Alright, last post we went over how to find your maintenance levels (aka how many calories your body burns a day). If you didn’t read that article first I HIGHLY recommend you go back and read it before diving into this one.
Read it? Ok, great. Now you have a good estimate of how many calories you should be eating everyday in order to maintain the weight you are currently at. For most of us, that isn’t necessarily the goal though. So today we are going to go over how many calories you should be eating to consistently lose weight.
It’s quite simple actually.. Science shows that it takes about 3500 calories underneath of maintenance level to equal one pound of fat loss. Let’s break this down a little bit further for anybody that might be a little confused…
Take me for example. I know that my maintenance level of calories is roughly 2800 calories per day. I live an active lifestyle working two jobs, also personal training two-three clients each day and working out 5-6 times per week. If I take that 2800 calories for each day and multiply it into 7, (how many days there are in a week), I end up with 19,600 calories. This ends up being the amount of calories I can eat in a week to roughly maintain my body composition without gaining/losing any fat in a more long term basis.
As I stated before, it takes 3500 calories underneath maintenance level to lose one pound of fat. Well, 3500 divided by 7 equals 500. So to lose one pound of fat per week I should be eating close to 2300 calories per day to put me in a 3500 calorie deficit over a 7 day period, which is going to put me in a good spot to lose weight on a week to week basis.
Hopefully I didn’t lose any of you in that math session but if I did lets break it down one more time.
Maintenance level: 2800 calories a day = 19,600 calories per week (7 days)
One pound of fat loss: 3500 calorie deficit
One pound of fat loss per week: 19,600 – 3500 = 16,100 calories
Daily calorie intake: 16,100 divided by 7 = 2300 calories per day, which equals 500 calories below my maintenance level.
Who knew dieting would turn into a math equation? I sure didn’t when I started my journey in the fitness world, but to tell you the truth, I’m glad that it did. Instead of being so worried about only eating certain foods that were supposedly the magic trick for me to lose weight, it gave me the freedom to choose what I was going to eat.
Now, you still need to be somewhat smart on what foods you are eating. Overtime your body will start to get hungry, so you need to make smarter choices with lower calorie foods that are going to fill you up more so than a bowl of cereal, and your macro nutrient intake will play a big role into retaining muscle, keeping your energy levels up, and getting the body you’ve been chasing for so long. We’ll save that info for next week.
Hopefully you all got something from this short article and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to help you along the way.