Not sure where to get started with losing weight? Fat-loss coach Carter Good (@cartergood on Instagram) shared this simple fat-loss plan in a recent Instagram post. He said not to stress about how many carbs to eat, how many meals per day, if you should eat fruit, or whether bread is good or bad. Just focus on these three steps:
Step 1: Find Your Calorie Deficit Target
Carter said that no matter what diet you choose, whether it's vegan, keto, or Paleo, "The ONLY WAY you'll lose weight is through consistently being in a calorie deficit. For a ballpark daily calorie amount, he suggested multiplying your goal weight in pounds by 10 or 11. So if your goal is to be 150 pounds, you'd aim for 1,500 calories (if you're sedentary) or 1,650 calories (if you're somewhat active).
He noted that "if you have over 70 lbs to lose, or you're already light, these calories might feel a bit low. If this is you, don't be afraid to start with a higher calorie goal." His method is a good place to start, but you can use this formula to get a more accurate number. This too is just a guideline, so in order to determine your exact calorie needs, speak with your doctor or a registered dietitian. If you're not losing weight after a few weeks, and you're accurately tracking your calories, adjust your calorie intake.
Step 2: Find Your Protein Target
Protein is a key macronutrient to satiate your hunger and help you build and maintain calorie-burning muscle. Aim for 0.7 to 1 gram of protein per pound of goal bodyweight. If your goal weight is 150 pounds, get between 105 and 150 grams of protein a day. Carter noted that if you are vegan or vegetarian, it may be easier to decrease that target number.
Step 3: Make Whole Foods the Focus
Carter said, "If roughly 80 percent of your diet is coming from nutritious foods, then it's absolutely-positively okay to have 'fun' foods for the other 20 percent." Make sure your diet is made up of healthy foods including lean protein, veggies, healthy fats and carbs, but also allow yourself some treat foods to satisfy your cravings and keep you on track.
There's your simple plan. You can decide how you want to implement it, based on the foods you like and how many times you like to eat a day.