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Smart Approach to Dieting for Weight Loss

May 19, 2014

Dieting is a common practice among those who are health conscience and attempting to lose weight. Education is the key to a successful diet and weight loss plan. First set a quantifiable goal. If you want to lose 25lbs of fat that means you need to create negative energy balance burning more calories than consumed. 25 lbs of fat loss means you must burn 87,500 excess calories. This is a slow process that can be frustrating if you don’t know how much to eat. Start by finding out how many calories are needed to support your metabolism and how many are burned by activity. You can find calculators online to estimate the total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). Now you must create a deficit. I recommend a deficit of about 500 calories per day. That will result in one lb of fat loss per week. At this rate it will take 175 days to lose 25lbs of fat.

Next step is to plan the ratio of macronutrients to support your goals. Remember to stay within your caloric goal and that carbohydrates and protein are 4 calories per gram and fat is 9 calories per gram. You want enough protein to support your exercise and a moderate amount of fats to support your body systems. Carbohydrates should make up the majority of your calories. Quality of the food choices matters but today we are speaking strictly in terms of calories in vs. calories out. Diet recommendations are specific to each individual. If you need help setting macronutrient goals speak with a certified trainer or nutritionist.

Be careful not to over restrict yourself. Creating too large of a negative caloric balance may result in inadequate intake of nutrients. Proper nutrition in this case requires a bit of planning. It may be helpful to record your nutrition information to ensure you eat the right foods that meet all your needs. There is a healthier version of most food products. Investigate food labels to make educated decisions.

Many people shoot themselves in the foot and engage in crash dieting, eating very little calories, and not meeting nutrition needs. This slows your metabolism and may cause your body to favor fat storage. In a weight loss plan exercise is also very important. Negative caloric balance over an extended period may result in a loss of muscle mass if exercise is not performed to maintain the tissues. Exercise also burns calories and should be the major contributor to the negative energy balance.


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