It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the constant push by society to lose weight. Some fad diets will tell you to cut out a macro in its entirety! The most fundamental way to lose weight is a calorie deficit, however, restricting too much can have negative effects on your health. When determining how many calories to take in, you should consider that you need calories to allow your body to function, digest the food you’re eating, and fuel everything you do daily (including your workouts). Over-restricting can cause your metabolism to slow down, as well as loss of muscle, fatigue, nutrient deficiencies, and may lower your ability to fight off infections and viruses. If you want to lose weight safely and ensure it stays off, it will take time and patience.
First I recommend you figure out your Basal Metabolic Rate – the minimum amount of calories you need to allow your body to function well. Please be sure you are eating well above this number – especially if you are doing fitness workouts. https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/bmr_calculator.htm
This chart will give you an idea of the amount of calories you need to have an energy balance. This means that it covers your daily activity and will allow you to maintain your weight. https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/estimated-calorie-requirement
Finding a number between your intake and output is what will allow you to lose weight. The goal is to find a realistic number where you are still able to function well, not lose muscle, and not be fatigued. Remember – sustainable weight loss will require you to change what you are doing on a daily basis. Finding what will work in the long term is the best way to do this.
Katie Onufer is a Precision Nutrition certified Nutrition Coach, and heads up the CFCC Nutrition program