It is commonly noted that it takes a 3500 calorie deficit to burn 1 lb of fat.
The best way to achieve those deficits is to spread them over the course of a week. I want to lose 2 lbs per week so I need to attain a weekly deficit of 7000 calories. That translates to a goal of a 1000 calorie deficit per day.
But looking day to day isn’t always helpful. As I discovered in my plateau post, I would be over my goal most days though still under my 1000 calorie daily deficit.
In response to the plateau I am looking at my calorie goal a bit differently. Sometimes you can’t avoid going over your daily calorie goal.
On Wednesday I was up late studying and my fiancé desperately needed a late night snack (she dances up to 4 hours per day so definitely earned the calories!!) and we opted for Dominos pizza for the cinnamon sticks as well as their 50% off student discount. I had planned to abstain but when it arrived and the aromas filled my house and I just couldn’t resist. I was over my calorie goal by about 900 calories by the time I went to bed. With pizza it doesn’t take much to add up!!
Instead of worrying about it or beating myself up, I decided to make up the difference on Thursday. I swam Thursday morning which helped a lot on gaining a jump on my daily calorie deficit. By the end of the day I was almost 850 calories under my goal, nearly offsetting all of my dominoes pizza from the day prior.
The best part is I didn’t really feel deprived.
Averaging your calorie goal over the week really helps take the pressure off day to day.
You can sin today as long as you atone tomorrow!
My Fitness Pal, which I mention a lot, has a great weekly summary tool on their iPhone app. It makes it very easy to look at “over days” and “under days” and how close you are to reaching your weekly goal.
In summary: don’t sweat the over days. Just use them as a guide for your week so you can make up for your overages on another day.
Happy weight loss!