1) Track your calorie intake
Use an app like My Fitness Pal to track 1 week of calorific intake. That’s right 1 week, not a day.
For this week don’t change what you would normally have and make sure you input everything!
At the end of the week calculate your total intake and divide this by 7 to get an average of what your daily calorie intake is. Note this figure.
2) Calculate your BMR and TDEE
Use a online calculator such as https://keto-calculator.ankerl.com/ to roughly calculate what your Basal Metabolic Rate is (how many calories a day you would need just to function doing fuck all) and your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (how many calories per day you would need to maintain your current weight including all your daily activities). This is always an estimate but will give you a good starting point. Note these figures.
3) Compare the figures
From the first 2 tips it’s time to compare your current daily intake to what your total daily intake should be.
What’s the difference?
Are you eating more than your should be? Chances are YES.
This tip is just to show where you are going wrong and give you a better understanding about your true daily calorific needs.
4) Create a deficit
Ok so now you’ve worked out how many calories you’re actually consuming to how many you should be consuming to maintain weight, it’s time to create a deficit.
When fat loss is the goal it’s a simple equation, calories in versus calories out. You need to consume less calories than you burn in order to tap into your excess fat stores.
In my opinion it’s best not to be too aggressive with your initial calorific deficit. So as an example only:
- you are currently consuming 2750 calories a day
- your TDEE is 2500
- you’re only eating 10% a day more than needed but that’s enough to gain weight.
- So let’s create a 10% deficit of your TDEE
- this would give you a new set intake of 2250.
This amount is enough in theory to get the fat loss process started but more importantly the jump between what you are currently consuming to this new figure isn’t hugely aggressive.
Where most people go wrong is that they set an intake that is far too low and unsustainable which inevitably leads to failure.
Slow progress is healthy progress.
5) Build a plan and track it
Now you have your new daily set intake in terms of calories it’s time to build yourself a diet plan.
Now you have 2 options here:
First option is to simply just track what you eat throughout the day (using my fitness pal or a similar app) and manage your portion sizes and timings to make sure you don’t over consume on your set target.
This may take a couple of days of trial and error in terms of both hitting your intake and spreading your foods so you don’t get to 4pm for example and have no calories left. Not ideal.
The second option is to pre plan your day’s intake and timings to make sure you know exactly what you are having and roughly when.
To keep things simple let’s just focus on calories here so we don’t overcomplicate this process.
Choose foods you like and enjoy but try to make sure the majority of your diet is nutrient dense, avoiding heavily processed foods. It’s very easy to go over on your calories when you are consuming calorie dense options or blindly drinking them without realising.
Try to make sure you get a good amount of protein into your daily intake, in my opinion roughly 30% is ideal.
Bulk your diet up with lots of veg as this will help keep you fuller for longer as well as provide you with some key nutrients important to your health.
So this is a very basic plan to get you started. It’s very easy to overcomplicate things especially with the mass of information out there. Use these tips to get the ball rolling and stay tuned for my next top tips to help you monitor your progress and learn to make adaptations if and when needed.