Not Sure How Many Calories To Eat For Fat Loss? Try These 3 Simple Steps!
With summer in full swing, I've been getting this question more times than I can keep up with: "How can I figure out how many calories I should eat in order to lose body fat? Is there a specific number I should be aiming for?"
The short answer?
While I WISH there was a universal formula for everyone, unfortunately there isn't. You kinda have to do a bit of trial & error to REALLY determine what the best fit is for you.
The long answer?
If you’re willing to put in a little bit of work, and practice a whole lotta patience, there are definitely a few ways you can determine your IDEAL calorie deficit for fat loss - which, once you know your “sweet spot”, will ultimately make the process of losing fat much easier overall.
With that in mind, if you're ready to figure out how many calories to eat for fat loss, try following any one (or all!) of these tips BELOW!
OPTION 1: THE MAINTENANCE TEST
First, record your weight at the beginning of the week. Next, record all of the calories you consume for 7 days straight - focusing on eating when you are hungry, and stopping when you are full. (The goal is to give your body ONLY what it needs, not more and not less.) At the beginning of the next week, weigh yourself again. If the scale didn't move and you’re still sitting at the same weight, chances are, you've found your “maintenance” calories - and anything BELOW this number should put you in a caloric deficit for fat loss.
OPTION 2: USE AN ONLINE CALCULATOR
Although online calculators are never as accurate as Option 1, they may provide a good starting point. (I use www.tdeecalculator.net!) It has a simple formula that asks for your age, height, weight, activity level, and body fat % (if you know it), and will give you a good estimation of how many calories you should eat for fat loss, maintenance and even weight gain.
Note: If you notice that you’re currently eating a dramatically lower amount of calories than the number it provides, I might try the next option instead...
OPTION 3: CALORIES IN VS. CALORIES OUT
This is like the "anti-" counting calories option. The main principle of fat loss is to consume less calories than you burn, OR (said differently) to burn MORE calories than you consume. If you're already eating too little calories, I'd never suggest to reduce them further. Instead, try increasing your overall calorie BURN by lifting heavier weights in your workouts or getting more steps in. This should ultimately put you in the deficit you need for fat loss without doing a thangggg to your diet. (However, if you’re also exercising a lot - I’d suggest working with a trainer first to slowly increase your calorie intake and rebuild your metabolism before attempting to lose any more fat.)
REMEMBER: The ultimate goal is to lose fat as sustainably as possible. So, if you’re currently struggling to balance your health goals, nutrition, and exercise routine - all while trying to live your dream lifestyle, I’d love to show you exactly how you can have it all, and still reach your fitness goals! Just CLICK HERE to schedule a FREE 30-minute call with me, and let’s do this!
PS - Which option have you tried? Which one surprised you? I’d love to hear your thoughts below!