A typical athlete, whether it be high school, college or professional, burns somewhere in the range of 15 calories per pound per day. Meaning, a 175lb athlete burns around 2,625 calories per day (175x15). This is important to know because if you want to gain weight, you need to consume more calories than you burn and if you want to lose, you need to burn more than you consume (we all know this already). An athlete wanting to maintain their current weight should aim to consume 15 calories for every pound of their body weight.
So for our 175 pound athlete we already know that he should be aiming for 2,625 calories per day (175x15) if he is trying to maintain his current weight.
What if you need to gain or lose weight?
For athletes looking to add muscle/size, you should increase caloric intake by 25% until desired weight is achieved.
For athletes looking to lose weight, you should decrease caloric intake by 25% until desired weight is achieved.
If the same athlete wants to gain weight, we multiply 2,625 by 1.25 to find our new caloric total.
If he wants to lose weight, we multiply 2,625 by 0.75 to find our new caloric total.
175lbs x 15 = 2,625 calories x 1.25 = 3,281 calories/day for weight gain
175lbs x 15 = 2,625 calories x 0.75 = 1969 calories/day for weight loss
As for the amount of protein and carbs, athletes should be consuming roughly 1.5g of these per pound of bodyweight (adjusted for your goal). Using the same 175lb athlete example, that would mean roughly 260g of protein and 260g of carbs per day (175x1.5). The remainder of our calories will be made up of fats that we get from peanut butter, various meats and dairy products for example, which all contain healthy fats. An ideal number of fat grams per day would be about half of your body weight in grams of fat each day or about 87g for a 175lb athlete.
Putting it all together:
Now for a challenge...
Download the app on your phone called "My Fitness Pal." Log in everything that you eat over a three day period. Check your stats on the app at the end of each day to see how close or far off your nutrition habits are from where they need to be and adjust accordingly.