When you're just beginning your weight-loss journey, it's hard to know exactly where to start. Do you give your fridge a makeover? Establish a workout plan? According to online fitness coach Rob Allen, your first step should actually be setting your daily caloric intake, which can be done with this simple formula: multiply your body weight (in pounds) by 12. Follow this for two weeks and see if you notice any changes, including differences in your energy level and the way your clothes fit.
By the end of those initial couple weeks, adjust the number based on your response. As shown in Rob's Instagram post above, you should reduce your calories by 10 percent if you've gained weight, reduce by five percent if your weight hasn't budged, or continue on the same path if you've lost weight. If you're still not seeing results with these changes, increase your protein and exercise more. Evaluate two weeks later and adjust from there.
"Keep in mind you want to be eating good, whole food and prioritizing vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins," he wrote in his caption.
The key to fat loss is to maintain a calorie deficit, so you'll always want to burn more than you consume. Overall, remember to be patient — results don't come overnight.