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Achieving a healthy weight involves getting the right ‘energy balance’. The amount of energy (calories) you consume needs to be balanced with the amount you use up through daily activities and exercise.
Staying the same weight relies on energy intake being balanced with energy burned.
If you take in more energy than your body needs, those extra calories are stored as fat, which leads to weight gain over time.
If you're trying to lose weight, your energy balance should be in ‘deficit’: the calories you take in should be less than calories you burn.
This handy guide helps you work out how many calories you need. It accounts for your age, weight and how active you are.
A healthy weight loss target is 0.5-2lb a week. This means a deficit of 250-1000 calories per day. Generally, the more weight you need to lose, the bigger the calorie deficit you can realistically aim for.
You can achieve calorie deficit by consuming fewer calories and/or burning more through movement and exercise.
Here are some examples to help bring it to life:
Dave wants to lose 1lb per week. Most of his extra calories come from snacks and treats. He needs to make a deficit of 500kcal per day. Some ways he could achieve this are:
Shannon wants to lose 2lb per week but struggles with portion sizes. She needs a deficit of around 1000kcal per day. Examples of how she could do this include:
Note: these are rough guides. Calories burnt through exercise varies from person to person, and the number of calories in foods varies depending on the amount eaten, brand and so on.
Take a look at this British Heart Foundation guide to portion sizes - it is a really helpful way of instantly gauging how much is enough.
Register to create your healthy living profile today and get personalised tips and support for your lifestyle goal. Consider how the support of our Wellness Coaching can help you take steps to manage your weight. A member of our coaching team can talk with you on the phone regularly, encouraging you to make and stick to your plan! Register and contact us to discuss coaching.
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