If you have decided to use tracking calories for your weight loss, how do you find a starting number?
This is something that people can get quite stressed about.
What is the best tracker? Can I trust the number My Fitness Pal has given me?
I have actually written a detailed blog on the subject, so if you would like to read more about methods, please check this out –
However, there is a much simpler method you could use;
Start by just tracking your calories for a week.
Be 100% honest about everything that goes into your mouth!
Track your average bodyweight over the week, perhaps using something like ‘Happy Scale’.
Weigh yourself 3 to 6 times, always first thing in the morning, naked, after using the bathroom.
After that it is quite easy.
If you have gained weight, then you can adjust downwards.
If you have lost weight, say up to a kilo, then stay at that level.
If your weight has not changed at all then you are probably at maintenance and can adjust down from there.
Beware, of course, of bodyweight fluctuations, water weight and so on.
Do not keep adjusting every week.
Give yourself a couple of weeks at least after adjusting to see how things settle down.
Extra water weight can hang around for a good while sometimes, particularly if your system is stressed by being in a deficit.
If you are looking at losing weight without tracking calories, then you really do not need to worry about a starting number.
You can though, use the same method to adjust your food intake.
Once you are underway, do not just rely on bodyweight, remember also to measure, take photos and look at the fit of your clothes.
I recommend taking measurements every 2 weeks and photos every 4 weeks.
Take your measurements from enough areas, as you will lose weight from some areas faster than others.
This can help you accurately track progress at times when your bodyweight feels a bit stuck.
I am hoping to create a reliable, easy to use calculator at some point, to allow people to use my method for calculating their starting point.
Unfortunately I am not skilled enough in Excel at the moment, if anyone would like to offer their services, I am sure we could work out a barter!