“Ask the Trainer” question from M.R. a Get Your Rear in Gear reader:
I have a question about how many calories I need per day. I track all my calories, and I work out about 4 to 5 times per week with a mix of cardio (spinning, running, or elliptical) and weights.
I’m 5’7.5″ and weigh 135. (My weight moves between 132 and 135.) I eat fairly clean — lots of vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins and nuts. No fried foods, not much sugar. I do like wine but I count the calories.
How much should I be consuming per day? I’ve read various estimates from 1800 to 2100 per day, but if I go to a spinning class and burn 600+ calories, plus do weight training before, how much should this increase my intake? Sometimes I’m sooo hungry, especially in a heavy-workout week, but I don’t want to gain.
Answer from Get Your Rear in Gear trainer, Dana Neve:
Your exercise and nutrition plan sounds great! Based on your measurements and level of exercise, if you’re trying to maintain your weight, then a 2,100 calorie diet is just about right. On the days that you are feeling more hungry because of an intense workout make sure that you are eating high protein, nutrient dense foods with good fats to keep you satisfied. Healthy foods that will help keep you full longer include avocados, raw nuts (almonds, walnuts), eggs, apples, almond butter, leafy vegetables, beans, lean meat and whole grains just to name a few. Drinking enough water is important too. Sometimes dehydration is mistaken for hunger. Based on your weight you should drink about 10 glasses of water throughout the day. Exercising, eating healthy and being aware of your calorie intake is a great formula for your fitness success!