Weight Loss Numbers: Calorie Counting Evolved

Everyone wants to know the numbers. And knowing the numbers can be helpful as long as you are aware which numbers matter most and don’t get overly attached to calorie counts.

The metabolism does not work like this:

lower calories → lose weight → balance metabolism

The metabolism works like this:

Balance metabolism → lower calories → lose weight

You need to know the numbers for all 3 parts and the first part is MORE critical than the rest.  So lets start there:

1) Balance metabolism by knowing HEC (hunger, energy, cravings). Each week, at the end of the week, subjectively assess if your HEC was in check

  • Hunger should be <5 on a 1-10 scale
  • Energy should be 6 or more on a 1-10 scale
  • Cravings should be <5 on a 1-10 scale

If it is not, then you know you were not able to achieve the first important criteria for weight loss and you will need to adjust something. Do not move to step 2 until your HEC is in check.  If you do, you are more likely to make things worse not better.

2) Lower calories. Most people lead with calories and throw their HEC out of check as a result. Because of that, they are in one constant starve/binge cycle.

Instead of leading with calories, back calculate them instead. When you get your HEC in check, then take a look at what your calorie levels were. This gives you a rough estimate of what you need to be working toward. If you want a general estimate of calories to start, check out our calorie and macrocalculator tool at the link below.

But a warning, use it to refine your approach not define it. A strange thing happens when people see calorie numbers, they all of a sudden forget all reason and think there is something definitive and final in the numbers. The numbers should always be used as a guide only.  Your metabolism is a thermostat, not a calculator and it is in constant adjusting mode. Getting caught in the numbers will screw you almost every time.


3) Lose weight. Fat loss and weight loss are not the same so you need to have a better way to measure things than just weight. If you are still just measuring weight, you might as well just give up now. You can’t assess anything with just a weight measurement. If you have not yet gotten past looking only at scale numbers, you are still a dieter and missing the point. We developed a tool that looks at weight, muscle, fat and even shape change. Check it out here:


So, that’s it.  That is the way it is done.  I recognize this throws some people out of their comfort zone because they have a hard time viewing things from this new perspective.  As a result they revert back to the old comfortable calories out, calories in viewpoint.  It is normal, so take your time with this and really think about how it works.  For some help, check out the post below from our facebook page and follow the discussion





5 Responses to Weight Loss Numbers: Calorie Counting Evolved

  1. Jeff Kobernusz April 3, 2014 at 9:46 AM #

    I too fall into the numbers game so often. However, it’s not so much on calorie totals but the carbohydrates themselves. I have found most of my HEC checked except the energy. I struggle to get through work outs and cardio with this if I don’t have at least 200 gms of carbs during the day. I have cycled back and forth from carb loading and carb fasting (currently I’m following your 8 week male blueprint) which has made me more aware of “bonking.” Any thoughts or recommendations on this?

    Jeff Kobernusz

    • Jade Teta April 6, 2014 at 10:18 AM #

      Hey Jeff. Yes. If you have not made use of BCAA supplements, this may be a god send for you. If you go low carb at in 5-10g of BCAA 30 minutes before a workout and you may find the low energy is a thing of the past. Remember to always talk to a physician before adding any diet, exercise or supplements

  2. Lamees April 6, 2014 at 10:49 PM #

    Hi Jade,

    Thank you for the article.

    I’m a bit curious about the calorie calculator you have linked above, does this give you a rough estimate of your BMR, or total calories to consume during the day (taking into account also the calories you burn while working out)?


    • Jade Teta April 15, 2014 at 3:34 PM #

      This gives a rough estimate of what calories and macros to start with if you are not very active, versus very active. It is based on protein intake which is one of the, if not the, best predictor of long-term weight maintenance.

      • Karen December 4, 2014 at 9:26 AM #

        Hi Jade

        Great post :-) The link for the calorie counter doesn’t seem to be working to check it out?

Leave a Reply