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The Vegan Walkthrough: What SHOULD You Eat?
First of all, I’d like to thank everyone so much for the excellent feedback we had on last week’s blog.
Which is part of what inspired me for this week’s write up.
I had a series of topics to write about for The Vegan Walkthrough, which I was planning on releasing throughout the year. But with the comments I received following the previous blog, I decided that this post should take precedent over some of the other subjects I have lined up.
Last week I spoke about the foundations of being vegan and briefly covered a variety of subjects… but, as I was told, one in particular left a few unanswered questions. I was saying about how your body still requires the same nutrition as it did before, but I didn’t go into what it should have been before.
That’s what I’m covering today:
The Nutritional Breakdown of What You Should Eat
This is quite an enormous subject and, as much as I’d love to spew out all my knowledge for you, I know that you wouldn’t want to read a +10,000 word essay on nutrition.
So I’m gonna keep this short and simple, to guide you on the path necessary for good health.
As I mentioned in the previous blog, there are certain nutrients you should be aware of and you should ensure you’re getting enough of when becoming a vegan, as they are mostly acquired through animal-based products.
But, today’s focus is on the bigger picture; how much calories, carbs, fats and proteins should you be looking to get in?
Let’s start with Calories.
To calculate your required calories, I’m going to base it on the principle that you want to remain at the same weight – it’s then up to you to include a deficit or surplus based on your weight goal should you have one.
There are quite a few methods out there of calculating your required calories, but we’ll be using a super simple one that takes very little effort on your part; here’s the method:
BMR x 1.2(female) or 1.4(male) = TDEE = RDI
Basal Metabolic Rate is basically the slowest rate at which your body burns calories. When we come up with a number for this, we’re saying how many calories you burn over 24 hours when you don’t take into consideration anything that you do within those 24 hours. To work this out, just do this simple formula:
For Men = 66 + (13.8 x weight (kg)) + (5 x height (cm)) – (6.8 x age)
For Women = 655 + (9.6 x weight (kg)) + (1.8 x height (cm)) – (4.7 x age)
This variable is that 1.2/1.4 that we multiply your BMR by to get a TDEE. The number I’m providing is just an estimate and it usually varies between 1.2 & 1.8, depending on how physically active you are. But, like I said before, we’re keeping this simple so I’m going on the basis that you do the minimum and then you can add on from there if you feel you’re above the level of sedentary.
That’s your Total daily Energy Expenditure. Quite a mouthful, but it’s a very helpful number to know. We’re basically saying that this is how many calories you burn in a day. Now we know that, we put this in reference to the caloric exchange – calories in = calories out = weight maintenance. So, to stay at the same weight, just ensure you take in the same number as your TDEE.
That caloric intake you just worked out is also known as your Recommended Daily Intake and is what I recommend you consume if you are sedentary and wish to stay at the same weight. It will vary for you as an individual, but that’s definitely a good place to start.
I use this term a lot, and it often receives a puzzled face from who I say it to, but here’s what it means. ‘Macro’ is me shortening the word Macronutrient. A macronutrient is a nutrient that contains calories – carbohydrates, fats, proteins. The breakdown is just what ratios you consume each of these in, in order to achieve your RDI.
To keep this simple, here’s the basic ratio:
To put this into context, here is the calorie content of each macro:
Carbohydrates contain a little over 4kcal (calories) per gram, but let’s just say it’s 4.
Fats contain pretty much bang on 9kcal per gram
Proteins contain about 3.8kcal per gram, but again let’s pretend I just said 4.
Putting into reality
I can cast out those figures all day long, but I know all you want is an example to go by. So here’s one for you:
Sam (not me) weighs 70kg, is 180cm and is a 20 year old male.
Here is Sam’s BMR:
66 + (13.8 x 70) + (5 x 180) – (6.8 x 20) = 1796
Sam lives a rather sedentary lifestyle.
Here is Sam’s TDEE:
1796 x 1.4 = 2514
Here is Sam’s macro breakdown:
Nutrient Ratio Calories Grams
Carb:Fat:Protein = 50:20:30 = 1257:503:754 = 314:56:189
This means that Sam’s nutritional requirements are as follows:
Calories = 2514kcal per day
Carbohydrates = 314g per day
Fats = 56g per day
Proteins = 189g per day
There it is, Sam’s guideline requirements, took like 30 seconds, bim bam boom!
That finishes today’s short and sweet blog off! Hope you put this into action, benefit from it and share it with all your vegan friends! And everyone else for that matter! These are guidelines for EVERYONE regardless of food preferences.
Please let me know what you’d like help with next by commenting on the blog, on the Facebook post or by sending me an Email.
I always reply and try my best to give you the answer you’re looking for.
Until next time, have a glorious weekend!