Nutrition For Fitness: Phil Graham

Nutrition For Fitness: Phil Graham

Barry Kerrigan |

Phil Graham talks nutrition

This week we invited Phil Graham along again to talk us through his views on nutrition and how a nutrient dense diet can benefit you. We are delighted to have Phil on board for a second week running as his belief in a macro-rich diet goes hand in hand in what we are trying to achieve at Kerrigan's Foods For Fitness.


Step 1 - Establish protein intake

Take your lean body weight in kilograms and multiply by 2.5 g protein. This gives your daily protein intake, which should remain constant on training and non-training days. It’s all about maintenance!

Here’s a small macro guideline.

81kg x 2.5g protein = 202.5g

202.5g x 4kcals per gram = 810kcal (From Protein)


Step 2 - Establish fat intake

I have outlined specific ranges of fat intake for training and non-training days. Non-training days require slightly higher fat as there is less need for carbohydrate. If your body responds well to fat go for the higher end of the scale and vice versa if it performs better on carbs.

Training days:

Multiply total body weight in KG by 0.8 - 1.3g

Non-training Days

Multiply total body weight in KG by 1.4 - 1.8g

Using our 90kg example (81kg lean body mass - you don’t feed fat tissue!)

Work out calories from fat by multiplying 9kcal per gram

Therefore Training Days = 65g – 105g Fat per day (585 – 945kcal)

Non Training Days = 113g – 146g Fat Per day (1017 – 1314kcal)


Step 3 – Establish carbohydrate intake

Work out how many calories you have left to determine your carb intake. Carbs fill the energy gap once fat and protein calories have been calculated. To work out remaining calories multiply your total protein by 4 and fat intake by 9. Take this amount away from your total calorie intake for the day (training or non-training) then divide by 4 to work out your total amount of carbs in grams.

Training Days 90kg male example:

  • 202.5g Protein (810kcals)
  • 65g Fat (585kcals) – Fat could be higher if desired.
  • 810 + 585 = 1395kcals
  • Total daily intake = 3802kcal Training days (this would be 200kcal lower for rest days)
  • 3802 – 1395 = 2407/4kcal per g Carbs = 601g carbs (Training day)

Don’t Tolerate Carbs?

 If you don’t tolerate carbs well (feel bloated or lethargic), feel free to eat more dietary fat to compensate for the drop in energy from reduced carbohydrates.

Personally I like clients to consume more carbs on training days than non-training days simply to fuel workouts.

Going low carb from time to time doesn’t hurt, in fact it can work well to optimize insulin sensitivity, meaning you metabolize carbs more effectively. This could also be on a training or non-training day. Generally speaking if you like your carbs, feel free to eat away – just make sure you hit your overall calorie target.

Track Calories

It all comes down to tracking your overall calories and macro-nutrients to ensure you’re hitting key targets. Forget to track and you risk eating too much or too little. Innovations like MyFitnessPal can prove invaluable for tracking calories, hitting macro targets and incorporating greater food choice.

When/How to Adjust

How do you know if mass gains are high or poor quality? If you aren’t assessing you're just guessing. Yes it's a pain but taking time to track key markers of body composition and performance gives valid feedback on whether your program is working. Look for dips and progressions and change accordingly. Measure yourself on the same day and time every week to ensure the test is meaningful.

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