How to Count Calories for Workouts | Complex Carbs & Protein

Serving Sizes | Total Carbs vs. Complex | Master Reading Food Labels, Fast


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[ms_column style=”2/3″ align=”left” class=”” id=””]Learning How to Count Calories, quickly is a skill everyone from athlete to exerciser needs to master. By looking at the serving size, you can determine if your food is great pre-workout, post-workout, snack or full blown meal. And, you learn based on protein status and complex carb amount, how much your meals boost your workouts and metabolism.[/ms_column]

Master the Label

Typically, you want about 100-200 calories for snacks and twice to three times this for each meal depending on your target weight and weight loss goal.

Serving Sizes tell you how many calories you’re taking in and how many pieces you’re eating

How much Protein do I need?

So, you know your serving sizes and how many calories you’re getting – look secondly at Protein. You are looking for at least 2-5 grams of protein for each snack and more than about 18 grams per meal. These numbers might double based on your target weight and goals.
Try always to eat natural foods, and only avoid all processed foods…skip foods with additives, preservatives, EXTRA sugar and trans fats.

18 grams of Protein for supplements and meals is a quality minimum recommendation.

Total Carbohydrates Tell a Fraction of the Story

Take your total carbs and subtract out the “Sugars” and “Dietary Fiber” grams. What is left is Complex Carbs which is a broad range of dextrins, startch, gums and other sugars. Foods high in complex carbs are perfect for recovering from glycolytic workouts like Hurricanes, HiiTs and cardio intensive exercise.

The higher the number, that is, the more “Total” and lesser “Sugar” in a food, makes it perfect for cardio recovery especially.


Foods where the “Total” and the “Sugar” grams are either exactly the same or are pretty much the same, are not garbage foods! Instead, use them to fuel your workouts and exercises especially earlier in the day… they make perfect pre-workout foods which buoy your blood sugar.
Skipping all sugar tanks your blood sugar… making hard exercise – especially for weight loss – exponentially harder. Your exercise heart rate simply doesn’t stay elevated as long.

Look for ZERO ADDED sugars but do not avoid all sugars.

Target Weight

If you need to lose weight, keep your proteins between 70 and 180 grams based on your weight – each day.
GENERALLY, if you are looking at getting to 150 pounds, 80 grams per day is key.
At 120 pounds, 70 grams of protein is great.
At 200 pounds, 110 grams is perfect.

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About Johann

18 year veteran coach!