MitoCalc FAQ

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Why should I use MitoCalc?

Each of us have different nutritional requirements based on our sex, age, activity levels, and other variables.

The amount of macros (protein, carbohydrates and fats) also differ between different diets or nutritional styles. Think about it. A ketogenic diet that is very low carbohydrates, is going to have completely different ratio’s of macros than a very low fat Ornish diet.

Sure there are other tools that can measure your specific energy requirements when it comes to diet, but do they take factors such as individual differences in the ability to burn fat vs carbohydrates into account? Do they take your unique metabolism into account? If this variability is not taken into account by the tool or program you are using, your estimates could be off by as much as 300 calories or more.

300+ calories…

That is a lot of calories for someone like you who are putting the effort in to eating correctly. For someone like you who are dedicated to achieving your goals and seeing results. When you do the training and you choose your food carefully, you WANT to see results. But your plan is only as good as the tool you are using to process this data for you. So you want to be sure that your measurements are as spot-on as they can be.

Well, MitoCalc is that tool. No more guessing. No more doing everything right and not seeing the results. No more being given the same information as everyone else. You are unique. Your metabolism is unique. Your biochemistry is unique. This should not be ignored.

How do I use MitoCalc?

Enter the following

1. current body weight (kg)

2. body fat (%)

3. activity level (multiplier)

4. target protein (g/kg-lbm)

5. Optimize your diet using the FQ slider

MitoCalc uses the FQ “Food Quotient” to illustrate the fat vs. carb balance then estimates the dietary requirements (grams of fat, protein, and net carbs) that maintain lean body mass. Tracking these inputs and your diet over time will help you address uncertainty in your estimates.

How do I use MitoCalc to lose weight?

Being open to loosing and gaining body fat is a healthy mindset and can be as simple as sustaining a deficit or surplus fat balance. In other words, carbon that is not oxidized and exhaled or eliminated is stored as increased body weight. Yet, poor digestion, infection, stress and chronic inflammation affecting hormones, and hormone resistance will impeded adaptations to dietary challenges and novel activities.

MitoCalc provides you with a precise estimate of the dietary fat balance. Upon achieving your protein and carbohydrate targets with whole nutrient dense foods, maintaining a fat balance of +/- 150 kcals/day is an optimal approach to sustaining adaptations to periodic challenges. Tracking these inputs and your diet over time will help you address uncertainty in your estimates.

Body Mass is your total body weight in kilograms (2.21 pounds/kg). Tracking these inputs and your diet over time will help you address uncertainty in your estimates.

Body Fat is simply the percentage of fat your body contains. If you weigh 64 kg (141 pounds) and are 10% fat, it means that your body consists of 6.4 kg (14 pounds) fat and 57.6 (126 pounds) lean body mass (bone, muscle, organ tissue, blood, water etc.).

Many online resources and methods are available for estimating body fat percentage (e.g. Tracking these inputs and your diet over time will help you address uncertainty in your estimates.

Fat Balance (FB) is the surplus or deficit of fat consumed by oxidation to maintain lean body mass. Sources for fat oxidation can include diet and body fat.

Activity level is a direct multiplier for increasing maintenance requirements as non-exercise activity/adaptive thermogenesis. It does not account for added exercise. MitoCalc rounds the standard Katch-McArdle multipliers;

1.2 = sedentary (little or no exercise)

1.4 = light activity (light exercise/sports 1 to 3 days per week)

1.6 = moderate activity (moderate exercise/sports 3 to 5 days per week)

1.7 = very active (hard exercise/sports 6 to 7 days per week)

1.9 = extra active (very hard exercise/sports 6 to 7 days per week and physical job)

Unless routinely taking on new and unfamiliar activities we generally recommend assuming a lower activity level. Additional fueling to specific exercise requirements is ideal for optimizing performance. Tracking these inputs and your diet over time will help you address uncertainty in your estimates.

Protein target is a controversial topic to say the least. MitoCalc provides for a personalized protein target. Generally speaking we see low < 0.6 ; moderate = 1.5 and high > 2.1 g per kg of lean body mass.

How do I estimate my protein requirement?

We recommend that you estimate your protein requirements with the help of a physician or practitioner. As a guideline the basic minimum requirement is one gram of protein per kilo mass of ideal weight, (or 0.6 grams per kilo lean mass) (

The minimum recommendation reflects sedentary, not engaging in any physical activity and as long as there are no medical reasons for which protein would be detrimental. If you are very active, high life-load and engaged in high strength training 4 to 6 times a week you might want choose 1.9 grams per kilo mass of ideal weight.

You can start from a baseline of a normal day then adjust these values depending upon your training in heavy physical activity, very stressful day etc. If you are regularly engaged in high volume low intensity exercise we recommend maintaining 1.5 grams per kilo of ideal mass a day.

How do I track my diet?

We have developed MitoCalc as a specific application for those who are already tracking and planning their diet with tools like Senza. Tracking diet overtime allows you to accurately estimate the proportions of protein, fats, and carbohydrate as inputs to MitoCalc. Then compare your how many calories and grams of macros you typically consume relative to MitoCalc's optimal targets.

How does MitoCalc work?

MitoCalc applies adjustments to the Katch Mcardle method in order to account for the "Equivalent Energy of CO2", the "Thermic Effect of Food", and the "Work of Breathing". MitoCalc provides the Food Quotient as a working method for estimating the eucaloric Respiratory Quotient (RQ) at rest. Where FQ infers (and RQ meaures) the ratio of CO2 exhaled to O2 consumed. Given changes in the macro profile, our use of the term "eucloric" means to better match your total dietary intake with metabolic rate when using MitoCalc.

Equivalent Energy of CO2 (EeqCO2) is the energy released as 27.46, 23.33, and 21.12 (kJ/l) when f, p, c are oxidized. Where f, p, and c represent the percentage of calories derived from the complete oxidation of fat, protein, and carbohydrate respectively. Using percentage of calories from each macro, EeqCO2 = (27.46 * f + 23.33 * p + 21.12 * c).

Thermic Effect of Food (TEF) is the increase in metabolic rate for digesting, absorbing, and storing the nutrients in the food you've eaten. Using percentage of calories from each macro, TEF = (1.015* f + 1.25 * p + 1.075 * c). As FQ decreases, the individual is more easily adapted to higher elevations and hotter environments.

Food Quotient (FQ) is important because FQ will vary from High fat low carb (HFLC FQ < 0.8) to Low fat high carb (LFHC FQ > 0.9). Using percentage of calories from each macro, FQ = (0.71 * f + 0.835 * p + 1.0 * c).

Work of breathing (WOB) is the energy expended to inhale and exhale. As FQ decreases, the volume of CO2 is less making breathing more efficient in specific medical and performance applications.

Typical Western diets provide a benchmark FQ, EeqCO2 and TEF. MitoCalc assumes the Katch and Mcardle sample population averages for FQ, EeqCO2, and TEF were 0.84, 23.76, and 1.07 respectively.

MitoCalc outputs include the net grams and calories of fat, protein, and carbs required to maintain lean body mass.

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