Looking to get the best results while dieting down for the summer? Here are 6 steps to get you on the right track.
1 – How Long Your Diet Will Take
To determine this, multiply your bodyweight by 0.5% to 1%. The number given is the amount of pounds you’ll aim to lose each week without sparing any muscle mass. For example, Joe Blow weighs 180lbs:
180 x 0.005 = 0.9 (round up to 1)
180 x 0.01 = 1.8 (round up to 2)
In this example, Joe could lose 1-2lbs each week. If his goal was to lose 10lbs and cut down to 170, he’d be looking to diet for somewhere between 5-10 weeks.
2 – How Much You Need To Eat
Reducing your daily caloric intake by 500, will ensure you lose 1lbs per week. In my last article I explained a simple way to determine how many calories you should be consuming. Once you figure that out, you can reduce that number depending on how much weight you’re going to lose each week.
Example: For Joe to maintain his bodyweight of 180lbs, he needs to eat 3000 calories per day. If Joe wanted to lose 1lbs per week, he’d reduce his caloric intake by 500.
3000 – 500 = 2500 calories per day.
If he wanted to be more aggressive and lose 2lbs per week, he’d obviously double the amount of calories to cut out:
3000 – 1000 = 2000 calories per day.
So depending on the amount Joe decides to lose each week, he’d be eating somewhere between 2000-2500 calories per day.
3 – Protein Intake
When losing weight, protein intake should be kept high in order to maintain as much muscle mass as possible, so that we can focus on burning fat and not muscle. My recommendation for protein intake is to consume 1-1.5 grams of protein per lb. in bodyweight. So for Joe to determine his protein intake he’d do a simple calculation:
180 x 1 = 180g of protein per day.
180 x 1.5 = 270g of protein per day.
Joe’s daily protein intake should be somewhere between 180 to 270 grams per day. I’d suggest going right in the middle and aim to consume 225 grams of protein per day.
1 gram of protein is 4 calories, so 225 grams per day would equal 900 calories.
4 – Fat Intake
In order to maintain proper hormone function while dieting, it’s recommended to keep your daily fat intake somewhere between 0.3-0.5 grams per lb. of bodyweight. So in our ongoing example:
180 x 0.3 = 54g of fat per day.
180 x 0.5 = 90g of fat per day.
Joe’s fat intake would be somewhere between 54 to 90 grams each day. Again, if we were going to go right in the middle of that range, we’d be looking at consuming 72 grams of fat per day.
1 gram of fat is 9 calories, so 72 grams of fat per day would equal 648 calories.
5 – Carbohydrate Intake
To determine carbohydrate intake, we essentially just want to fill in the blanks. After finding out the amount of calories we’re going to get from protein and fat, we can use the remaining calories to figure out our carb intake.
In our example:
Protein – 900 calories per day
Fat – 648 calories per day
900 + 648 = 1548 calories that will be subtracted from the total amount of calories Joe consumes each day.
If he were to go on the lower end of calories:
2000 – 1548 = 452 calories remaining for carbs.
If he were to go on the higher end:
2500 – 1548 = 952 calories remaining for carbs.
1 gram of carbohydrates is 4 calories, so in order to determine the amount of carbohydrates to consume each day, we simply need to divide the remaining calories by 4.
On the lower end:
452 calories / 4 = 113 grams of carbohydrates.
On the higher end:
952 calories / 4 = 238 grams of carbohydrates.
6 – Continue To Track Your Food Intake
Once you have everything calculated and figured out, continue tracking your food intake on your tracking app to make sure you’re eating your target calories, as well as your target macronutrients (protein, fat, carbs).
Joe decides he wants to take his time with losing weigh and eat 2500 calories per day for 10 weeks.
Each day he would track food intake to make sure he is eating that amount of calories, as well as eating 225 grams of protein, 72 grams of fat, and 238 grams of carbohydrates.