It’s a question that comes up from new Precision Nutrition Coaching clients all the time:
“I’ve been tracking my calories in and calories out religiously… but I’m not losing as much weight as I should. Why isn’t this working?!?”
Yes, conventional wisdom states that reducing your calorie intake (or increasing the amount you burn) by 500 calories a day should lead to about 1 pound of fat loss per week. (Math: 500 calories a day x 7 days = 3500 calories a week = 1 pound.)
But that conventional wisdom is wrong. As discussed in this article all about the myth of metabolic damage, your metabolism is adaptive. As you eat less, your metabolism slows, throwing off common assumptions about calorie balance.
This excellent weight loss calculator—based on the NIH Body Weight Planner and adapted from research collected at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases—takes into account the adaptive nature of metabolism and gives more accurate information on how hard you’ll have to work (and how long it may take) to reach your goals.
(Keep reading below to learn why it’s more advanced than many others.)
Note: If you have questions about how to use the calculator watch the video above.
To understand why this calculator is so helpful, let’s use an example client: Vanessa. She’s 40 years old, 5’ 6” tall, weighs 185 pounds, has a very low level of activity at work, and a moderate level of activity outside of work.
Based on this information, the calculator has determined that she needs around 2,445 calories per day to maintain her weight.
Let’s say Vanessa would like to lose 40 pounds in a sustainable way over the course of the next year, without doing much additional exercise.
The calculator suggests she’ll need to reduce her food intake to around 1,770 calories per day. (That’s 675 calories fewer than required for maintenance.)
If you do conventional calorie math, these numbers don’t make sense.
A daily calorie deficit of 675 calories would lead to a deficit of 246,375 calories over a full year. (Math: 675 calorie deficit x 365 days = 246,375 calories.)
This would, theoretically, lead to a 70-pound weight loss for Vanessa. (Math: 246,375 calorie deficit / 3,500 calories in 1 pound of weight = 70 pounds lost.)
But the body doesn’t work that way. Instead, Vanessa would lose only about 40 pounds. (Which is still awesome, obviously.)
Why this very large disparity?
As mentioned above, your metabolism adjusts as you eat less and lose weight. And conventional math doesn’t take this complex nature of human metabolism into account.
That’s why it’s important to make sure your expectations about weight loss and body change are in line with how your body actually works.
This calculator helps with that. It makes easier to set appropriate behavior goals, and gives you a more realistic view of what you potential progress could look like.
But here’s what it can’t do: Predict all the other factors that affect your ability to lose weight. It doesn’t take into account your unique food preferences, lifestyle, or abilities.
So while meticulously tracking calories can be a viable approach to weight loss for some, our experience coaching more than 100,000 clients says there are easier, more successful approaches to losing weight and keeping it off.
That’s why at Precision Nutrition we coach the whole person, addressing all the factors that lead to sustainable and life-changing results.
From learning to eyeball portion sizes and better gauge hunger, to improving sleep and managing stress, to finding easier ways to make time for exercise, we help every client build the array of skills they need to get in the best shape of their lives… no math required.
Want to get in the best shape of your life?
With Precision Nutrition Coaching, every clients works with a personal coach to achieve the lasting results they want.
We’ll help you lose fat, get strong, and improve your health, no matter what challenges you’re dealing with. And we’ll meet you wherever you are right now: any body type, any fitness level, any goal. You tell us the results you want, and we’ll show you the way, with compassion and expertise.
Checkout our top yummy non metabolism killer meals below
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