Macros for a lightly active woman with a TDEE of 2,000 calories:
20g total carbs or 4% of calories
55g Protein or 11% of calories
189g of fat or 85% of calories
Funny story. 10% protein is actually directly in line with what a staunch anti-protein advocate, Colin T. Campbell author of The China Study, says is the optimal level of protein for human beings and is the basis of his argument why low carb diets are bad. Being that they are too high in protein.
This is what works for my clients. If you gain weight on this method, this is a major red flag that you have some serious metabolic derangement. Considering that this method uses a maintenance level of calories even according to calories in vs calories out mentality, you should bare minimum maintain weight not gain. Also considering that this would promote an optimal state of low insulin, there is definitely an issue. All the more reason to work on eating more to get your metabolism and hormones in check. Sometimes you have to rebuild before you can move forward.
Now that we know what TDEE is, on to what is the point of it exactly.
Pretty much everyone knows that eventually you stop losing weight at some point. This is pretty much a guarantee.
Here is the truth about weight loss.
Caloric restriction works. The problem is that while it is working it is slowing your metabolism and damaging your natural levels of hormones. Eventually you are eating 1,000 cals a day and you are losing more hair than weight. It takes longer for some than others to get there but it happens to everyone. The true problem with CICO (calories in/calories out) is that as you reduce calories in, the body also reduces the calories out to compensate. The body always wants to stay where it is. Equilibrium.
Will eating to your TDEE immediately fix your problems? Sometimes it will and sometimes it won’t. Some people gain weight. I have yet to see substantial gain. I think the most was 5-6lbs. Some people lose right away.
What we need to realsize is that this gain should not be happening at this level. This is your maintenance caloric level. Meaning you should maintain at this weight. This is direct evidence that you have a slowed metabolism. If your metabolism was not slowed you wouldn’t gain even at a normal diet containing higher carbs.
While this minor weight gain or maintenance of weight is going on while eating TDEE what we also need to realize is that you are raising your metabolism. Multiple studies have shown that metabolism drops much faster in restriction than it raises when eating normally. In other words it gets damaged easy yet is hard to repair.
Theoretically, if you were to never have calorie restricted at all and ate to TDEE from day one, you would lose weight until you hit your ideal weight.
A better way to approach a safer and faster weight loss is to cycle calories.
Eat to TDEE for 2 or three days then cut 300-400 cals out for 3-4 days and repeat. This will keep your body from thinking energy is at a constant low supply and lowering metabolism.
Now that we know what TDEE is and what is the point of it, we can get to Keto’ing. The Common sense way.