A very common question people have when trying to lose weight is, “How many calories should I eat per day?” There is no one size fits all answer, let’s get that straight. You can go to a calorie calculator you find on the internet, but who knows how accurate that is. My suggestion might take longer than a quick computer calculation that knows nothing about you or your life, but remember weight loss takes time and it involves changing many of your current bad habits. So the more time you take to understand what you are doing with your food the better. In total this process should take about weeks, but it is very sustainable for the long term and doesn’t require any major changes to your diet right off the bat.
There are a few things you have to do every day for the next two weeks; weigh yourself and track your calories.
Weigh yourself every day Monday through Sunday during the first week. Then get the average weight for all seven days, and that is your weekly weight. I suggest getting your average because as you weigh yourself you will see that your weight can go up and down a few pounds from one day to the next. The average will give you a solid number you can compare to for the following week, because you will do the same thing for week two.
While you are weighing yourself everyday you must also be tracking your calories of everything you eat. Don’t try to change up your diet while you do this, just keep it how it is. If you keep your diet the same might come to the realization you don’t actually have a diet. You might realize that you eat very sporadically and with no consistent foods. If you have a diet or foods you eat consistently then no need to worry. You will also need to find your daily average of calories consumed over the two week period.
Now when the two weeks are over compare the weight from week one to week two. Make sure you have your average daily calories handy, because depending on what happened to your weight you might need to make some adjustments. So, if your weight went down, congratulations, you don’t have to lower your calories. However, if you noticed that you don’t have any healthy eating habits or consistency with your diet, you might want to change that and make sure your new eating habits are within your calorie range (i’ll write a blog on this).
If your weight went up you are going to have to lower your daily calories. Depending on how fast you want to lose the weight will determine how many calories you have to cut. If you cut 250 calories from your daily intake you will lose roughly .5 pounds a week, if you cut 500 you will lose roughly one pound a week. Remember the more you cut, the harder it will be to stick to it. Dieting, eating right, and weight loss is life a long process so .5 pounds a week is better than gaining .5 a week, don’t be afraid of the slow and steady approach.
Another method to lose weight for those who had some consistency is to just look at what you were eating over the two weeks and slowly start removing all of the junk, and just eating the bare minimum healthy foods. Start by just removing one thing a week, this will naturally and organically lower your calories. Once all the junk is removed, you can either just keep the bare essentials, or replace the removed items with healthier foods. This method might take longer than the other methods but it will bring a greater awareness to your eating habits, and will create better eating habits. This method is also the most simple method that requires less tracking.