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Step 1:
Set a calorie deficit

Achieving your weight and fitness goals is largely down to a matter of “calories in” versus “calories out”.  And if your goal is to lose weight, then you need to achieve a calorie deficit.

What is a calorie deficit?

Your metabolism is the process by which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy that it can use. 

 

Even when you're at rest, your body needs energy for things like keeping your heart beating, managing hormone levels, digestion, breathing, repairing muscles, growing hair, and so on. 

If you eat more calories (energy) than your body needs, the excess energy is stored as fat and causes weight gain.

 

If you eat fewer calories (energy) than your body burns, the resulting calorie deficit will cause your body to burn stored fat for energy and you will lose weight.

Unfortunately, your metabolic rate is mainly determined by genetics and therefore resistant to change.  So you need to focus on eating a calorie deficit.

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Calculating your calorie deficit

The baseline energy requirement for your body is what we call your metabolic rate and is measured in calories (the amount of energy released when your body breaks down food). 

People who have a high (or fast) metabolism burn energy at a quicker rate than people with a low (or slow) metabolism, and so people with high metabolisms need more energy than their peers to undertake all their body functions. 

There are several factors that determine how many calories you need each day based on your metabolic rate, such as your body size, body composition, gender, age and genetics.  And we can use these factors to estimate your baseline metabolic rate.

Once you know your baseline, then you need to eat less to be in a calorie deficit and to lose weight.  A pound of body fat contains about 3,500 calories of stored energy.  So if you want to lose a pound a week, then you need to eat 500 calories less than your baseline metabolic rate (7 days x 500 calories = 3,500 calories = 1 lb of fat).

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You can't exercise your way out of a bad diet.

Mark Hyman

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eatwell hack #1:
use a calorie calculator

The easiest way to understand your daily calorie requirement is to use a calorie calculator.  You can use our FREE calorie calculator in the "SET GOALS" section of our app.

 

Just enter your basic information and weight loss goals and let the app do the work for you.  For further instructions, click here.

Back To Overview

Next up:
Step 2. Weigh Yourself Daily

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