60 seconds or less: How many calories?

Posted on January 7, 2019

(Last Updated On: January 28, 2019)

This is part of the Real Talk With Client Series. Click here for the rules. Go here to see other topics.

How many calories should I eat?

You’re brand new to the gym and losing weight scene

(I’m often asked this question on a client’s first personal training session)

Don’t worry about it yet. We just want to get into a routine right now. The fact you’re at the gym today is already a new element in your life. It’s going to take a few weeks of getting in the habit of coming here 2-3 days a week. It seems easy now, but in a week or two you might realize, “Eh, these days aren’t great for me. Let me actually try it this way.” Or, “Ugh, I don’t want to workout today.”

To also change your eating, which is an every day change, is a lot at once. We’re only going to worry about one thing at a time to start. After a few weeks, I promise we’ll start talking about eating. In the grand scheme, a few weeks is no big deal anyways. But it’s better to start doing too little than too much.

You’ve been working out for at least a few weeks

Take your bodyweight, multiply by 10, that’s how many calories you want to hit daily. So, if you’re 200 pounds, you’d eat 2,000 calories a day.

“That seems like a lot.”

It might seem that way, but it’s pretty common to underestimate how much you eat. We all do this. Me included. We all want to believe we’re better than we are :).

Worst case, if after a couple weeks the scale isn’t moving, we can lessen the number, but this is an easy way to get started.

“Can I eat less than that? I really want to lose this weight.”

I wouldn’t do that yet. Remember, you’re not so much worried about being 5 lbs lighter in a few weeks, but being 35+ pounds lighter in a year. If we make it too restrictive right away, that can backfire. I don’t want you to be day dreaming about food.

Overall, this has to be sustainable. We could put you on a liquid diet and drop a bunch of weight, but you don’t want to live that way forever. It’s why so many people who do crazy diets end up gaining a large part of the weight back- they never found a type of eating that was sustainable for them.

We either do that, or go through yo-yo dieting forever.

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