If you choose not to track calories what are your options? Make sure you choose the most nutritious foods you can. Fill your dinner plate with vegetables, eat salads, eat fruits, drink water etc, you know the drill, you’ve heard it all before. You do not need to track but sometimes not tracking can limit your freedom a little if you’re easily mislead on portion sizes of foods you enjoy most.
One obvious tip is be honest with yourself. In our diets there are usually things we know we over consume. In most cases that is alcohol, chocolates, soft drinks, iced coffees, ice creams, biscuits etc. You don’t have to cut these to zero. But have less it’s a start point. Then monitor progress.
If you choose to track (which I would recommend if you are struggling). You need to know your maintenance calories. This is the number of calories you can eat and stay the same weight. Find that number, take 10–15% off to create a calorie deficit. Track everything you eat and drink in an app like my fitness pal or similar and monitor progress (do not eat back the calories from exercise in these apps!).
There are numerous ways of finding your maintenance number and they are all probably wrong! But we need a start point and they’re an educated guess. Two common ways are the Revised Harris Benedict Equation x by an activity level (google it). Once you get that number take 10-15% off it, that will be your daily calorie deficit target. Another option is to convert your weight to pounds and x that number by 10 for sedentary, 12 for active, 14 for really active. This number will be your daily calorie deficit number. Most of the fitness influencers who tell you to sign up and use their calorie calculators are just using one of these formulas under their own branding.
The only way we know if these numbers are too high or too low is if you see results. If you are losing weight it’s probably ok, if you are putting on weight it’s probably too much. Be consistent and trial it for a few weeks. Dial that number up or down depending on how you feel and the results you do or don’t get. Constant self evaluation and the willingness to change when needed is key. #caloriesmatter