Calorie Counting to Enhance Your Diet
It’s astounding that people PAY for point system diets. Point systems take something that SEEMS complicated (calorie counting) and make it easier to track. Honestly, maybe this was helpful in the 90s before calorie counting was at your fingertips. You can now even scan barcodes into your fitness tracker!
Right now, stop what you're doing and sign-up for a fitness tracker
One of the most popular calorie trackers is MyFitnessPal. You can either pay point system diets hundreds of dollars and LEARN their point systems to track your calories, or you can track your calories for free.
Nutrition is Your Biggest Lever
Controlling what goes into your body significantly impacts your muscle definition and tone. There’s one simple rule when it comes to dieting: you lose weight by eating at a calorie deficit, you gain weight by eating at a calorie surplus. This is not some claim from a random diet book, this is a known fact based on science. Already you can start to see what point system diets do: give you a point total for the day that is a deficit and then label foods as points. You want complete control over your progress, which is why you’re going to track your foods by calories, not points.
What is My Calorie Deficit?
Your body naturally burns a certain number of calories each day. These are called your ‘maintenance calories’. Even when you’re sitting or sleeping, your body is burning calories. In order to control your weight loss, you need to find your maintenance calories. There are plenty of free resources online that calculate your maintenance calories. Given you already have a MyFitnessPal account, it’s easiest to use their calculator.
Go to your MyFitnessPal account and under settings find ‘Update diet/fitness profile’. Set your current weight to what you weigh today and enter this same weight for your goal weight. Complete the rest of the form to the best of your ability, and MyFitnessPal will calculate your maintenance calories.
What is a good deficit?
We know our maintenance calories, so now let’s cover what your GOAL should be. During a cut, you’re goal is to lose 1-2 pounds per week.
To do this, you must eat at a calorie deficit of 500-750 calories per day. If your maintenance calories are 2500/day, you can eat 2000 calories per day and expect to lose 1 pound per week (assuming your activity levels stay the same). A majority of the free calorie calculators can determine your daily calories.
Note: Your maintenance calories are estimated. You may have to adjust your calories after a week or two depending on fat loss. Make any small tweaks to get into the 1-2 pounds per week range.