Each person has varying nutritional needs. The amount of energy you need and food you consume each day will depend on your gender, age, body weight, level of exercise and general activity. Not only will energy needs vary from person to person, but your energy levels also vary on a day-to-day basis. As such, there is no one-size-fits-all approach.
When you consume less calories than you burn, you are in a calorie deficit. In order to lose weight, you must be in a calorie deficit. As such, it’s important to understand how many calories you need on a day-to-day basis.
The F45 Challenge is a calorie-controlled diet. The meal plans consist of approximately 1,900 calories for males and 1,300 for females. If you are training regularly, more often than not, you will need to add calories to your diet.
How do you know how many calories to consume (or not consume)? One way is to use a calorie calculator. F45 recommends using the Mifflin St Jeor equation to estimate calorie needs.
The equation first determines your ‘basal metabolic rate,’ the number of calories your body needs to function at rest and to perform basic body functions.
To determine your BMR, use the following formula:
MEN: Resting Metabolic Rate = (9.99 X weight) + (6.25 X height) – (4.92 X age) + 5
WOMEN: Resting Metabolic Rate = (9.99 X weight) + (6.25 X height) – (4.92 X age) – 161 Equations use weight in kilograms (kg), height in centimeters (cm).
Once you determine your BMR, you will need to determine your total daily energy expenditure (or ‘total daily calorie burn’). You can do this by multiplying your BMR by your activity level, as set out below.
1.2 If you are sedentary (little or no exercise) = BMR x 1.2
1.375 If you are lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week) = BMR x 1.375
1.55 If you are moderately active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week) = BMR x 1.55 1.725 If you are very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week) = BMR x 1.725
1.9 If you are extra active (very hard exercise/sports & physical job or 2x training) = BMR x 1.9
The total number is your estimated daily calorie burn.
Generally, for healthy and sustainable weight loss, it is recommended that members consume 500 calories less than their total calorie burn for a day. However, keep in mind that individual needs vary.
As a general rule of thumb, adding 500 cal/day above your baseline energy requirements (those needed to maintain weight) in conjunction with including resistance training will result in muscle gain.
Importantly, you should not consume less calories than your BMR. Your body needs calories to function. If you consume too few, it can lead to health complications.
For members that do not have access to all ingredients recommended in the F45 45-day Challenge, we recommend either ordering our meal delivery service (if available in your country), or using alternate ingredients.
Yes, it’s perfectly fine to have coffee.
You don’t need to be feeling hungry in order to lose weight. However, when calorie intake is reduced, there is a chance you may notice some feelings of hunger as your body adjusts. If this is the case, check the following:
Have I had enough water? Aim to drink a large glass of water approximately 20 minutes before each meal or snack, as well as sipping throughout the day. This can help with managing appetite, and also ensure you remain well-hydrated.
Have I included enough low-starch vegetables? Aim for at least five servings of these per day. Vegetables are a good source of fiber and a way to fill you up without adding lots of extra calories. A good visual for this is making sure at least half of your plate at lunch and dinner is salad/vegetables.
Am I following the nutrition guide? By including plenty of vegetables, high-quality protein and appropriate quantities of whole grains, you will be able to lose weight and avoid excruciating hunger.
It’s important to remember that while we want to be in a calorie deficit, ‘starving’ yourself or reducing your caloric intake too low is not advisable.
Check how many calories you need each day using the calorie calculation, and be sure to check in with yourself. Fatigue, energy levels and concentration levels can indicate if you’ve restricted your intake too low.
We recommend you take a ‘food-first’ approach with your nutrition, as most nutrients you require will be easy to consume from a nutritious diet. Supplements should be used as their name implies—to ‘supplement’ the diet. If you are worried about nutrition deficiencies, it is recommended you speak with a health professional so he or she can assess your individual needs.
Of course! Once you have worked out your estimated daily energy (calorie) needs, you can use our pre-made meal plans or create your own from our library of recipes.
If you have an intolerance or allergy to ingredients used in the meal plans, you can either adjust the recipe and swap out those ingredients, or swap in a different meal/snack of your choice from the Recipe Library. If the intolerance or allergy is to gluten or lactose, you can simply replace that ingredient for a gluten-free or lactose-free alternative.
We recommend that members avoid alcohol for the entire 45-Day Challenge period. Alcohol is referred to as ‘empty calories,’ as it contains no nutritional benefits and can be extremely high in sugar. If members choose to have a social drink during the Challenge, then we recommend two of the below choices, which are lower in calories:
It is recommended that, if choosing to use protein powder, you use high-quality, complete protein (with all 22 amino acids). For this reason, there are two forms of protein that the F45 Nutrition Team recommends: Whey Protein Isolate (WPI) or a plant-based protein that contains a combination of brown rice and pea protein. F45 Fuel proteins are either a WPI or a Vegan Protein, which is a mix of brown rice and pea protein.
WHEY PROTEIN ISOLATE
Whey protein exists in two forms: Whey Protein Isolate (WPI) and Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC). WPI undergoes a further processing technique, making it more readily available to our bodies for absorption as compared to WPC, which is a slow-release form of protein.
PLANT-BASED (BROWN RICE + PEA PROTEIN)
Plant-based protein sources rarely contain a complete amino acid profile, which is why combining a variety of protein-rich, plant-based foods is important in order to obtain all of the essential amino acids. For example, brown rice protein is low in lysine, whereas pea protein is rich in lysine, which is why a protein blend of the two is highly beneficial. Lysine plays an important role in the maintenance and synthesis of skeletal muscle tissue, which is essential in helping your body rebuild muscle tissue after a workout.
PROTEIN POWDER GUIDELINES
Below you will find a Calorie Guide with an average quantity of common food items and their caloric contribution. This can easily be added into meal plans if more calories are needed than our base plans provide.