When & How to Make Adjustments to Calorie Intake When Dieting

Egis R.
4 min readFeb 26, 2023
Image by the author

If you want to lose weight, I’m sure more than a long life full of happiness, you’d wish for smooth weight loss. BAHAHAHAHA! No one ever, in the history of ever, lost weight without the need to adjust calorie intake at some point.

Question is, when? No need to google that. I’m about to tell you when and how to make adjustments to your calorie intake when dieting.

To maintain weight loss at a desired rate, your calorie intake will have to be adjusted at two points of the diet:

  • After the first four weeks of dieting
  • Sometimes at a mid-diet

After the first four weeks of dieting

There are a bunch of online calorie calculators and chances are, you’ll use one of them to determine your calorie target for weight loss. However, all these formulas are based on averages. Since there are heaps of individual variations, you’ll likely need to adjust your calorie intake to start losing weight at a desired rate.

You should wait at least four weeks before making any adjustments because you need to gather enough data on your rate of weight loss to make adjustments.

Let’s say you weigh 185 pounds (84 kg) and your target weight loss rate is 0.5–1% per week (0.9–1.8 lbs/week). Let’s also assume you weighed yourself daily and collected four weeks’ worth of data:

Image by the author

You’ll often experience a massive drop in weight in the first week. It’s an initial loss of water and glycogen (usually happens on a low-carbohydrate diet). If that happens, ignore the data from the first week. Look at the averages for the next three weeks and ask yourself these questions:

  • Was my weekly average rate of weight loss within the 0.5–1% target?
  • Was it above the 0.5–1% target?
  • Was it below the 0.5–1% target?

If you were within the target range, don’t change anything and keep waiting patiently for death’s sweet kiss.



Egis R.

I’m Egis, an online weight loss coach who has heightened BS sensors for fitness & nutrition. Only evidence-based & sustainable fat loss. www.absscience.com