Let’s talk about how to track calories the right way & the key step most leave out.

Whether fat loss is your goal or gaining weight, either one is never linear, and it’s often unpredictable.

If you’re not aware of this you will loose your mind , trust me I have been there!

It’s common to see virtually no progress one week, followed by twice the progress next week.

Sometimes two weeks go by without moving the needle.

Then in the third week, you wake up looking like a new person and the number on the scale is showing two weeks of fat loss and then some.

Those in the know call this the “whoosh” effect.

After experiencing with dieting for some time now, it’s something I’m very familiar with.

Most people aren’t. And they screw everything up by trying to solve the problem with more cardio and less food.

Lets talk about how to interpret your progress correctly.

The Weekly Average

First lesson: stop thinking days, and start thinking weeks.

As implied earlier, it’s important to adopt a weekly perspective, since day-to-day fluctuations in weight don’t matter.

Who cares what you weighed on Friday, when you can be up a few pounds on Saturday with no change in diet?

Your body acts in crasy ways, and there are no way around it!

It just is. This doesn’t mean you should throw away your scale. You’re just going to use differently.

The Steps

  1. Weigh yourself first thing in the morning, every day or as often as you can. More days mean more data, and seven weigh-ins are ideal.
  2. At the end of each week, add up the numbers from your weigh-ins. Divide the result by number of weigh-ins, and you have your weekly average.   

Like so:

Week 1

Monday: 178.4 pounds

Tuesday:177.0 pounds

Wednesday: 179.2 pounds

Thursday: 178.1 pounds

Friday: 177.9 pounds

Saturday: 175.9 pounds

Sunday: 177.0 pounds

The sum of the values is 1,243.5 pounds, and divided by 7 equals 177.6 pounds, aka the weekly average.

Repeat the above for every week on your diet.

Example of a weekly average calculator you will get with each True Will Program for weekly averages

 

 

This graph was made by tracking my progress using the App Monitor your weight.

The blue dots shows daily values (weight), and the red line is a when your weight is raising to fast.

The Green is what you’re supposed to aim for.

As you can see the weight gain is not linear and you shouldn’t worry about daily fluctuations in weight.

Graphs are a great tool to visualize long-term progress.

It also great and easy way to keep your daily weights somewhere safe for recording your weekly averages later.

Your Biweekly Numbers

Now that we know the importance of the weekly average lets discuss what to do with the numbers.

Use the biweekly numbers to decide if your diet goals are going in your desired direction.

In other words is your diet going good or bad?

If things are good then keep heading down the same track you’re on .

Though if things are bad you need to make the necessary adjustments.

Making Adjustments for Fat loss

When embarking on a diet causes your weight to drop quickly in a matter of days.

Through the first week of dieting, the weight you’re offloading is largely water and glycogen. (not fat)

By the second week, body weight has stabilized.

So it is best to not start taking note of your biweekly averages for adjustments tell about 4 weeks in your diet.

During your first month, ideally compare Weeks 4 and 2.

The difference divided by 2 equals your weekly fat loss.

For example: Week 4 − Week 2 = (−1.2 kilograms/−2.65 pounds) / 2 = 0.6 kilograms/1.3 pounds of average weekly fat loss

Fat loss Plateaus 

Now that you know what to measure—weekly averages and you know when to review—biweekly.

let’s talk about how we decide what to adjust and when.

When depends on weekly fat loss.

With a 25% calorie deficit  most people will lose about 1-1.5lbs (500-700kg) of fat per week.  ( click here my in depth article on setting calories for fat loss)

Overweight people usually loose more than that, and 1.5-2lb (700-1kg) of fat per week.

For almost everyone, fat loss will fall in the range of 1 to 1.5 kilograms (2.2 to 3.3 pounds) and 0.7 to 1 kilograms (1.54 to 2.2 pounds) in the biweekly review.

If it’s less, you have reason to adjust your diet.

How?

Simply decrease your deficit by 10%.

If you do not want to decrease your deficit add in another day of cardio or up the intensity of your training slighting.

Important: which ever one you go with you have to be consistent in order for the adjustment to work. 

Some individuals are stubborn with fat loss and have to use a combination of both to.

Everything here assumes you’re eating according to your individual plan, and not cheating all the time.

If compliance is a problem, restriction isn’t the solution.

Honestly and discipline is.

 

Gaining Weight

Let’s talk about tracking calories for a weight gain goal .

Gaining weight as a goal might seem add to some people but when it come to the goal of building lean muscle mass, weight gain is a requirement.

Many of the routines for tracking calories for fat loss will apply for tracking calories for weight gain.

Just like about biweekly calculation determined by weekly averages is the name of the game.  ( see above to review if needed)

With a calories surplus of 250-350kcal over maintenance most should expect to gain 1-2lb of muscles a month.  a (click here to see my in depth article on Lean Bulking)

Any more than this and your are looking at fat gain , unless you’re completely new to training.

Just like above for fat loos the two steps are required for tracking weight gain as well.

The Steps

  1. Weigh yourself first thing in the morning, every day or as often as you can. More days mean more data, and seven weigh-ins are ideal.
  2. At the end of each week, add up the numbers from your weigh-ins. Divide the result by number of weigh-ins, and you have your weekly average.

You should be looking for a weekly average of .5lbs of weight gain.

Just like dieting for fat loss the fist week you will most likely see a spike in weight gain higher than .5lbs .

It is important to not be alarmed here and reduce calories.

This is mostly water and glycogen from the excesses calories your body did not have before.

Many people coming out of a long term cut see this.

Again like above for fat loss.

By the second week, body weight has stabilized.

So it is best to not start taking note of your biweekly averages for adjustments tell about 4 weeks in your diet.

During your first month, ideally compare Weeks 4 and 2.

The difference divided by 2 equals your weekly weight gain.

 

Making Adjustments for Weight Gain

If you’re gaining too slowly then the recommended .5lb weekly average then increase the calories by 10%.

If you’re gaining wight to quickly then the recommended .5lb weekly average than decrease the calories by 10%.

Remember to make small increases in calories. This way you’ll avoid unnecessary fat gain.

Readjusting to fat loss 

Ultimately with gaining weight you will have to transition back to a fat loss routine.

Set your 25% calorie deficit based off your new wait and follow the fat loss routine outlined above.

What are your thoughts on tracking calories and do you think they’re necessary?

For a Comprehensive Program on setting calories a Sustainable and enjoyable way while getting lean and fit, check out True Will Programs.  

Michael Worley

HI, My name is Michael Worley creator of True Will Aesthetics. My Website is deigned to help men and women around the world build their dream body.A system built specifically for the anatomy of the body and laws of attraction.A shape universally respected and admired throughout the centuries.The Lean, fit, and defined body, The Ideal Physique.

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