Figuring out how many calories you should be consuming for fat loss can be confusing and overwhelming! There are a lot of crazy calculations out there.
I want to make it simple for you because it does NOT need to be complicated.
I’m going to give you 3 SIMPLE options.
I do have to admit, the title of this article is a tad deceiving because I don’t have a fancy app in this article to do all the work for you. ¨̮
You will have to do some calculations and math.
It really isn’t too bad.
Before we get into it, I want you to keep in mind that these calculations are not for FAST or rapid fat loss.
I rarely prescribe rapid fat loss for my clients.
It isn’t sustainable and often times can create a poor relationship with food.
These options will be more moderate and sustainable for you.
A sustainable calorie deficit will create sustainable fat loss.
Kick those crash diets to the curb!
With these calculations, you should lose about 0.5lb-1lb per week.
Keep this in mind if you get frustrated that you aren’t losing weight more quickly.
Okay, let’s get started!
What’s your ideal body weight?
Before we get into the calculations, you need to figure out your ideal body weight.
This should be a weight that you feel most comfortable at. If you’re currently 160 lbs and have an ideal body weight of 120 lbs and you’ve never been 120 lbs (since junior high), I’d recommend you rethink it.
Choose a realistic number where you truly feel you will be your best self at.
Also, keep in mind that this number can change over time. You may decide you’re more comfortable at a higher weigh. This is just a baseline to get you started.
Take your goal body weight and multiply it by 12.
Nancy currently weighs 150 lbs but wants to weight 135 lbs.
135 x 12 = 1620 calories
That’s it. Pretty simple!
Track your current diet for the next 2 weeks. Be accurate and be meticulous.
Once you have 14 days worth of calories, add them up and divide by 14.
Once you have that number, subtract 500.
Week 1 Average – 2400
Week 2 Average – 2200
14 Day Average = 2300
2300 – 500 = 1800
This method is probably the most accurate since you’re actually taking an average of what you’re currently eating.
- Take your current body weight and multiply by 15
- Subtract that by 500-700
Nancy currently weighs 160 lbs.
(160 x 15) – 500 = 1900
This method can be a bit more conservative, but it’s is a good starting point without cutting calories too low, too quickly.
If you find that you aren’t losing at least 0.5 lbs per week, you can try increasing activity and reducing the calories by 100.
Now that you have your daily calorie goal, what should you do now?
In order to see the most progress, aim for 80-90% consistency with your daily calorie goal.
You do not need to be 100% perfect! I don’t want you to be. You need to have a day or 2 to have a mental and physical reset from cutting.
What does 80-90% consistency look like?
In a month of 30 days, this means you are on track with your daily calorie goals 24-27 of those days. That means you have 3-6 days where you are not hitting your calorie goal perfectly.
In terms of timeline, you can choose. I would give it at least 4 weeks before you try something different.
You can go 4 weeks and then back to maintenance for 2 and then back to cutting for 4. Or you could stay in a cut for a little longer and then back to maintenance.
Everyone is different and will have different needs based on your body, goals, lifestyle, fitness, etc.
I want you to be patient and remember that sustainable fat loss takes time.
If you feel like you aren’t getting results, don’t give up and don’t change up your calories before 4 weeks of 80-90% consistency. You need to stick with it for at least 4 weeks before changing your plan.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the scale is fickle! Your weight will fluctuate day to day. There are many reasons for this with the main culprit being water retention. I have a lot of posts about this on my instagram and you can find them in my ‘Mini Cut’ highlights bubble.
You got this! Don’t give up. Let me know if you need any help! Seriously, email me.
And as always, if you want more individualised help, check out my 1:1 coaching page for more info.
P.S. Join my email list for free workouts. I will not spam you. ¨̮