There are pros and cons of using calories to get results as I have discussed previously. If you are using a calorie approach the key question is what should my target calorie intake be?

Though equations exist to predict calorie intake the most sure fire way to find out your needs is through experimentation. Follow a certain calorie intake amount and monitor the results. The body will react in one of three ways; it will lose fat while feeling ok to good, lose fat but feel awful or you will not lose fat. A final option is that you were unable to stick to the plan to test it. Based on these four reactions you simply need to change the calorie intake amount up/down until you have found your ideal fat loss zone. From this you can work out your maximum calorie threshold before gaining fat. With these two numbers you are in total control of your diet.

I would forget looking at calorie recommendation (government says 2500 for men, 2000 for women) as for most people their ideal targets are much below this. Also if you use any calorie burning apps for exercise, I would also not trust those numbers too much. If it says you have burnt 500 calories I would be a little wary of thinking it gives you the green light to go eat 500 calories ASAP. Often the body does not work that way. You have of course burnt some calories but the amount your body needs per day and the amount expended during exercise are open to debate.

How many Calories should I aim for?

It is difficult to say how many calories you should be eating as this ‘magic’ number is affected by many things. It is affected by –

  • How big a bodied person you are in general when not including body fat.
  • How much movement you do in life, a postman would walk much further than an office worker.
  • How much exercise you do.
  • The strength of your metabolism.
  • The temperature your body is exposed to for prolonged periods. You burn more calories working in the park than the office during the winter.

It is better to pick a number then see your reactions and adjust the diet from there.  As an opening position could be –

Sedentary women should start at        1200 Calories
Active women should start at               1500 Calories
Sedentary men should start at              1500 Calories
Active Men should start at                     1800 Calories

These numbers can vary a lot if you train with high volumes and likewise be much less if you do not move at all. Using a Fit Bit or other types of Pedometer will reveal how active you are. Through following and experimenting with the calorie intake amounts you should be able to find the level at which body fat is lost.

From this threshold you can predict the intake amount for the maximum fat gaining threshold. Where on average it is about 50% more calories than used to lose fat.

Calories to lose fat                 Max intake calories
900                                             1350
1200                                            1800
1400                                            2100
1600                                            2400
1800                                            2700
2000                                            3000
2200                                            3300
2500                                            3750

Once you have the calorie numbers you can work out your ideal macro nutrients as discussed in the articles on proteincarb and fat intake


Need Support Getting In Shape?

For support, coaching, nutrition and exercise plans wherever you are in the world read more here>>>>

For personal training in London Zones 1 – 2 read more here>>>>


Battersea – For Personal Training Battersea please contact me. I am available for sessions in homes, private gyms or Personal Training Battersea Park

Battersea park was created in 1858. Battersea Park is considered one of London’s most interesting Parks housing Battersea ZooBattersea Evolution Exhibition Centre and of course Battersea Park Dogs & Cats Home.


Social Widgets powered by