Count Your Calories Per Week Not Calories Per Day

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If you’re trying to lose weight, counting your calories per week is a damn good way to ensure that happens. While there are other factors that affect weight loss/gain (macro/micronutrients, water retention, genetics, etc) total caloric intake is the single largest predictor of your success. Eat less than your body requires and you will lose weight, eat more and you will gain weight.


Calories Per Week, NOT Calories Per Day

One of the issues I see with people counting their calories is that it is easy to get fixated on how many calories you have “available” on a given day. Someone will think “well i know to lose about 1 pound a week i need to eat about 2200 calories per day”. This is great assuming you’ve figured out your BMR and calorie requirements. If you require 2700 calories to maintain your weight (fairly typical for an average height, reasonably active male), eating 2200 calories per day while maintaining your activity level WOULD result in you losing about 1 pound a week.

What i’m proposing is that you start looking at the number of calories you have available on a WEEKLY basis, instead of how many you have available/remaining today. I think this has a huge number of benefits, the most important being:

  1. Way more flexibility with what you can eat on any given day
  2. removing the potential for feeling guilty by overeating one day, because you know you can make it up later
  3. the ability to view your food for the week as a “bank”, with the calories being a fund that you can withdraw from

Example Calorie Per Week “Budget”

So using the 2200kcal/day example, you know that 15,400kcal a week is the number you’re looking for to lose a pound! By focusing on this number instead of the 2200, you introduce a lot of potential and flexibility to your diet. seriously. With this number, I might split up my calories something like this:

Monday: 0kcal, fast all day (drink plenty of water and coffee)

Tuesday: 2200kcal

Wednesday: 2200kcal

Thursday: 2200kcal

Friday: 2200kcal

Saturday: 3600kcal

Sunday: 3000kcal

How cool is that? Honestly, the sky is the limit with how you choose to split up your calories per week. I like an approach similar to the above because it lets me be really flexible with my diet on the weekends, which is when i tend to want to have that extra flexibility. So for me, eating nothing on monday and a normal/smaller amount the rest of the week is super awesome for being able to have that flexibility.


Calorie Weekly Budget For Gluttons Like Me

Maybe you’re someone who just wants to be able to eat a lot of food every day while trying to lose weight, so maybe your calorie split would look something like:

Monday: 0kcal, fast all day (drink plenty of water and coffee)

Tuesday: 2560kcal

Wednesday: 2560kcal

Thursday: 2560kcal

Friday: 2560kcal

Saturday: 2560kcal

Sunday2560kcal

Like I said, when you start thinking about your calories per week instead of per day, you open up a lot of options for how you want to construct your diet. Having the right diet strategy is absolutely huge for finding a diet balance that YOU are able to maintain, and part of having the right strategy is making sure you have plenty of options available so it’s easy to find something that fits your lifestyle.


Anyway, that’s it for now. I think if you just make this tiny mindset/routine shift for thinking about your calories, you’ll start to find dieting can actually be……*GASP*……enjoyable! Go read this to learn about how to make healthy food taste better.

 

About the author

I'm an ex-pudgy teenager who discovered fitness and all of the benefits it can bring. I still love food, and i'm on a mission. I want to figure out how to eat an absolutely delicious diet while constantly improving my strength and fitness--and I want to share that with you!

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