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Finding & Setting Your Calorie & Protein Targets

Have you ever thought about why there are so many different kinds of diets? And why do some diets work perfectly for some of us, but are ineffective for others? 

Here’s the reality of the situation… ANY diet can work to help you lose weight, as the effective ones are all built on the same principle… Putting you in a calorie deficit through one method or another.

The most important component that goes into knowing which diet to roll with is understanding how that plan fits in and around the life, you already live. 

For example, some people love low-carb diets.

Probably because they enjoy eating foods that are higher in fat (avocado, seeds, peanut butter), they don’t struggle with carb cravings, and it isn’t inconvenient for them.

While others (like me) could aren’t interested in going longer than a few days without some potatoes and rice.

Some people love to eat 5 meals per day and don’t mind eating smaller meals as they prefer greater meal frequency.

Others (like me) prefer Intermittent Fasting (I.F.) where we prefer to have fewer, but bigger meals. Such as a medium-sized lunch and a large dinner, instead of 4-5 small meals.

At the end of the day, the goal is to try them all out and figure out which works best for your current situation.

Questions to Ask yourself:

  1. Do you have a lot of time to cook or is your time limited?
  2. Can you eat the same thing every day or do you need variety?
  3. Are you satisfied with multiple small meals throughout the day or do you need fewer, but larger-sized meals.
  4. In all actuality, this should really be the first question… Can you see yourself eating this way for the rest of your life? If not, go back to the drawing board.

If you’re able to stick to the five Principles we talked about in the last section:

  1. Creating a Calorie Deficit.
  2. Eating mostly whole plant foods
  3. Eating a sufficient amount of Protein
  4. Training frequently
  5. Remaining consistent  

You will get the results that you’re after

Now… Let’s put some action behind all of the knowledge. We’re about to learn

How to Find your Nutrition Targets for Weight loss

You’ve probably heard of counting calories and tracking macros before. Well, guess what? It flat-out works.

The approach that we use at Built By Plants includes tracking Only your Calorie & Protein minimums as opposed to a single calorie number or an exact number of every macronutrient (carbs, fats, and protein). Our way allows you to have a much easier time staying flexible with your diet, which will lead to less resistance and more consistency. 

1. Use the Built By Plants Fat Loss Calculator

Do a quick Google search and you’ll find a million different calculators and formulas designed to find your ”perfect” calorie deficit target.

The problem is it’s nearly impossible to find a “perfect” calorie deficit based on just a few stats like your height, age, sex, weight, etc. The number you get will just be an estimate, and you’ll likely have to adjust it up or down based on how your body responds.

Finding your calorie and protein target should be a quick & easy process, and that’s exactly what the BBP Fat Loss calculator will deliver. 

To use the BBP Fat Loss calculator now, CLICK HERE

(quick note: the calculator will ask you to choose a lifestyle eating strategy, which we haven’t talked about just yet. 

2. Adjusting Your Targets

Once you use the BBP Fat Loss calculator, you’ll have calorie & protein targets that are relatively close to what someone of your age, gender, size, activity level, and desired goal will need.

Now you’ll need to start tracking your food intake by weighing out your food on a food scale, hitting those calorie & protein targets with precision, and seeing how your body responds to it week by week.

The usual recommended rate of weight loss you’ll hear is about is 1-2 pounds per week.

For most people, that’s a solid place to start but it’s not perfect for everyone.

Losing 1-2 pounds a week is extremely different for someone who weighs 150 pounds vs. 300+ pounds.

These variables make a difference. I recommend using a percentage-based weight loss rate of .5-1.5% of body mass each week.

For a 150 pound person, that would equal out to be 0.75-2.2 lbs per week. 

For a 300 pound person, that would equal out to be 1.5–4.5 lbs per week. 

Heavier individuals, 1-1.5% works well in the beginning, but as you get leaner, you’ll likely find it’s more sustainable to stick to a .5-1% rate of weekly weight loss.


Track your calorie and protein targets for two weeks.

If after two weeks, your average loss per week is less than 0.5% of your body mass, double-check your tracking and measuring to ensure you’re being as accurate as possible. Wait two more weeks, and if you see zero changes in your weight average and measurements, you have three options:

  • Add 2000-3000 to your daily step goal.
  • Remove 100-150 calories per day for your total daily calories. (Example: If your daily calories were 2000, now it’s 1900 or 1850 per day)
  • Add 10-15 minutes of light cardio per day (or 30-40 mins every few days)

*You should ONLY reduce your calories if you’ve stayed at the same average weekly weight for at least 4 weeks, and when you do reduce them, start with reducing no more than 100-150 calories or adding

Remember, the smallest rate of weight loss is still progress. If the scale is trending downward, you’re moving in the right direction.