The science is simple and fairly conclusive when it comes to weight loss.
Burn off more calories than you consume then you will lose weight and for many women, this will work.
If you are trying to lose weight or your weight loss has stalled then your first step is to calculate your daily calorie requirements.
Establish your Daily Calorie Intake.
Reasons You Can’t Lose Weight
Calories in and calories out are by no means the golden answer to weight loss but as I have stated above its an excellent starting point.
However, other factors that my hamper your weight loss and should be addressed before or alongside addressing your calorie intake are:
- Digestive disorders
- Autoimmune disorders
- High levels of stress
- Thyroid issues
- Low nutrient diet
And, off course, there are then social and psychological reasons / habits behind weight loss too which is why solely relying on counting calories or restricting calories as your weight loss plan never works long term.
So, tackle health issues alongside understanding your daily calorie intake to really achieve your goals.
How Many Calories Should I Eat to Lose Weight?
When discussing calories in and calories the rule of thumb for weight loss is you need to be in a DAILY calorie deficit of around 500 calories to start losing weight.
This should keep you on track for a pound or two of weight loss per week. This 500 calorie deficit can be achieved via your diet, exercise or ideally both. Just aim for the 500 mark.
The NHS guidelines for weight loss states a woman should “stick to a calorie intake of 1400 calories daily to lose weight“ this is in line with 500 calorie deficit if you base that deficit on the 1800 – 2000 maintenance calorie intake for a woman.
Many women I speak to say 2000 calories is too much for them, especially if they are not regularly exercising so aiming for between 1400 – 2000 calories is your goal.
Remember, if you “think” that you are currently at the 2000 maintenance calorie mark then you may actually be OVER that mark with all the small things like a few biscuits or glasses of wine that creep in without you noticing!
For example, a standard size Galaxy Chocolate bar is around 250 calories.
This is why it is really useful to spend a week or two working out how many calories you are actually consuming.
But I Don’t Want To Count Calories Forever!
Good because I don’t want you to either! In fact, I haven’t counted calories for around the last 20 years…it’s tedious if you ask me!
And, of course, life is not about never eating chocolate again or enjoying a glass a wine.
But, if losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight is important to you then having an appreciation of how everything we consume has a calorific impact on your ability to lose weight is important.
From a survival perspect, the human body doesn’t actually need a huge amount of food so it is crucial to strike a balance between what your body needs and the modern-day foods so easily obtainable.
Calorie Counting Apps
Both their food search options are free.
However, only use one! There may be some differences between them so stick to one app otherwise it will probably drive you a bit crazy comparing!
Regardless of whether they are 100% accurate you now have a pretty good base line figure.
Some of it may be an eye opener!
Your First Weight Loss Goal
Reach the 2000 mark. If you are over that then work on dropping 500 calories every 7-10 days until you reach the 2000 mark. Then assess where you are. You can then decide if you wish or need to drop more calories.
Remember you want a 500 calorie deficit! So don’t drop below the 2000 mark too much. too quickly particularly if you are suddenly starting to exercise a lot!
If you do, then you may be in too greater deficit. For example, do not go from 3000 calories to 1400 and then start exercising intensely on top!
Several things will happen if you do this. Firstly, if you are exercising really intensely you will probably become very tired after a week or two.
You will also become very, very hungry!
This will no doubt end up with you trying to fight your hunger, you’ll lose that battle for sure and end up overeating at some stage. Often feelings of failure accompany moments like that and you may give up.
Health-wise it’s not healthy or sensible to be on a long term severe calorie restriction.
And, in terms of weight loss, long term severe calorie restriction will lower your metabolism. This is absolutely the opposite of what you want to happen!
Long term calorie restriction usually results in yourbody slowing metabolism to match the amount of energy i.e. food going in!
A high metabolism is excatly what you want to burng fat!
Regular exercise, in particular strength / weight training or HIIT training are great at raising your metabolism by the way!
Once your metabolism slows your weight loss will stall. Imagine a fire that is about to go out – you want a roaring fire!
A weight-loss stall can be incredibly frustrating as initially you may have lost weight and are then unable to understand why things have suddenly stopped.
So, use gradual calorie restriction either by decreasing the volume of calories gradually or if you do go for a big calorie drop say from 3000 to 2000 calories be aware that your body will initially lose weight but may then lower metabolism if you do it for too long.
Sticking at 2000 calories in this circumstance for around 4 – 6 weeks is probably the best way to allow your body to adjust before you aim for the 1400 calorie mark!
Remember! Do you want a fire thats smouderling with dying embers or do you want a roaring blaze?!
Can I Cut my Calories Quicker, say a Drop of 1000?
Yes and no?
Recently, you may have seen in the press the singer Adele started her weight loss at 1000 calories daily for the 1st week of her regime with I believe only juices being consumed, or it may have been juicing with one meal a day. Either way, this will be a shock tactic for her body.
But if you drop your calories to 1000 do it for NO MORE than 7 days. No more, deal? Once the 7 days are over, return to a maintenance intake for several weeks based on your SENSIBLE 500 calorie deficit – this gives your body time to adapt again.
I wish to make this very clear: Any diet under 1400 calories per day is not sustainable and may actually be dangerous in the long term, and as mentioned in the section above, will actually be detrimental to your weight loss by slowing your metabolism.
How Many Meals a Day Should I Eat to Lose Weight?
Generally, the rule of thumb is to eat small meals throughout the day. The body doesn’t neccesarily need to eat 3 meals a day but it works in terms of structure in our lives doesn’t it.
Intermitted fasting has gained quite a lot of pace in recent years and there are pros and con’s to doing it.
Perhaps, it’s something you could try or use depending on how your day is looking i.e. if you have a crazily busy day ahead without much time for regular meals then intermittent fasting may be effective.
For weight loss, I would advise aiming for the traditional 3 meals daily, split your calorie intake fairly even. This prevents too longer periods without food. Often if the gaps are too big between meals hunger kicks in and over eating occurs!
Small healthy meals will keep your blood sugar levels maintained, energy levels in check and metabolism fired up.
So, start with the 3 meals and if you need to add in a low-calorie snack between meals you can.
Here’s What You Need To Do Right NOW To Lose Weight!
- Find out your average daily calorie intake – you need to ascertain a reference point using either Nutracheck or MyFitnessPal
- Do this for one week, record everything you eat and drink!
- To lose weight you need to be in a calorie deficit, daily, of about 500 calories either via diet or exercise
- The NHS states 1400 calories a day is an ideal calorie intake for weight loss
- Priotise health issues first such as addressing digestive, autoimmune and hormomal disorders
- Do not cut too many calories too quickly or for too longer periods. Remember your metabolism will slow and your weight loss will stop.
- If you are exercising regularly and calorie intake is between 1500 – 2000 then you should start to lose weight.
- Focus on eating fresh, natural food!
We all are lucky enough to live in a world of plentiful food. The downside of this is that it is very easy to gain weight.
It doesn’t take much at all, so having an understanding of calories and how many you need and how many you are consuming is a fundamental starting point.
How Can We Help?
Working out your calorie intake is a bit like painting your living room! It’s tedious and boring but more than manageable and once done it’s good for a good few years.
However, if you would prefer for us to do it for you that’s no problem, contact us below and we’ll get on the case for you!