You know it already: your diet is an essential part of your day-to-day well-being, and plays a key role in progressing towards your goals. There are so many recommendations when it comes to food: eat this and not that, get your 5-a-day, drink your water, have a varied and balanced diet… But when it comes to food and your daily caloric intake, how much do you have to eat every day to achieve a specific fitness goal? Will two people with the same goals have the same daily caloric needs? And is counting calories a necessary step to achieve your goals? Keep reading to find out the answers to all your questions.
What are calories?
We hear about them all the time, and they often get a bad reputation, but have you ever stopped to think about what a calorie actually is? Put simply, a calorie is a unit that is used to measure how much energy a specific food or drink contains. All food and most drinks contain calories, which are important for your body to grow and function properly. You have no reason to fear calories, and they are not an indicator of whether a food item is healthy or not! For example, nuts are high in calories, but they also contain various vitamins and minerals that are good for you. Just make sure to choose nutritious and varied food products to ensure that you are getting all the nutrients you need every day.
What should my daily caloric intake be?
There is no universal answer to that question! It all depends on what your fitness goals are, first off, but also on various factors such as your age, gender, height, daily physical activity, and more. Each and every body is different, which also means that two people with the same goals won’t have the same daily caloric needs. That’s why there’s no need to compare yourself to the people around you! Here’s how your daily caloric intake will vary depending on your goals:
- If your goal is to lose weight…
To lose weight, it is recommended that you burn more calories than you consume every day. This can be achieved by increasing your physical activity and eating fewer calories, and is also referred to as a caloric deficit. Remember, this is not about starving yourself! It’s all about balance and making smart food choices. Pick nutritious foods that will keep you full and don’t forget to check out our products if you need a little help on your weight loss journey.
- If your goal is to grow muscle mass…
When you want to grow muscle mass, it’s the other way around: it’s recommended that you consume more calories than you burn every day. This is referred to as a caloric surplus. The additional energy you consume will be used by your body to build muscle. Don’t worry, we thought about you too and offer a selection of products designed to help you maximise your gains.
- If your goal is to maintain your current weight…
To maintain your current weight, it is recommended that you burn approximately the same amount of calories that you consume every day. So how do you determine what that amount of calories is? Don’t sweat it (keep that for the gym!), we have exactly what you need!
How do I calculate my daily caloric needs?
We present to you… *drum rolls* : the NXT Level calorie calculator! Free and easy to use, our calorie calculator helps you determine your caloric needs based on your goals within the span of a few seconds. Not only that, it also suggests a macronutrient ratio for you. For example, if your goal is to gain muscle mass, it’s important that you consume enough protein. With the help of our calorie calculator, you can easily adapt your diet to fit your personal goals. You will also get a personalised selection of products that you may wish to add to your diet.
Do I have to count calories to achieve my fitness goals?
Calculating your caloric needs and counting calories in your diet can help you reach your goals, because it gives you a clear view of what your diet consists of. This can give you more control over your diet and a better understanding of what each food product contains, allowing you to adapt your diet to your goals. That being said, counting calories is not a universal solution and might not work for everybody. It’s not a necessary step either, and you can definitely achieve your goals without doing it! Just do what works best for you.
To sum it up…
In order to achieve your fitness goals, the time you spend at the gym or working out at home is as important as what you put on your plate. That’s why being aware of your daily caloric needs and tailoring your diet to suit those needs is so important. Whether you decide to count calories or not is up to you: remember that there is no “one-size-fits-all” when it comes to diet and nutrition. Best of luck with your goals!