The Lowdown on Calories

Calories simply put are the fuel required by your body to carry out daily activities including staying alive. When I say just staying alive, I mean it, the average woman burns 50 calories per hour just sleeping. This is known as your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) and does not include any actual activities other than staying alive.

Almost every single thing we consume contains calories, however, things like black unsweetened tea or coffee and water do not contain calories. Diet fizzy pop contains no calories, but one has to wonder what chemical compounds makes it taste that way.


Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis

Another way we burn calories is through non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT), which counts for the most calories burnt, this includes activities such as hoovering or carrying children or cleaning the bathroom.


Caloric Deficit

Remember to lose weight (fat) calories ‘in’ must be lower than calories ‘out’ to create a deficit so that you burn fat. If you are not eating sufficient calories (I.e. a deficit of more than 800 calories) to sustain your normal body function (BMR), you will lose weight initially but this will be short-lived. Your body will simply start to think you are starving and will begin to panic and store energy as fat and burn your muscle tissue for energy, this can lead to metabolic damage making it more difficult to lose weight and creating that phenomenon known as “Skinny Fat”.

If you are consuming too many calories, i.e., more than you are burning, you will put on weight. By eating the caloric equivalent to your daily energy expenditure, you will maintain your weight – you will neither put on weight nor lose weight.

When you create a daily deficit of 500-800 calories your body has no choice but to get its energy from your fat cells. This is good news as it means your body will burn through fat and not destroy your lean muscles tissue. One pound of body fat is made of 3500 calories, therefore a deficit of 500 calories per day would lead to a pound of fat loss over a week. (Note: 1 pound is equal to 453 grams)



It is important to remember that the scale is not everything. As you are weight training, you are likely to pick up scale weight as you slim down and tone up. You will likely get physically smaller but get heavier. Don’t panic. The more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn, which in turn means you get to add more to your diet. Win-win. Take photos of your progress and do not let that scale control your emotions.

If you would like some help with calories, diet and macros please do get in touch.


Burning a handwritten calorie sign

Calories simplified

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