“How Much (Or, How Many Calories) Do You Eat?”

I don’t count calories.

I eat a lot of food. Sometimes, too much. But, overall, not too much.

How do I know? I don’t get fatter.

I get asked this question often. Let me clarify by stating a few facts:

I’m a 37 year-old male who weighs between 170 & 175 pounds, on an average day.

I have about 10% body fat and I am highly* physically active.

By ‘highly’ physically active I mean:

  • High-intensity strength training three to four times per week, which includes an even mixture of: maximal or sub-maximal barbell training, medium repetition body-weight training, and medium or short distance sprinting and/or odd-object training.
  • Short daily routines of yoga & stretching.
  • Walking an average of 1.5 miles per day.
  • No sitting chairs. (I sit on a bosu ball, or stand. I do not drive.)
  • Additional playing or coaching of sport 1-2 days per week.

Instead of counting calories, I read ingredients, and listen to my body.

How do I feel the next day?

Am I as fast and/or as strong as I was last week?

If I get slower or fatter, I tweak what I eat.

I have been, lately, lowering my portion sizes a little bit, without any reduction to performance in the gym.

There’s nothing wrong with counting calories. I just don’t want you to be obsessed with it.

You’ve got to find ways to measure your results. For me, it’s tracking my training numbers, and keeping an eye on body fat and weight.

For you, it might be your regularity, or, your energy level.

And, of course, 100 calories of cookies is not going to make you feel the same as 100 calories of carrots.

*The next level up, which, I would call ‘extremely’ psychically active, would be someone engaged in competitive sport, perhaps semi or fully professionally, every day.