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When looking at dieting it is very important o understand where your calories should be. But how are you supposed to know what is right when there are so many different ways to diet.

Well here I will try to tell you exactly what it is that you NEED to know rather than what companies will tell you that you need.

Your body is unique to you and will burn calories in a way that will be ever so slightly different to the person next to you. For all those women out there who are frustrated that their male partner can eat the same amount of food as you and lose weight while you are maintain or maybe even gaining weigh… there is a reason.

I genuinely hear this so much. How can we eat the same but me not lose any weight? Well lets talk a little about the human body and the differences between each person.

One of the biggest, actually no… the biggest factor in determining your calorie intake will be your gender. Have you ever wondered why the governments daily allowance guideline is set out as 2,000 for woman and 2,500 for men? It’s got to be sexist right? Well no, actually there is some science behind these figures.

As we have mentioned before, all of these figures are worked out by averages and can be subject to change however what you will find is that in your “average” man and woman, the man will have around 33% more muscle mass. (ok I know there are some rather “buff” females out there too) In a previous post I talked about how fat does not take any additional energy to move around when stored on your body, however the larger the muscles then the more calories your body will need to keep moving.

So when you are inputting your information into one of these calculators it will spit out a very rough guide of calories to stick to. Now my advice here would be to use this number as a guide for at least one week and see how your body reacts to it.

Lets say that the number given was 2,000 calories. If you can stick to below this number every day for 2 weeks you should then be able to come up with a more realistic figure. If you find that over those 2 weeks your weight actually rises then you will need to look at decreasing the amount of calories ever so slightly, however if you find that your weight has dropped an average of 4lbs per week then I would suggest maybe increasing that number slightly.

But surely losing 4lb a week is a great result?

Well even though 4lb a week does sound great there are some complications that can come with that. In an ideal world a loss of anywhere between 0.25-2lb a week is enough. If you are hitting those numbers it would mean that your calorie deficit is big enough for you to lose fat but not big enough that after a month or 2 you find yourself picking and binging due to becoming stressed and starving.

A diet MUST be more about you changing your lifestyle rather than a quick 6-8 week fix. If you can learn how to lose weight and more importantly keep it off then you will find yourself never having to diet again and who wouldn’t want that?

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