You have a number, I have a number, We all have a number. A caloric maintenance number where by if you eat exactly that number of calories you will neither lose or gain weight (Leaving aside acute factors such as the make up of your diet which can effect water retention etc. in the short term).
Almost all nutrition plans you receive will have a daily calorie target. Rather than focusing on the amount of calories you eat in a day, you should start to focus on the calories that you have accumulated towards your deficit.
For fat loss clients, your target daily calories have been issued by your coach to create a sustainable calorie deficit in line with your goals and this is really worked out on a weekly basis and divided evenly across the week. So while you have a daily calorie target which is always visible and known on the plan, you also have a daily calorie deficit target.
Every day you are accumulating a deficit which is key to remember because maintaining this deficit is what will ultimately determine your success in achieving your fat loss goal. You must protect the deficit.
Eating all of your meals on plan is brilliant and you should be happy with yourself when you do, but you should also be happy that you have banked calories towards your deficit. Focusing on your deficit and what you’ve accumulated throughout the week works well because when you get to Friday or Saturday it can be quite easy to eat a little extra or add in some snacks which not only remove the deficit from that days eating but can also undo the deficit that you’ve been working hard to achieve all week.
You have to start thinking about your calorie deficit target on a weekly basis, and protect this target at all costs to ensure success. You can then start to get really smart about where you spend your calories (eating meals), and where you bank calories towards your deficit (not eating).
In the above chart, the Calorie Deficit Target for the week is 3500, which is achieved by reducing daily calorie intake by 500 each day which accumulates up to the target over the 7 days. In this example, the client will maintain at 2500 calories a day or 17500 across the week (2500×7). Creating a deficit of 3500, means that the client can spend 14000 calories across the week on food. The model shows the most straightforward way to spend these calories:
Each day you eat 2000 calories and bank 500 calories towards your Deficit. However if you wanted to you could eat more calories on one day, banking less of a Deficit and eat less calories on another day, banking more of a Deficit. It does not matter in the long term as long as you Protect the Calorie Deficit that you are trying to create. At the end of the week, your accumulated Deficit must match the target to stay on track with your goals regardless of how you have chosen to spend your calories. Protect the Deficit at all costs.