Lean Machine, Uncategorized

Lean Machine – Update 3 – Mini Goal 1 = Calorie Counting


GOAL 1 – Record accurately 90% off all the calories that you consume everyday (aim for 100% of the food you consume).

For the first week of the lean machine project I am not really looking to alter my exercise or diet habits I am in the process of just recording as accurately and honestly as I can the food that I am consuming on a day to day basis.  Everyone pretty much is familiar with the concept of calories and what they are if your not a calorie is a measure of the amount of energy available in any food stuff that your body can utalise.

In the UK pretty much all of the dietary adivice provided by the government goes along the lines of

  • Eat a varied diet
  • Eat 5 portions of fruit and veg
  • Eat salt, saturated fat in moderation
  • Men should eat 2500 kcal a day and women should eat 2000 kcal a day.

This to be honest is pretty sound advice with once exception the calorie limits for men are based off a 75kg man and the calorie intake for women is based off a 60kg body weight.  This is far to simplistic to be accurate for everyone in the UK.

Your calorie intake is generally dictated by the following factors

  • Height
  • Weight
  • Muscle Mass
  • Sex
  • Age
  • Activity level
  • Exercise or training regime.

The equations you use to work out your calorie requirments are first the basal metabolic rate equation once you know your BMR (the amount of calories you need to eat at bed rest to maintain your bodyweight) then you just adapt that number based off your activity level.  To do that you use a multiplier known as the Harris-Bennidict equation.

Harris Benedict Formula

To determine your total daily calorie needs, multiply your BMR by the appropriate activity factor, as follows:

  1. If you are sedentary (little or no exercise) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.2

  2. If you are lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.375

  3. If you are moderatetely active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.55

  4. If you are very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.725

  5. If you are extra active (very hard exercise/sports & physical job or 2x training) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.9

Now that you have a general idea of what a calorie is and what that means for your diet (eat less than this value and lose weight/eat more than this value and gain weight).  What does that actually look like in food.  The best way to discover what is in your food is to pay attention to the nutritional information from the foods you eat.

Companies are required by law to include the nutritional content of their food on the packaging of any food being sold if you look at the side of most packaging you will see something similar to the following.


We will cover the actual nutrition content as we go along on the Lean machine project today we are only interested in calories.  You will see energy as the first row per 100g there are 61 calories (kcal) in this particular food.  So if you where to eat 330g then you would simple multiply 61 (calorie content per 100g) x 3.3 (portion size per 100g) = 201.3 kcal.

Seemes pretty involved right?  Well your not wrong thankfully some smart fucker invented the smart phone so in this modern day and age it literally as simple as downloading an app and scanning barcodes.  Back in my day you needed a rudimentary grasp of maths to get lean.

How am I doing it?

I use a samsung galaxy note 3 and the myfitnesspal app to record what I am eating.  When you first launch the app it will ask you for your age, sex, weight, height, activity and goal weight from these questions the app will give you a goal amount of calories from which you can work from to help you achieve your goal weight.

I am simply just recording what I am eating so my process is pretty simple.

  • Buy or cook food
  • Put food in mouth hole
  • Masticate
  • Swallow
  • Enter what just entered my body via my primary face hole into the my fitness pal app.
  • Continue on with my life.

Adherence and ease of use

I would probably say that I remember to enter my food in straight away about 70% of the time luckily it is easy to go back and enter your food in after the fact.  I am also using it to track all of the cardio and weights I am doing to add to my calorie expenditure it is a really enlightening tool.  I have seen probably the two biggest observations that walking to and from work is worth 300-400kcal a day for me and that Beer contains a shed load of calories! (no shit rights).


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