When it comes to losing weight and calorie consumption people tend to go about this the wrong way.

As a generalisation the normal mentality is ‘this workout burned 500kcals so there’s 500kcals I can reward myself with’. That’s all good, at least to the point whereby doing this won’t have a negative impact, it simply means you will see the gains in fitness and condition, but you won’t see it on your waistline, the tape measure or scales which is the result you’d initially hoped for.

Instead we advise you use some form of calorie tracker in a wearable form such as Fitbit or Apple Watch, to accurately monitor the calories you use day to day, activity to activity. Once you know how many calories your body uses on a daily basis you can prescribe a healthy calorie deficit which will help you lose weight gradually, safely and healthily. Tracking your calories is the only surefire way you can say ‘I don’t overeat’, because you’re physically monitoring and recording what goes in, and what you use (theoretically, when doing both elements properly).

It is estimated that 3500 kcal deficit equates to a loss of 1lb fat mass, which may seem a lot of calories for little gain, but this in itself displays how hard it can be to lose fat.

A healthy deficit of 500kcals per day will see you achieve that 3500kcal per week goal, it is specific, manageable, attainable, realistic and time bound (because it’s a recurring weekly goal). As we know people who set smart goals get smart results!

This 500kcals can be made up of food reduction (actually applying some self discipline and not eating the calories in the first place) or by doing some exercise, though the results are way better if you do both. Don’t fall in to the trap of burning calories, then rewarding yourself with something with equal amounts of calories as this will stagnate your results. If you want those nice treats you feel you deserve, earn them, and burn more calories to accommodate said reward and still yield a healthy calorie deficit for the day. If you feel that isn’t the way, revert to option one, have some discipline, don’t buy it and don’t eat it. The way your body mass increases or decreases is dependant on your energy consumption and expenditure, for which you, the consumer are responsible for.

So burn it, to earn it, or even better burn it and understand if that allows you to earn it and still be in deficit.