There are seemingly an infinite amount of ways to lose body fat so it’s understandable that you may be confused every week when new information comes out.
The one constant that you should be focusing on is how many calories you are getting each week. That’s going to be the determining factor in whether or not you’re losing fat, how quickly, and for how long.
That being said, it’s not easy for everyone to just find a calorie number and aim for that every single day until they reach their goal. We’re not robots.
Instead, it’s important to find a strategy that works best with your lifestyle and one that is fluid as time passes.
I am going to cover three different ways to set up your calories each week so that you’re making progress without feeling deprived, and it’s easier for you to stick to.
- The 5/2 Method (Weekend Warrior)
This strategy is one of my favourite to implement with my clients and I have used plenty times in the past as well. It is a way to give yourself more diet freedom each weekend instead of feeling like you can never partake in social events or activities because of calorie restraints.
With this method, you are going to take your average weekly calorie intake and divide it by 7. From there, you are going to subtract 200-300 calories from 5 of those days. That extra 1000-1500 calories can be added onto your weekend allotment so you have way more calories to play with.
My client Deena had a busy social life and would initially have a hard time sticking to her calories on the weekend. What we did was take her average (1500 cals/day) and subtracted 200, making it 1300/day from Sunday to Thursday. That gave her 2000 on Friday and 2000 on Saturday instead of the normal 1500. This took her progress through a sticking point and was able to enjoy life through another fat loss phase!
2. 7 Day Straight (Robot)
This strategy may sound boring, but boring can really be a difference maker for many people. With this strategy, you are essentially eating the same calories (albeit different foods if you want) every day of the week. It leaves less room for guessing because there is consistency, but it can also make social events a little tougher to manage. If you feel like you love a consistent routine with your calories, this would be the best strategy for you.
3. Hi/Lo (Training Based)
This strategy requires a bit more planning and discipline to stick to your scheduled workouts. The calorie allotment is based on your training days and off days. We start with your weekly target, then divide by 7 and find the average. From there you are going to add 200-300 calories onto your training days, and reduce your calories by that same amount of your off days to balance it out.
I had a client who was always more hungry on days he trained and really had not much of an appetite on his off days. And because he was very rigid with his schedule, it was easy to have this plan laid out for him. His weekly target was 14000 (2000 calories/day). For his 3 training days, we bumped his calories up to 2300, and for 3 of his off days we dropped it to 1700. The 7th day was a maintenance day of 2000 calories. This kept his average consistent, but he used the flexibility of weekly calorie targets to make his diet easier to stick to each week.
Regardless of which strategy you choose, find one that best fits you. Trying something because a friend or celebrity did it is just a waste of time because it is not tailored to what you need.
These strategies can be used with essentially any diet/trend out because your total calories is what matters most. So if you enjoy keto, carnivore, vegan, intermittent fasting, or plain old bodybuilding style of eating – these strategies can still work for you.
If you completely unsure where to start, and you know deep down that you need guidance and help to create a plan you can follow, APPLY HERE for online coaching