Understanding Our Daily Energy Requirements...

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Hey there, I heard you wanted to lose some weight...

Could I ask you what your number is? No, I don’t mean your phone number, I mean your calorie number. As in, how many calories do you need to consume today to make progress towards your goal? If you don’t know this, then welcome to step 1.

STEP 1: Your daily energy requirement

AKA your daily calories. This number means if you were to consume this specific amount of calories each day for a consistent amount of time, you will maintain your current weight. This number is very important and can be calculated easily  (shown in step 3.) If you are serious about your journey to weight loss and keeping it consistent, you MUST know this number. Why? Because it is your baseline to understand how you can maintain your body stature. From there you choose whether you need to put yourself at a deficit (to lose weight) or a surplus (to gain weight.)

IMPORTANT REMINDER – This is how your body works, there is no short cut or an easier way to losing weight. In the end you must be burning more energy than you are taking in.

STEP 2: Adjust this number to your goals

At the end of the day, the only way to lose fat/weight is to burn more energy than you are taking in. If you look at any trending weight loss diet (ketogenic diet, Atkins diet, herbal magic) you name it, each one has the same game plan at the end day, and that is to burn more energy than you are putting in (REMEMBER FOOD IS ENERGY.)

Lose weight = CALORIE DEFICIT – To start, put yourself at 200-250 calorie deficit/day.

Gain weight = CALORIE SURPLUS – To start put yourself at a 150-200 calorie surplus/day.

STEP 3: Let's put this all together and start losing weight!

Grab that phone of yours and download one of the following apps

·       iPhones – FitGenie (highly recommend this one)

·       Androids – MyFitnessPal

When you download one of these app’s, it will take you through a quick initial assessment and lucky for you, it already does Step 1 and Step 2 for you; so no excuses if you don’t fully understand how to calculate (It’s essential to understand the process and educate yourself…Trust me, it doesn’t take long, if you hold yourself accountable, and be consistent with your effort!) The most important thing that you want to achieve is getting a basic understanding of how your body works and why tracking is important to create your own diet tailored to your lifestyle.

If you take the time now to educate yourself on how the body works, you’ll save yourself years of disappointment and wasted time/money and effort on fad diets that don’t translate into long term results!

Our next move is to begin to track every single type of food that enters your mouth. Give yourself a week to figure out your current calorie intake. Our goal is to figure out what a normal day of meals and snacks look like for you. From there, we can find out where your strengths are, and where you could make some improvements.

Analyze those numbers, are you hitting your calorie deficit? Are you over eating? Are you not eating enough? From there begin to see where you can improve and take SMALL steps to get those numbers on point.

Once you have done that and you begin to understand the basic fundamental concept of calories, then you can start to look into Macronutrients to further your goals (Which I will explain with more depth in another blog). Today we start understanding your body and what calories need to be consumed to achieve your goals.


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Written by Shantelle Jonassen. Shantelle is a strength coach at Vagus Fitness, specializing in strength training for 50+. She loves working with clients who are new to strength training, and supporting them on there journey to more strength, mobility, and better health! Contact Shantelle at shantelle@vagusfitness.com.

Kyle Mahadeo