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Protein & Calorie Targets

Energy Expenditure 

Caloric Deficit: Burn More Than You Consume

Caloric Maintains: Energy Balance 

Caloric Surplus: Consume More Than You Burn

Calorie Targets

Caloric Deficit:

Fat loss can only be achieved in a calorie deficit.

During a deficit its likely that you won't only lose body fat but also muscle. This is why its important to try and aim for as much muscle preservation as possible by consuming enough protein. More on protein consumption below.

To calculate how many calories you need, its important to understand your TDEE, Total Daily Energy Expenditure. If you haven't already, use the calculator to calculate your TDEE.

You can also apply a deficit on the TDEE Calculator. 


Understanding the maths behind a Calorie Deficit.

1 Lb of Fat in Human Body is equal to 3,500 calories.

3,500 divide by 7 days in a week equals 500.

If you consumed 500 calories less on average a day, In 1 week you would lose an estimate of 1 pound per week.

-250 = 0.5 Lbs

-500 = 1 Lbs

-750 = 1.5 Lbs

-1,000 = 2 Lbs . (Not advised to do 1,000, as it's not realistic to adhere to neither is it sustainable)


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Caloric Maintains:

If you consume and burn the same amount of calories, your weight will stay the same.


Many that achieve their weight goal / desired body fat %, require eating at maintains to sustain their results.

To calculate your Calorie Maintains, calculate your TDEE, Total Daily Energy Expenditure, by using the calorie calculator.


This will give you a good estimate of the amount of calories you need to consume to stay the same weight/body fat %. 

Be aware that TDEE calculation isn't an exact measure, as an exact measure can only be achieved in a laboratory.

If you find that your weight is still changing (more than average daily fluctuations) while adhering to maintains calorie, adjust your calories by 100 to 200 calories accordingly until maintains is achieved. Be aware if your daily physical activity level changes, so will your energy expenditure. You may have to compensate calorie consumption based on your physical activity levels changes. 

Caloric Surplus:

Muscle Gain can only truly be achieved in a calorie surplus. Yes inexperienced / poor fitness individuals can achieve "Nooby Gainz"within a calorie deficit , when first starting out lifting weights. The law of diminishing returns. The more you put in the less you get out. Once you've been training for a year or two, the potential gains you will achieve in muscle mass during a calorie deficit is miniature, that its likely not worthwhile perusing. 

To optimise muscle growth, it's important to eat in a calorie surplus. But not to over do it, which would lead to the body storing excess body fat. 

200 to 300 calorie surplus is more than adequate to optimise muscle growth, providing you also achieve adequate amounts of recovery and perform continuous progressive overload during training.

How to calculate your surplus calories. Calculate your maintains calories by calculating your TDEE using the calorie calculator.


Once you know your TDEE, add 200 to 300 calories to this number. 

This would then result as a calorie surplus of 200 to 300 calories.

Key Reminder:

Muscle growth only be archived with:

Optimal sleep

Progressive Overload (New stress/stimulus applied to the muscle)

Protein synthesis 

Learn more about muscle growth, Click Here.


1g of Protein Per Pound of Lean Body Mass

Body Weight - Body Fat % = Grams Of Protein

Preserving Muscle Tissue when in a caloric deficit is important, to make sure the weight you're losing is Fat and not Muscle.

Protein is a key part to Muscle Protein Synthesis. So whether your aim is to build muscle or lose weight, we will aim to achieve 1g of Protein per Pound of Fat Free Mass.

What is Fat Free Mass?

It is your total mass excluding your body fat. So how do we work Calculate this?

In simple we estimate your body fat percentage by comparing yourself to the images below.

Then deduct this percentage % from your total weight,

for example:

If I weighed 140lbs at 10% body fat. I would deduct 14 from 140 = 126g 

My daily target of protein would be 126g 

Myth: Does a high protein diet negatively impact the kidneys?


High protein diets do not adversely effect kidneys in healthy adults.

(Unless you are predisposed to kidney condition, then high protein intake could have an effect on kidney function. If you are worried if you are someone with a kidney condition, seek your doctors advice.)

reference J Nutr 2018; 148:1760-1775 

Protein Target
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