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Eat to Lose a Lot of Weight

In your efforts to lose a lot of weight, lose a little weight, maintain or even gain weight you will need to figure out one important thing.  What are your daily caloric needs?  If you keep in mind this one simple fact, you are on the right track.

Eat to Lose a lot of weight

Calories Burned > Calories Consumed = Weight Loss

 

Seems simple enough right? It is for the most part but the catch is to get enough calories to fuel your body’s needs and repair muscles. Lean muscle increases your metabolism.  Without enough calories to fuel your body it will kick into starvation mode and hang on to weight.  Your muscles will break down and believe it or not your metabolism slows down.  So eating enough is just as important as consuming less to lose weight. You may find that you will eat more over the entire day than you are used to in some cases.

So let’s figure out how many calories you will need in a day.  There are several factors to consider.  How active are you aside from your fitness program?  You will need more calories if you are an active person throughout the day. For example, you have a manual labor job lifting or walking all day. If you sit behind a desk at work and your only activity is the workouts you do, then you will need less.  What is your body weight? How many times a week are you working out? Even your age plays a role.

To make this simple I will share with you a couple of resources to guide you in finding that magic number.  If you have a Team Beachbody Club membership you can use their online tool called “Meal Plan Wizard” to figure out your caloric needs as well as create a meal plan. Wonderful part of their meal plan is that is also provides a shopping list. Another benefit of using the “Meal Plan Wizard” is that is tailored around the Beachbody fitness program you are using.  Beachbody also has the “Caloric Needs Calculator” that is based on the program you are using as well but does not provide a meal plan to follow. Both tools will ask your goal. One of the options is “Lose a lot of weight”. Can you say yes please? These are two helpful tools that come with your membership. The club membership also provides a ten percent discount on Beachbody products.  You can sign up for a Team Beachbody Club Membership here.

Thanks to a friend and fellow coach, Brad Dunagan, I came across another caloric needs tool on WebMD.com.  Their tool is called the WebMD BMI Plus Calculator. Not only does it provide your daily caloric intake requirements to reach your weight goals but it will give you information like your BMI (Body Mass Index), waist-to-height ratio, your RMR (resting metabolic rate) and your healthy body weight range.  Fantastic tool!

Please keep in mind that these tools are giving you an estimate. Listen to your body.  Use the number as a starting point and adjust from there. A good indicator that you are not eating enough is that you bonk on your workouts.  Meaning you just don’t have the gas to complete workouts you normally would not struggle with. If this is the case add some calories and see how the next few workouts go.  If you find you are not losing weight or inches adjust down a couple hundred calories and give that time to make any further decisions.  Give it at least a week or two before you start adjusting.  Be honest with yourself about the number of workouts you are completing and the amount of food that makes it to your mouth.

I personally don’t like keeping up with everything I eat.  I find it annoying but it’s an important gauge to reach my weight lose goals.  What I suggest, if you are like me, is to track your food for a couple of weeks and get a really good idea of what you can eat to stay within your caloric goals.  Return back to tracking calories every so often to make sure you are on track.  You need to log all foods at first until you get your weight moving in the right direction.  There is a wonderful website I have used and would like to recommend.  The free website myfitnesspal has an extensive database that I have yet to not find something. It is easy to use and adjust to fit your needs.  I have changed the meals to show one through five instead of the three common meals that comes default.  You can adjust the macronutrient percentage goals to keep an eye on these levels.  Say you want to eat less than 30% fat. You can adjust the amounts to show that you have gone over or under that goal for the day.

You now have the tools to figure out the amount of calories to eat and a way of tracking it. It is time to plan out healthy options to spread over five small meals throughout the day. Planning out your food goes a long way to being successful.  It can help keep you on track and away from the dreaded slip up.  If you do faulter don’t beat yourself up over it.  Put your eyes back on the goal and see it through.

I hope you find this useful in your weight loss and fitness journey.

Related posts:

  1. Want to Lose a Lot of Weight? Get motivated!
  2. My Story
  3. Diet Basics to Lose a Lot of Weight
  4. Still Kicking!
  5. One Month of Insanity

11 Comments

  1. Hi Blake, found you through Facebook. Nice blog btw. I am a marathon runner and I know all about calories and intake. Would you believe that when I am training for a full marathon, and thus run 45-55 miles a week I GAIN weight? Yup. Only AFTER I finish the long run and take a 5-7 day break form running, do I loose the weight. My body tells me when to eat, what to eat. i have incredible urges to eat salty cashew (after a run), banana bread or drink water. I try to never drink anything but water and coffee. (I need the coffee!) I only keep track of calories when I am trying to maintain my running during the off season. Then I have to watch what I eat b/c my body is going to store extra if I am not careful. Hope you come check out what I write about as well. Have a great day!

  2. Blake, this is a really great explanation of caloric intake and metabolism. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Your Site is looking Awesome Blake! Great articles too.

    I try to log all my calories in MyFitnessPal.com, but I always lose interest after a few days. Glad to hear I’m not the only one that finds it annoying!

    Keep up the great work!

  4. I agree. I don’t like to write down what I eat but it is very helpful.

  5. Awesome advice! I have found myself being deprived of results from not getting enough food.

  6. Hi Blake, this is very helpful! My wife (she left the first comment above) and I are training for a couple of pretty tough races (including Tough Mudder) and we’re always looking for info to help us fuel and recover more intelligently. My focus is more on making sure I am consuming the right nutrients than it is on losing/gaining weight, but I have to admit that being a couple pounds lighter would make the pull-ups we do in training a lot easier :-) . Paul

  7. I was talking to a physiotherapist who also mentioned the “eat to lose weight”.

    Of course, it’s very YMMV, but a nutritionist friend of mine also said the following:

    “Take your desired body weight in kilograms and multiply by 30 to determine your caloric intake.”

    What are your thoughts on this?

  8. Great info here, Blake! I, too, find it annoying at times trying to log my caloric intake, but you make a great point here to find the benchmark and go from there. Love it!

    Love how the site looks, too! I’m jealous lol.

  9. Blake, great post! I learned that if you want to burn fat, you actually need to have a certain amount of fat in your diet. So your article is spot on and very helpful for those who really are looking to burn fat and lose weight.

  10. Hi Blake,
    I found your blog post at the right time! I was just talking to my sister about not eating enough and still gaining weight. Your outline on what to do is fantastic. I’m on a mission to eat more healthy food. From what you wrote my thought is before you start a workout program you need to adjust your food intake so you can stick with and enjoy the workout more.
    Thanks!
    Sherrie

  11. nice article! one thing i keep coming across when talking to ppl about calories is that they are more focused on how many calories are in each food item that they eat rather then the nutritional quality of the food! drives me CRAZZY!!!!!!

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  1. Diet Basics to Lose a Lot of Weight | Sexton Fitness - [...] surprised by the amount of calories you need to fuel your metabolism.  We will go over that in a post coming ...

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