Learn to quantify your diet
General Nutrition • • 1 minute to read • By Zainab Cutlerywala, INFS Faculty
Author: Zainab Cutlerywala
Quantification makes fitness journeys easy to follow and sustainable, it helps add favorite foods to our diet plan. It does not force us to depend on the so-called “diet foods” which are bland and not tasty and the thought of eating them gives people goosebumps. After understanding what is quantification we shall now see how to quantify it.
How to quantify
We will now learn how to use this art of quantification. Firstly, we consider the macronutrients i.e. Carbohydrates, Proteins, Fats, and the amount of calories each of these macros gives.
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|Nutrients||Calories per gram|
Depending on the person’s goals the calories to be eaten will be set. This also depends on various factors like age, sex, height, weight, the number of activities the person does.
The first step is to calculate a person’s BMR and TDEE using online calculators, to begin with. The next step is to set the fitness goal. Below mentioned are the most common fitness goals one has.
Fat Loss : When a person’s goal is to lose fat they should consume calories lesser than their TDEE approximately 200~300 Kcals lesser ie a deficit. When considering the macros, protein needs to be set first and then the rest of the calories can be divided into fats and carbohydrates depending on the person’s lifestyle. Keep in mind not to create a very large deficit as that would result in loss of muscle mass too.
Muscle Gain : Consume calories greater than their TDEE approximately 200~300 Kcals more ie a surplus. The protein macros need to be set first and then the remaining calories need to be divided into fats and carbohydrates. Make sure the surplus created is not very large as that would result in a gain in fat.
In both, the above goals a proper combination of an exercise routine will help in getting the desired results
- Maintain Weight: Eat as much as the TDEE.
Let us consider an example to understand the above.
A person is having the goal of fat loss weight 85kgs, height 5’8”, moderately active has his BMR 1600 kcals and TDEE 2400 kcals.
Now we need to set his calories to create a deficit, we create a 300 kcal deficit therefore his calories to be consumed will be around 2100 kcals.
Next, we set his macros after considering his lifestyle, his protein can be kept at 1.2g/kg of his body weight ie 102 gms, and his fat 25% of his total calories (25% of 2100= 525/9 =58.3) which is around 58.5 gms and the remaining calories are then given to carbohydrates that are approximately 291 gms.
Precautions to consider while quantifying
Now that we have understood how to quantify food it's time to look at some basic precautions one must consider.
- Measuring food raw is the best practice since cooking methods differ from household to household, the values of the food items may change.
For example, the most commonly cooked dish dal rice is made in different ways in most of the houses, some make extremely soft rice and a thick dal and some will prefer watery daal, therefore, the amount of water added will differ in all thus the weight will also change. For this reason, it's appropriate to measure food items raw.
- Secondly, the oil used for cooking should not be missed out as it is high in calories even 10 gm extra would give you 90 calories straight.
- Lastly, vegetables and fruits have calories too, do not ignore them while calculating. Some of them may be lesser in calories than others. For example, cucumber and watermelon are lower in calories when compared to the same amount of bananas and carrots. Therefore always consider your vegetables and fruits too.
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