Calculating Food

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 11, 2013 at 2:50 AM

Do you guys plan out your meals based on how many carbs/protein/fat, etc. you need for the day, or do you just say "Hmm, a sweet potato with coconut oil would be delicious right now," and add it to your dinner plate even if you haven't hit the gym that day?

Do you eat a banana for a snack because bananas are delicious, or do you save high-carb high-sugar fruits only for days you work out on? Do you save nut butters for days when you're a little lower than usual on calories, or do you ever eat a few spoonfuls because nut butter is delicious and you're a little hungry?

Now that softball has begun (6x/week, isn't much of a workout but takes up a lot of time), I haven't been hitting the gym more than 2x/week, and as my team chows down on pretzels and frozen yogurt, I find I am eating more sugar and carbs (from fruit!) because fruit is easy to pack and truly delicious, and it makes it so I don't even crave my teammate's sweet treats. But I doubt I really need the extra sugar or carbs, because I'm really not exercising very much.

What are your thoughts? What do you do? How many grams of carbs & sugar do you typically eat on workout and non-workout days?

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3 Answers


on April 11, 2013
at 05:41 AM

There should be plenty of info already on PH if you look for it.

It depends a lot on everyone. For me, I'd better count what I eat because if I eat as much as I'd like, it's easier to put on some weight. Not that I'd turn fat, but I'd start seeing my abs disappear. If you have got pretty good genetics and never messed your metabolism too much, maybe you could do fine just by intuition. You can try and see!

For example, for me, I'm currently high protein, moderate to low carbs and moderate to high fat. At 172cm, 62Kg, I eat 130 gr of protein a day (bodyweight x 2), 60 to 90 gr of carbs and the rest is fat (between 140 to 170 gr).

Fructose may be very welcome before workouts because can refill the liver pretty quickly and give you fuel and feel strong. It will not cause an insulin spike so it works better for me than glucose because it makes me feel more lethargic post meal, I don't want this before a workout. Then, for post workout, I aim for high protein and some carbs, better from starchy sources, as they are supposed to be the cleanest. Some say that an spike here from fast sugars would be the best due to the opportunity windows created post workout. Maybe, but even then, I prefer not to touch very fast sugars. Just my preferences though.

Either way, if you pick up high carbs with high protein, then I'd lower fat on that meal. Carbs + fat work altogether to enter fat store mode.

So were to put all that fat promoted by the Paleo diet? I personally prefer to have it with protein and fibrous carbs from greens and veggies on all the other meals.

This strategy along with trying to keep average daily calories near my maintainance level (between 1800 to 2300 depending on workout intensity) works well to make me stay near the 10-11% BF with some decent muscle.

Just my strategy, your mileage may vary!



on June 13, 2013
at 10:25 PM

I use LoseIt to track and make sure I get my protein in (I shoot for 180g-200g, I weigh 180lbs). I usually just do bfast and dinner and skip lunch. Total cal are at about 3000 for maintenance, a bit less or more if I want to gain/lose.

On Sundays I make a frittata for bfast throughout the week so that's always the same (3 eggs, 1/2 cup ground beef per serving), then I add either an avocado or sweet potato depending on my goal. I also have a hefty ~700 cal shake after my morning gym sesh.

During the day I tend to plan dinner based on protein/calorie requirements. Once that is met I add in the fun stuff...almond butter, avocado, fruit, etc.

I personally eat fruit at night, etc due to a previous post I had on here about food and timing. I've basically found that if I have fruit at night, it's not going to turn into fat right away. I stay very active and if I want to eat a banana at 9pm, I'm gonna eat a banana at 9pm.


on June 13, 2013
at 08:51 PM

I use a food calculator. I did use fitday for a while, but they didn't have an app out for my phone (an android and now windows phone), so I switched over to myfitnesspal, which isn't quite as user friendly, but has a much fuller food database.

I generally eat the same thing every day for breakfast (or leftovers from the night before), so that's not that big of a deal, and leftovers for lunch. I do meal planning, so I input my recipes and then plug all that stuff in for the day sometime mid morning usually(leftover cabbage roll for lunch, 2 hard boiled eggs and a few olives as a snack, tonight for dinner we're having taco salad), and that gives me a calorie and macronutrient rundown of my food for the day. Then I can adjust as necessary to either cut back on carbs, up my fat, or increase calories with snacks or a "dessert."

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