how many calories should you eat if you workout twice a day for weight loss

When you workout more than once a day you create a larger than normal calorie deficit. Here you can work out more accurately just how many calories you need to eat when you train twice a day

Training twice a day is a great way to accelerate your weight loss. If you are a calorie and macro counting fan then you will want to know just how many calories you should on those training days. 

I often encourage my clients to train twice a day when they can as it just works.

Whether it’s the physical aspect of burning more calories and improving fitness or the psychological side that makes you more likely to eat better and stay positive throughout your journey.

How many calories should you eat if you workout twice a day can be calculated by using the following formula to give a very close estimate of how many calories are needed.

Total Daily Energy Expenditure + Calories Burned During Exercise – 500kcals

Where Total Daily Energy Expenditure is your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) x Physical Activity level (PAL).

How to workout how many calories you need a day when you workout

We have broken down that formula above into 4 simple steps as outlined below. This will help you to easily work out just how many calories are needed to lose weight safely when you train twice a day or more.

Step 1. How to work out BMR

In order to calculate your daily Basal Metabolic rate or BMR you could use bio-impedance scales, online calculators or as we have done here use the  Mifflin-St Jeor formula below:

BMR = (10 X weight in kg) + (6.25 x height in cm) – (5 x age in years) + 5 for men or -161 for women.

Example

In this example we have used a 43 year old women who is 70kg and 162cm and let’s call her Jenny.

BMR = 10 x 70) + (6.25 x 162) – (5 x 43) – 161  = 1336.5

Jenny’s BMR or calories burn at rest a day is roughly 1337 calories (round your number up as it makes the whole equation cleaner later on) .

Using your BMR we can then workout how many calories you burn a day based on your physical activity level or PAL. We can do this next.

Step 2. Working out your PAL

Physical activity level is a guesstimate used to work out in greater depth what your daily energy expenditure is in calories. This is a great way to work out how many calories you burn in a day and is important to working out just how many calorie you need to eat day to day as BMR alone isn’t accurate enough since its a measure of calories used if you were to lay in bed all day.

Your physical activity level is determined by how active you are day to day. For this to work you must not include your workouts as we will factor this in later.

PAL Multiplier Table

Activity levelMultiplier
Sedentary 1.2
Lightly active 1.37
Moderately active1.55
Heavily active1.72
Athlete1.9

If you have quite a sedentary day to day lifestyle such as an office job or you sit at home a lot and watch TV then you would give yourself a PAL of 1.2 this would be considered a low activity level.

If you think you are lightly to moderately active day to day then you would score yourself between 1.37-1.55. We like to use the rang to give yourself some “wiggle room” as this number isn’t exact.

If you are quite active day to day then a 1.72 is required. This would apply to you if you are on your feet all day and do some sort of manual job whether that’s gardening, construction.

If you are an athlete and train as your job then you would use a score of 1.9. even if you feel like an athlete at the moment training twice a day just hold back with that rating as we want to add it on in a moment.

Jenny has a lightly active job doing clerical duties so we will give her a 1.37 score multiplier for her PAL. Lets multiply this by her BMR of 1337

Daily Energy Expenditure = BMR x PAL

1336.5 x 1.37 = 1838 calories

Jenny’s Daily Energy Expenditure is 1838 calories.

To make life easier head over to this site here ( Daily Energy Expenditure Calculator) to work out your total daily energy expenditure and then come back to work out the next steps.

Step 3. How to workout calories burnt during exercise

Great you’re back! So now we have your total daily energy requirements we can add on how many calories you burn during your workouts.

This is actually very difficult to do since all workouts will be different depending on the activity. Luckily we found this really clever calculator from verywelllift.com

Remember this is an estimate. Cardio workouts are easier to track and calculate calories burnt through exercise tracker such as heart rate monitors and fitbits whereas weight lifting tends to be harder to workout but the calculator above is pretty good.

Now you have roughly calculated how many calories you burnt doing your multiple workouts go ahead and add that from your daily energy expenditure.

For jenny we use her 1838 calories and add on her calories burnt from two workouts which is 360 from her 30 minute morning HIIT workout and then another 533 calories from a 60 minute jog she did in the evening.

That makes her total calories burnt today to be 1838 + 360 + 533 =2731 calories. That’s a lot of calories!

Now you can do this for yourself and hopefully you will have a similar number.

step 4. Create a calorie deficit of 500 calories

Finally, you need to subtract 500 from this figure to give you a pretty accurate amount of calories you need to eat on the days you train twice a day. You can also use this formula to work out how many calories to eat if you train once a day and how many to have on rest days.

The 500 calorie subtraction is simply a starting point and the generally advised amount of calories you should reduce your intake by when trying to lose weight.

However if you are currently eating less than this you may be apprehensive about suddenly eating more. If this is the case then gradually increase your calorie by 100 a day until you reach the set threshold that you just worked out. Big changes in calorie intake isn’t great for your weight management.

If you are not losing weight then week by week reduce your calorie intake by 100 calories until you see a steady decline in your weight.

This is where weighing in is so important. From there you can simply adjust your calorie intake accordingly. Making sure you always weight on the same day and time each week. Women obviously have a 4 week cycle where weight can dramatically change so keep that in mind.

Keep training hard and find the best workouts that suit you and keep getting you the results you need.

When you workout more than once a day you create a larger than normal calorie deficit. Here you can work out more accurately just how many calories you need to eat when you train twice a day.

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