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There are 3500 calories in one pound. Technically you must be in a calorie deficit of 500 calories per day to burn 1 pound per week.

What does that look like?

Let’s say you typically burn 1500 calories per day to survive. Then you work out and you burn 500 calories. You have utilized 2000 calories in that day.

Therefore, your intake must be 1500 calories each day to lose one pound in the week.

So let’s say for breakfast you eat 400 cal, snack 150 cal, lunch 400 cal, snack 150 cal dinner 400 cal. That’s your 1500 cal intake for the day.

So you’re going to lose weight no matter what?

Well when it comes to nutrition math isn’t always right.

Let’s look at an example:

Bob eats 1500 cal per day. He doesn’t eat breakfast he eats 1000 calories of pizza for lunch and 500 cal at McDonalds for dinner. But he did do a workout that burned 500 calories and his body needed 1500 calories to survive the day so he still has the 500 calorie deficit so he should lose weight no problem right?

Now Shirley eats 400 cal for breakfast (smoothie), 200 cal snack of an apple and peanut butter, 400 cal lunch she has a chicken wrap with veggies and hummus, 200 cal snack of almonds and dark chocolate, 400 cal dinner of fish, sweet potatoes and broccoli, 250 cal glass of wine in the evening. Now Shirley has taken in 1850 calories. She got her workout in and burned a total of 2000 calories today. She is in a deficit of 150 calories per day. It is going to take her three times as long to lose a pound as Bob.

I’m not a nutritionist but I do have some common sense. Calories are not equal which is why counting them can sometimes be misleading. Bob will not lose weight because the food he is eating has no nutritional value. His cells and body will not function properly because he is lacking proper nutrition. Therefore, his body will not be in a state for weight loss no matter how little he eats or how much he works out. We need quality food to fuel our body and our cells to function properly.

Shirley is eating more, but she also has better quality food and is getting vitamins and minerals from all the food she eats. Therefore, her body will be functioning optimally so that she will feel great and will see her body composition change.

This is a different way to look at quality over quantity. Remember that you are what you eat! Create the body you want from the foods you eat. And if you eat quality nutritious foods you won’t need to count calories.

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