How to Lose Weight with a Chart

To lose weight, you will need to build a calorie deficit, meaning you need to burn more calories than you consume. You will lose one pound of body weight for every 3,500 calories you add to your deficit. Charting your weight loss plan and progress can help you to stay on track to achieve your weight loss goals. You should create a weekly chart, since anyone could realistically plan to lose a measurable amount of weight in a week. A good chart should include the adjustments you will make to your weight loss plan as you proceed.


Step 1

Create a nine-column chart with the following headings: Week, Current Weight, This Week’s Goal, Total Calorie Deficit, Daily Calorie Deficit, Weight Maintenance Calories, Net Daily Calories to Consume, Daily Calories from Food, and Daily Calories to Burn through Exercise.

Step 2

Number the boxes in the “Week” column with ascending numerals starting with 1 and ending with the number of weeks you intend to spend losing weight. You can always expand the chart if your plan changes.

Step 3

Write the number of pounds you would like to lose the first week in the “This Week’s Goal” column for week 1.

Step 4

Multiply this week’s goal for weight loss by 3,500 to determine the calorie deficit you’ll need to build during week 1 and write the number in the “Total Calorie Deficit” column.

Step 5

Divide the calorie deficit by 7 to determine the number of extra calories you need to burn each day to meet your weekly calorie deficit goal for week 1. Write this number in the "Daily Calorie Deficit" column for week 1.

Step 6

Multiply your current weight by 10 if you are female or 13 if you are male and put that number in the “Weight Maintenance Calories” column for week 1. This is the number of calories you must eat on a daily basis to maintain your current weight.

Step 7

Subtract the daily calorie deficit from the weight maintenance calories to determine the net daily calories you should consume to meet the total calorie deficit for week 1. Write this number in the "Net Daily Calories to Consume" column. This is the daily calorie allowance--which takes calories consumed in food and burned through exercise into account--that will enable you to reach the first week's weight loss goal.

Step 8

Write the number of calories worth of food you will eat every day to meet your goal in the "Daily Calories from Food" column. This number should be at least equal to net daily calories to consume value. If you plan to eat more food than your net daily calories allow, you'll need to burn off the extra calories with exercise.

Step 9

Write the number of calories you will burn off with exercise each day in the "Daily Calories to Burn through Exercise" column. This number can be zero if you plan to eat only your daily calorie allowance. If you plan to eat more calories than your allowance, the number of calories you should burn through exercise should make up the difference.

Step 10

Follow your plan for week 1 to achieve your weight loss goal. When you start week 2, record your new weight in the chart and recalculate your calorie intake for that week just as you did for week 1. Repeat this procedure for each week of your weight loss period.


Items you will need

  • Paper and pencil or spreadsheet program

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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or