Have you tried different fad diets, lost 5 10 15 lbs, but not ever been able to really stick to anything?
Maybe you tried keto, or cut out sugar, but after 2 weeks you’re like F I WANT A COOKIE. You “break” and realize this isn’t going to work for you, so you fall back to your old ways.
Well, I have a simple solution for you.. Start counting your calories.
Every single thing you eat, drink, put on top of your cheeseburger, all of it has calories.
And, when it comes to fat loss, calories ALWAYS count.. So why not count them?
Dive in with me, let’s go over not how to diet, but how to eat for the rest of your life.
Before We Get Any Farther..
I believe in educating you so you can learn and understand, rather than following a plan blindly.
This has been shown to increase long term adherence in my online coaching clients.
This cannot be said loudly enough, THE ONLY WAY TO LOSE FAT IS TO BE IN A CALORIE DEFICIT.
There is simply NO other way around that. I don’t care if you eat sugar, eat carbs, do keto, do intermittent fasting..
The only way to lose fat, in this universe at least, is to be in a calorie deficit. That simply means taking in LESS calories than your body burns out.
Every diet out there has this one single purpose in mind.. most just end up being not very sustainable.
This article is not going to tell how you can’t eat pizza, cookies, or pasta.. Rather how can you do that, and still see fat loss progress?
And no, I am not saying you can eat pizza, cookies, and pasta all day everyday and lose weight.. Though, if you are in a calorie deficit, you could ;).
Where & How To Count Calories
As I am sure you know, as you are probably reading this off your phone right now, technology is one hell of a drug.
But, you can use this drug for good use.
As far as where and how to track, there a few ways.
The first would be to just go old school pen and paper. This can work for some people, if you are a math wizard, because it will require a lot of math throughout the day.
And if you are caveman.
The second option would be to use your smartphone device, you know that thing everyone is on all day long, to let one of the many apps do this for you.
Some are labeled below.
- My Fitness Pal – This is the one I use personally for myself and my online coaching clients. It is very easy to use, it has millions of food in its data base, you can scan foods you eat and put them right in. You can also add friends to see their diary or vice versa, this works very well if you are doing it with a friend for accountability or working with a coach.
2. Lose It!
There are millions out there, I just label the top 3 I see used very often.
It is less about picking the right one, more about just getting started using them.
Calorie counting is a task within itself, so just getting started using one of these apps is a great first step.
Once you get whatever app you choose downloaded and get familiar with it, now is time to actually track.
I CANNOT UNDERESTIMATE THIS ENOUGH, THIS IS WHERE PEOPLE GO WRONG.
You would think, well what is so hard about it now?
When you start to count your calories, and track your food…. You have to do just that!
Meaning, if you have a ham and cheese sandwich, you have to put in all the ingredients of that ham and cheese sandwich.
Let’s use that for example.
If you just type into the app, “Ham and Cheese Sandwich”, the calories comes out to 250.
Now, let’s look at what you actually ate on that ham and cheese sandwich, including the 2 slices of white break, 4 oz of ham deli meat, 1 slice of Swiss cheese, and a serving of mayo.
Look at how the calories almost DOUBLED, at 493.
This is HUGE, because if you think you are tracking everything correctly, you end up following the guidelines I lay out later in this article, and you aren’t seeing results, you are going to get frustrated.
You will think it is not working.
When in reality, as you can see, you MUST track accurately if you want to get results.
You may think you are eating 1200 calories everyday… But if you were accurately tracking, you would see you are eating 1800, and THAT is why you are not losing weight.
Because it all comes down to a calorie deficit, right? ;).
And yes, I know this can be tedious at times, but I promise you, it will be worth it.
You will LEARN what 4oz of ham looks like.
You will LEARN how many calories 1 slice of Swiss cheese has.
You will get educated on so many things.. and if you remember from the beginning, what leads to long term success / adherence?
How Many Calories Should You Shoot For?
So, know that you have where to track your calories, you have gotten used to doing it, and you KNOW you have to track EVERYTHING ACCURATELY..
Let’s get into the fun stuff.
It would be good to know what to shoot for now, right?
Let’s talk calorie equations for if you want to lose fat.
WEIGHT LOSS EQUATION – Bodyweight x 8-12 = Calorie Limit For The Day
So say your body weight is 150, you can do 150 x 10 = 1500 calories.
All of this can be VERY dependent on YOU.
YOUR activity level, YOUR previous history, YOUR relationship with food, to name one of many.
BUT, it is not the point to be perfect here. The point is, pick a number, and go with it.
Do it for 2, 4, 6 weeks straight. 100% during that time, and track your results.
If you do this, I PROMISE you will see results. Then from there, you will be able to made adjustments if need be.
But please, just start something.
** FOR FAT LOSS IN PARTICULAR, LISTEN UP**.
So, I know most of you looking at this equation will automatically jump to the body weight x 8 to achieve your desired calorie number for the day, because it will give you lower calories.
Please, please, let me make you aware.
This is NOT about losing weight as fast as possible. If that is the reason you are here, I am sorry for wasting your time, and you may as well leave now.
Will that equation make you “lose weight faster”, maybe.
BUT, think about this.
If you pick this, and it gives you a amount YOU cannot sustainably adhere to, and causes you to binge, over eat, have negative hormonal responses..
Then is it really worth the perceived “increase rate of fat loss”?
When really, you won’t be making much fat loss progress at all because the deficit will be so aggressive that you will not be able to sustain it.
I am not saying don’t try it, I am saying if you do, be aware, work in periods where you can have more calories, and always think big picture.
Consistency, Not Perfection
I cannot say enough about consistency during this, or any fitness journey.
I can give you the perfect plan, perfect number of calories, everything.. But, if you don’t follow it consistently, none of it will matter.
I am not asking you to only eat chicken and broccoli. Not asking you to cut out your favorite foods.
What I am asking you to do is stick to track your calories, stick to a calorie number no matter what, and from there you will see results.
You can have cookies. You can have pizza. Nothing is “off limits”, as long as you can stick to your calories, you WILL see results.
Now, should protein be prioritized? Should you be getting a good amount of veggies and fruits to maintain hunger and micro nutrients? Yes of course.
But that is a different article for a different day (reach out if you want me to cover that!).
For the purpose of this, just know that consistency trumps perfection.
And that means, weekends, holidays, travel, all of that counts too.
I cannot tell you how many people track PERFECT Monday – Friday morning…. Then Friday night – Sunday, they act like a blindfold is on and it doesn’t count.
Saturday night means the same as Tuesday night.
Friday night means the same as Thursday morning.
It all counts towards your progress.
You can be perfect Mon – Fri, hit your calories, but if you on Friday Saturday Sunday eat 3000 calories, when you are only supposed to eat 1500.. You won’t lose fat.
Because by the end of the week, you WON’T be in a calorie deficit.
You will have effectively gone into a maintenance, or surplus, by your actions on the weekend.
Weekends count, travel counts, birthday, all of it.
And that is not to say you can’t have birthday cake on your sons birthday, you can certainly do that.
But, just know that if it comes a point you think you are being perfect but not seeing progress, check these trouble spots out first.
Because I can tell you first hand as a coach, this WILL happen to you at some point. And you will be ready to conquer them hopefully, after reading this article.
Ready To Take On Your Goals?
Hopefully by now, you are confident that you can take on your fat loss goals.
Listen, fat loss is hard. It takes time, effort, consistency, all of it.
BUT, it does not have to be complicated.
All it comes down to is if you are in a calorie deficit or not. If you are, you will lose weight. If you are not, you will not lose weight.
Simple. NOT easy, but simple.
And that is why I am such a huge believer in calorie counting, because it can give you the most accurate way to track what you are doing.
It gives you a plan, it gives you the most optimal way to reach your fat loss goals.
Because remember, you don’t HAVE to count calories, but calories ALWAYS count.
If you have any questions about your specific situation, feel free to reach out to me via email @ firstname.lastname@example.org, and I would love to help you out.
If you are interested in coaching with me, click HERE to fill out the form to see if we would be a good fit together!!
Talk soon. -E.