So often when wanting to lose weight you hear about the fact that you must be in a calorie deficit, but so many people are not quite sure where to start. Don’t worry, I have got you covered!
Here is a FREE calorie calculator you can use to get an idea where to start with your calories. Whatever method you use to determine your calories, it will always be an estimate and it should always be a working number of which you manipulate whilst you monitor progress (which I explain below).
This calculator requires you to enter your height, weight, age and gender. You will also select an activity level – be careful here, most people over-estimate their activity levels so it is important that you are honest with yourself to get the most accurate number. Once you have entered that you will enter your goal weight and when you want to achieve this by, a rough and realistic guide would be to opt for 1lb/0.5kg per week as a starting point.
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It’s important to note that calorie calculators don’t consider body composition, therefore if you have a substantial amount of body fat to lose it might be worth considering starting a little bit lower than this number to give yourself the best chance of being in a deficit.
What to do now?
Ok so you have your estimate, remember this is only a starting point and it is likely that your requirement will change over time. I recommend that you track your calories – I get my clients to use MyFitnessPal initially.
I recommend that after a week or maybe two that you weigh yourself again to monitor progress. If you have lost weight then you are in a deficit and you can keep going there until that weight loss slows. If you haven’t lost weight, you have two options, you can reduce calories further, or increase the amount you move e.g. step count.
Then you would re-test again in a week or two and monitor progress once more. Often this can be a trial and error period as everyone’s body responds in different ways and there is no one size fits all unfortunately.
Nb. It may be worth tracking over a four week period for a female due the menstrual cycle – Weight can fluctuate a lot and it can sometimes be demotivating if you do not weigh yourself compared against an identical time in your cycle.. For men, I would strongly advise you weigh weekly – at least initially.
You can find out more information about calories and creating a deficit in a blog I wrote titled ‘How to get Started with your Weight Loss – Diet’
Check out my video where I explain in detail how your calories are made up and how you make the most impact to achieve weight loss!