Goals with a Timeline – How Much to Eat for YOUR Goal

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As I have said repeatedly, in order to be successful with your fat loss goals you need to create a goal with a timeline.

My purpose with this post is to give you an eye opening look at how much you can eat and a realistic amount of fat you can expect to lose.

I’ll start by providing you with an example (Female – 150lbs 5’6″ 30 years old)

So how does this woman lose 20lbs of fat in 10 weeks in a manner that is as quickly and as safely as possible?

First you find out what your basal metabolic rate is (BMR or RMR):

There is a long equation for both men and women to calculate this or you can fill out this table in the link below:


The answer for our subject is 1417 calories.

That’s 1417 calories that she’d burn if she were to do nothing but sleep for 24 hours!

BMR represents the minimum amount of energy needed to keep your body functioning, including breathing and keeping your heart beating (no exercise or movement is considered in this number).

daily caloric expenditure

Next we want to find our maintenance amount of calories: That is how many calories you can eat and not lose or gain weight.

This is calculated based on your activity factor (how much you workout at bootcamp or other fitness endeavors!)

You will multiply your BMR by the activity factor that most closely represents your lifestyle.

BMR = ___________

Multiply by 1.2 if you are sedentary – you do not do any exercise and have very little to no physical or mental stress

Multiply by 1.375 if you participate in exercise an average of 3-4 days/week

Multiply by 1.5 if you participate in exercise an average of 5 days/week and have mental/physical stress. Mental stress takes up energy too!

Multiply by 1.7 if you endure mental and or physical stress more than 6 + days per week

So to recap:

Take your BMR ________ x Activity Factor _________ = DAILY CALORIES TO MAINTAIN YOUR CURRENT BODYWEIGHT ________________

Was it a little higher than you thought? A common problem in our society is people not eating enough good quality food when they are exercising! If you are taking part in bootcamp workouts your body needs good food like chicken, rice, and broccoli to do what it is supposed to do! Read here for more info: https://thebootcampeffect.com/fat-loss-dna-blueprint-a-simple-approach-to-nutrition

Let’s say our example client works out 5x/week because she has an ambitious goal of 20lbs in 10 weeks.

BMR = 1417
Activity factor = 1.5
Daily Calories to maintain current bodyweight = 2125

But she wants to lose weight! 24lbs in 10 weeks is 2lbs per week. And to lose 1lb per week she will need a calorie deficit of 3500 cals/week.

Since she wants to lose 2lbs per week she would multiply 3500 cals/week x 2.

Our subject needs to have a deficit of 7000 cals per week.

Now it’s your turn…

What is your fat loss goal?

Lose ______ lbs in _________ weeks.

Divide _____lbs by _________ weeks.

Equals _______lbs/week

Now divide the caloric deficit needed by 7 for the 7 days in a week

So we have 7000 cals per week that our subject needs to lose.

We have 7 days in the week.

So if we take 7000 and divide by 7. Our subject needs to have a deficit of 1000 cals per day.

Wow, that’s a lot of calories!!!!!!!!

Recall her body needs 2125 calories per day to maintain her bodyweight while exercising an average of 5 days per week (Remember average means she is exercising more than 5 days per week in some weeks and less on others). If you are thinking, we should just subtract 1000 here you would be shooting yourself in the foot.

*** You should never substantially decrease your calories to lose weight.

For health and safety concerns,

***Women should never go under 1300 calories per day.

***Men should never go under 1600 calories per day.

For our subject to lose 2lbs of fat per week the correct way, she must lose half from exercise and half from nutrition.

Our subject needs a deficit of 1000 calories per day.
So she would decrease her food intake by 500 calories
And she would exercise at bootcamp to lose 500 +calories (recall she is working out 5x/week so she needs to burn a little more than this to hit her goal as she is working out 5 out of 7 days per week). If you calculate that she needs to lose 3500 calories a week from exercise and divide that by the number of workouts, it would equal 700 calories per workout. These 3500 calories per week need to get burned from muscle building metabolic workouts. (Getting on a treadmill 6 days/ week WILL NOT work, but can be used to help get a few extra calories burned).

That’s pretty high. Her goals are pretty ambitious too.

Remember, this does not work the other way. Do not cut your calories lower to compensate. Just work your butt off in the gym, stretch more (stretching burns calories), and eat right.

As you can see. A person can lose a lot of weight quite comfortably without turning into a workout and diet junkie.

To recap our subject

She needs to have a deficit of 7000 calories per week to lose 2lbs per week. We want to get half of this deficit from nutrition and exercise.

Nutrition: 3500 cals/week each (500/day)

Her maintenance calories is 2125/day
Subtract 500/day
Daily modified calories to lose 2lbs per week is 1625 calories per day.

If you wanted to go even further…
Divided by 3 meals of 400 calories
3 snacks of approx 150 calories

This will keep her metabolism up and feeling full all day with 3 meals and 3 snacks!

Exercise: Goal is 3500 cals/week

She is exercising 5days per week.

She needs to burn 700 cals per workout.

A bootcamp workout can range between 300-1300 cals per hour. Depending on your effort. You can come in 10 mins early to ride the bike for extra warmup and calorie burn and/or stay 10 mins after to stretch. (Since 700 calories is a high amount for a woman to burn in a workout).

Now that you have a map for your goal how do you feel?

I’ve provided you with all the numbers and the calculations to inform you.

But the last thing I want you to do is track your calories till kingdom come.

Write them down for a few days to get a feel of how much something is. Then, when you have a general idea of what something is, you can make smarter decisions in the kitchen.

To become aware of what you’re eating, you know I always recommend a Success Journal, where you track what you eat and your workouts. We always have a way of thinking we are more active than we actually are and we always have a way of thinking we eat better than we actually do.

Use food for fuel. Eat real food. Know your Why and stay true to your Plan.

Committed to your success,
Josh Saunders
The Bootcamp Effect