How to setup a calorie tracking app

Getting the right calorie deficit setup in your calorie tracker is extremely important. Having too high a daily calorie allowance will mean you either lose weight very slowly, or don’t lose any weight at all. On the other hand, set the daily allowance too low and you will be hungry all the time, you will be miserable and while the weight might come off very quickly at first, you will soon hit a wall, the weight-loss will stop and you will be de-motivated.

We recommend that you set a weight loss target of 1lb a week (0.45g). This means you have a calorie deficit of 500 calories per day, over what your body would normally require. If you try to set your weight loss higher, you will have such a large deficit that you will set yourself up to fail. An average weight woman, who is lightly active, requires about 2000 calories a day. Can you imagine cutting your food intake in half, for weeks or months at a time? It just doesn’t work.

Calorie tracking apps will try and automatically give you your daily calorie allowance. In our experience, these apps often give you too few calories. Once you have setup your app (see videos below), tell us what daily calorie allowance you have been given and we will check to see if it is appropriate. We may need you to change the activity level or weight-loss target in your app, to obtain the correct calorie allowance for you.

How do I increase my calorie allowance in my tracker?

If we tell you that you need to increase your daily calorie allowance, there are a couple of things you can do.

  • You can decrease your weight-loss goal. Setting this to 1/2lb (0.25kg) should give you an extra 250 calories a day.
  • You can increase your activity level. Myfitnesspal only asks you about daily activity, try increasing this to see if you are given more calories
    In Nutracheck you can try increasing your daily activity and exercise activity, to give yourself a higher allowance.

If none of these options works, then don’t worry. Simply make a note of the calorie allowance we have given you and just aim for his in your calorie tracker, even though it pushes you over the figure in the app. Alternatively, if the difference is only small, just go with the figure in your app and see how you get on, being prepared to eat a little more if you need to!

Here are some guides on setting up MyFitnessPal & Nutracheck for you to look at:

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