Hey guys, thank you so much for coming by the site today. I really hope you can get some value from this article because I see so much wrong information out there when it comes to weight loss. The one and only thing that’s important is making sure you’re eating less than your body is burning and we’re going to discuss this today.
Many people think a bunch of nonsensical things lead to weight loss – and oftentimes it isn’t their fault that they think this. People think low carb diets are the key. People think quitting sweets is it. People think that a ketogenic, paleo or some other crazy diet will lead them to weight loss.
I want you to understand that this is all nonsense. Even if these diets DO work (which sometimes they do) the underlying principle that is at play here is the fact that you’re inadvertently eating fewer calories than you’re burning! There are a couple of ways you can induce a calorie deficit.
So, let’s dive right in and take a closer look at how many calories you need to be consuming to lose weight based on your weight, goal weight, current body fat levels, dietary preferences, meal timing preferences and gender.
We’ll also be looking at how quickly you can lose X amount of weight which I think is really going to help you get a grip on this whole idea of weight loss.
So let’s get started.
Calorie Deficit/Restriction on a Weekly Basis = Weight Loss!
Let’s get things started off on the right foot, why don’t we. I want you to understand this important point:
A calorie deficit is the only thing that will lead to weight loss!
Since you’re already here on this article I am going to assume that you’re already aware of this.
You can head over to this article from the National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) explaining that a calorie deficit is the only indicator of weight loss. This is peer-reviewed information and the scientific evidence is there to support you all the way to your goal weight.
With that being said, however, the reason so many people have bought into all the crap information out there is because yes, sometimes other methods do work – however, the fundamental function of these other methods is still to induce this calorie deficit.
You are probably thinking of various diets at this point or doing tons and tons of cardio in order to burn more calories. What sometimes people fail to understand is that it’s not the diet or cardio that’s making you lose weight, it’s the negative energy balance that you’re inflicting on a weekly basis.
As a matter of fact, you can have days where you’re eating more and days you’re eating less and at the end of the week you’ve still lost a couple of pounds! This is evidence and this is the only way to lose weight.
You might be thinking at this point, “Ok, so how do I know how many calories I need exactly to lose weight?” This is a great question and I want you to keep reading the article as it has everything to do with determining your maintenance calorie requirement.
What your maintenance calories basically means is the amount of energy (calories) your body requires to neither gain nor lose weight. It’s your baseline and this is going to affect everything you do.
So How do We Determine Our Baseline (Maintenance) Calorie Requirement?
What I want you to do at this point is think of your body in terms of the amount of weight you would like to lose. If you are somebody that is pretty lean and just needs to lose another 15-30 pounds, you can use your current bodyweight to determine your maintenance calories.
If, on the other hand you are more than about 40 pounds out from your goal weight, I want you to use your goal or target bodyweight for the next part of this article which we will cover below.
Let me give you a quick example. If you’re 160 pounds and you would like to lose another 15-30pounds, just use your current bodyweight to calculate your maintenance levels.
If, however, you are 160 pounds but you should be 90-100, you need to use your target bodyweight. Make sense?
Before we get started, I want you to be fully aware that determining your maintenance calories is a game of trial and error – and you will need to test it out for a few weeks to make sure you aren’t gaining weight. Our bodies are not robots. Adjustments will be necessary from time to time.
Don’t be fooled by all the formulas out there. They are all estimates anyway and the method I am about to show you is as straightforward as it gets. All you need is a calculator (unless your brain is good at maths, which mine is not!)
I want you to consider the following 3 numbers that are indicative of your activity levels.
13: You are pretty sedentary. You work in an office and otherwise don’t do much activity outside of maybe the gym 2-3 times per week.
14: You are mostly sedentary and sometimes walk for 30 minutes per day plus your gym days 3-4 days per week.
15: You are considerably active. You walk everyday for 30-60 minutes, you work a demanding standing job and you work out 3-5 days per week.
Now, what I want you to do is either take your current weight or your target weight IN POUNDS (as described above) and multiply this number by one of the numbers above that you think best describes your activity level.
This means you will take 160 pounds and multiply this number by either 13, 14 or 15. Let’s say for example you fall under the 14 category.
So, 160 x 14 = 2240 calories per day to maintain your bodyweight. This is how you figure out your maintenance caloric requirement and we can move onto the next steps.
Now That We Have Our Maintenance Calories, We Can Add a Deficit (subtracting calories)
As I have described above, you might fall into one of 2 categories: You are close to your goal weight 15-30 pounds out, or you are more than 30 pounds away.
I want you to look at the picture above of myself. I was a classic category 1: About 30 pounds overweight and I wanted to get absolutely ripped up and shredded to the bone.
I was weighing in at around 195 pounds and shredded up to an astonishing 162 pounds! Like I explain down below, however, I looked frail, weak and not very muscular – but I had lost weight at least!
For the first situation, if you’re pretty close to your target weight, you will want to induce a weekly caloric deficit of 20-25 percent. This means multiplying the above number (2240 calories from the previous section) by 0.75.
This would look like this:
2240 calories x 0.75 = 1680 calories. Multiplied by 7, over the course of the week would be 11,760 weekly calories.
Some people prefer to induce the deficit daily, some people like to calorie-cycle and do it weekly but as long as you are eating 80-75% of your maintenance calories on a weekly basis you can expect weight loss like clock-work.
Like I said, however, most people like to do this every day. In this case, simply eat 80-75% of your maintenance calories every day and you won’t have to worry about a weekly deficit if it’s too much of a hassle for you.
For the second situation, if you are more than 30 pounds away from your target bodyweight, you can get away with a slightly more aggressive fat loss approach. This would mean inducing a 25-35% caloric deficit in order to lose weight more quickly.
However, BE CAREFUL with this aggressive strategy! You need to be very very careful to track your weight loss every week because you cannot sustain this in the long-term. Once you are about 15 pounds away from your target, go a little more easy on the deficit.
You can switch to eating at about 80-75% of your maintenance calories once you are within 15 pounds of your target weight. If you continue to eat at a massive deficit expect some damage to your metabolism. This could lead to rapid relapsing.
Related Post: A fast and simple way to lose weight
Let’s Get to the Most Important Thing You’ve Been Waiting For
At this point you might be thinking, “this is great but how much weight can I lose and how quickly can I lose it?“
Very good question.
Remember the two scenarios above? You’re either 15-30 pounds away from your goal weight or more than 30 pounds.
If you’re in the first category, and, if you’re doing everything right, and you’re actually eating at the correct 80-75% of your maintenance caloric requirement, you can expect to lose 1-2 pounds of weight per week.
If you’re not following a weight lifting program to go along with your weight loss efforts you can expect half of your weight loss efforts to also include muscle. This can and will leave you looking frail, weak and overall unhealthy.
Keep reading the article if you want to learn how to avoid this problem.
However, if you’re in the second category and you have 30+ pounds to lose, you can and will lose about 2-4 pounds per week! If you’re more than 60-70 pounds overweight you will lose more and if you’re less than 60 pounds overweight, you will lose slightly less per week.
As you lean down, your weight loss will slow down which is to be expected as your body switches to starvation mode.
This is all very exciting for you because you now have the knowledge to lose as much weight as you want!
Remember I said that you might look frail and weak if you just lose weight without doing at least a basic strength training program? Well here’s what I did to make sure I didn’t look like a concentration camp survivor:
Related: Is a Low Carb Diet good for Weight Loss?
Alright guys, that covers it. This article will get you as lean as you want – and make sure to implement these strategies!
Make sure you get yourself a food scale to measure exactly how much food you’re eating and make sure to leave a comment or any questions about any of this down below!