To Go Calorie Counter
Okay, before we start with the blueprint, I want everybody to keep this in mind: it’s not “weight” you want to lose, but “fat.” Everybody calls it “weight loss, ” but, believe me, you don’t want to be losing muscle in your quest for a thinner body. I’ll be using terms like weight loss and lose weight, but I really mean “fat loss” and “losing fat.”
What I’ve got for you is a 5 step “blueprint” to lose weight by counting calories, covering how many calories you should eat in a day to lose to carb/protein/fat ratios, and more.
If you grab a pen and a piece of paper to write down numbers as you read along, you’ll have a calorie counting plan by the end of it all.
1) Figure Out How Many Calories You Should Eat A Day to Lose Weight
To put it very simply, you need to create a “calorie deficit” to lose weight. What that means is, you want to eat less calories than your body burns in a day.
For example, if your body burns 2000 calories a day but you eat only 1700 calories a day, you create a calorie deficit of 300 calories a day and you’ll lose weight. If your body burns 2000 calories a day and you eat 2300 calories a day, you’re creating a calorie surplus of 300 calories, and you’ll end up gaining weight over time.
(Now, at this point some may argue about carb sensitivity, but I’m trying to keep this simple and down to the basics.)
You can create a calorie deficit by:
a) eating less calories than you do now, if you overeat;
b) exercising more;
c) a combination of (a) and (b) (usually, this is the best way because you strengthen your body at the same time).
If you’re not sure which calorie deficit to choose, go for the 20% calorie deficit. It’s moderate enough to show results, but not so aggressive you’ll be gnawing on wood out of hunger. Bear in mind, the results are estimates but it should give you a good starting point.
And also keep in mind this general rule of thumb: ladies, don’t go below 1200 calories and, guys, don’t go below 1800 calories a day. Your body burns up most of its daily calories just by keeping your body alive—even while you’re asleep! It needs fuel (calories) to do this. Personally, I can’t go below 1500 or 1600 calories a day; I just get too hungry and start feeling weak.
2) Figure Out What Proportion of Carbs, Protein and Fat You Should Eat (aka: Macronutrient Ratios)Carbs: Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, rice (brown is best), beans, lentils, cereals, pastas, breads, (whole grain cereals, pastas and bread are best), pastries (bad source of carbs!)
Protein: Foods from animal sources (beef, chicken, fish, etc.), legumes (chickpeas, beans), egg whites, dairy products, soy
Fat: Oils such as olive, peanut, avocado and canola, fatty fish (like salmon), nuts
Now, you can skip this part if you want—but I recommend that you don’t. There’s more to losing weight than just creating a calorie deficit! The quality of the food is very important. What’s the point of creating a calorie deficit and then eating junk food all day? You’re just setting yourself up for failure.
If you eat the right proportions of carbs, protein and fat, you’ll not only be healthy, but you’ll curb cravings and feel less hungry.
Expert trainer Tom Venuto recommends a baseline of 50% carbs, 30% protein and 20% fat to start off with. In other words, of your total daily calories, 50% should come from carbs, 30% from protein and 20% from fat.
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