Things You'll Need
Monitoring a diet closely can help you reach your goals. An important factor for success is the ratio of fats, proteins and carbohydrates in your daily food intake. The percentage of your daily diet coming from carbohydrates depends on whether you wish to maintain, lose or gain weight. Calculate your carbohydrate intake for your body weight to determine how many of your daily calories should be carbohydrate calories.
Figure Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) and Calorie Requirements
Weigh yourself and determine your height in inches.
Multiply (a) your weight by 4.35 (for women) or 6.23 (for men). Multiply (b) your height in inches by 4.7 (women) or 12.7 (men). Multiply (c) your age in years by 4.7 (women) or 6.8 (men).
Add 655 + (a) + (b) - (c) = BMR for women. Add 66 + (a) + (b) - (c) = BMR for men. For example, a 40-year-old man with a weight of 185 lbs. and height of 72 inches has a BMR of 1,860.9.
Determine your daily activity level to determine your daily calorie needs to maintain your weight. Choose between sedentary (no activity), lightly active (some exercise one to three times a week), moderately active (more exercise three to five times per week), very active (hard exertion six to seven times per week) and extremely active (extreme training or active physical labor seven days per week).
Multiply your BMR by 1.2 (sedentary), 1.375 (light activity), 1.55 (moderate activity), 1.725 (very active) or 1.9 (extremely active) to find your daily calorie needs to maintain your weight. For example, if you are moderately active and your BMR is 1,860.9, your daily calorie needs are 2,884.4 to maintain your weight.
Determine Carbohydrate Percentage and Daily Goals
Determine your weight goals to determine what percentage of your daily calories should be carbohydrates. A moderate diet might contain 45 percent carbohydrates. A low-fat diet might contain 60 percent carbohydrates. A low-carb diet might contain 25 percent carbohydrates. The U.S. government recommends between 45 and 65 percent carbohydrates.
Multiply your daily calorie needs by the carbohydrate percentage you desire. Using the same example, if the 40-year-old man wants a moderate diet, multiply 2,884 * .45 = 1,297.8. Strive for 1,297 carbohydrate calories out of your total 2,884 daily calories.
Keep track of the carbohydrate and calorie contents of the foods you consume each day so your food consumption stays within your goals.