Flexible Dieting and How Many Calories to Eat:
I am not sure that you really need a healthy eater flexible dieting calculator if you follow this approach to healthy eating. It allows you to live more by the 80% / 20% rule, making sure that there is no real restriction, and you have something that you can sustain in the longer term.
At rest your body burns a set number of calories each day. So, for instance if you lie in bed and sleep for 24 hours your body is still going to use this number of calories to perform your functions like keeping your warm, pumping your blood, clearing your waste etc. This set number of calories is called your maintenance calories and they are going to be different for every single one of us dependent on how old we are, how much we weigh and how much muscle mass we have. We have generally been told that for a man it is 2500 and a woman it is 2000, however it overall is less than this.
Before looking for a healthy eater flexible dieting calculator have a look at this link to find the approximate number of rest calories needed for you:
So, I am 138lb now at 47 years old, and I have put in that I do no exercise because I want a better understanding of what my body burns at rest so that I can add on my move calories from my daily exercise and walk to make it more accurate: So, it is telling me that with no exercise I burn off 1533 cals per day at rest. My Apple watch tells me that I burn off 1463 cals before exercise at rest, so I am going to approximate that my body burns 1500 cals at rest. (My maintenance calories)
Yesterday the TEAM session of kettlebells on my watch burnt off 360 calories and with my walk and other active calories I burnt off a total of 697 extra calories. So, in total I burnt approximately 2200 calories yesterday. Now the general rule of thumb is that to lose 1 pound of fat per week I need a 500-calorie deficit daily or 3500 cals deficit over the week. So, this would mean I need to set my calories in 1700 per day if I am going to continually do that much exercise each day.
If you are burning 1500 cals at rest and doing 3 team sessions per week (burning approx. 300 cals) with no other movement then you have around 1600 cals per day (when the extra exercise is spread over the week) you are burning off, so you would need to be eating around 1200 per day to see changes. Eating 1200 cals per day is miserable and not sustainable, and that is why increasing exercise, activity and walking is the key to being able to sustain healthy eating in a slight deficit for longer.
Note that I did not say to eat less than 1200 cals per day – this is an unhealthy thing to do and will result in you completely messing up your metabolism. Your body will get used to not much food coming in and adapt by stopping basic functions like heating your body to learn to survive on less calories. Once it survives on less calories you must eat less calories to continue weight loss! Healthy eater flexible dieting calculator will not tell you this.
So, eating less calories than we consume is a little bit trial and error – eat too few and have rapid weight loss and you will mess up your metabolism. Eat too many and of course there will be no weight loss. The best thing to do is start trying to eat something healthy like 1600 – 1800 cals per day and if you lose too much weight in the first 2 weeks then increase by 100 cals each day for a week. If you lose no weight in the first 2 weeks than reduce by 100 cals per day for a week and reassess. You do not really need a healthy eater flexible dieting calculator if you follow the advice I have written on here.
If you are dieting alone with no increase in exercise and muscle building, then you will probably have to keep bringing down your calorie consumption over the months to continue weight loss as your metabolism slows and gets used to you eating less. If you are dieting but increasing your exercise and muscle mass month by month than this will help you continue fat loss without needing to change your calorie consumption.
NB – this change in metabolism is why so many dieters regain the weight and more besides. Their body gets used to fewer calories and adapts. When the dieter finishes and gets to the desired weight, they make the mistake of going back to eating the way they did before they lost the weight, but now their body is used to surviving on fewer calories, so they have a rapid regain and usually gain more and look worse than before. Imagine if you stuck to 1200 calories a day for 6 weeks and lost 1 stone in weight. Your body has learnt that this is all that you give it – so it stops functioning properly – your hair might start coming out because there are not enough nutrients to feed it. All of a sudden you finish your diet and eat 2000 cals per day again – but your body only uses 1200 per day now – so you are in excess of 800 cals per day and you regain your weight and plenty more over the next couple of months.