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How many calories are best for PCOS fat loss?

For the average sized woman: we recommend 1500-1800 daily calories for PCOS fat loss. 

This will be a good range for most women. Now, if you are significantly short or tall, you can adopt a lower or higher calorie range to ensure that you’re eating in a healthy deficit range for PCOS fat loss.

5’1 (155 cm) or below

You won’t need as much energy to sustain your body and can go below the recommended calorie range to 1300-1700 to achieve a healthy deficit. We don’t recommend anyone go below 1200 calories. Ever. But if you are extraordinarily short or have a medical condition that warrants special consideration, see your doctor or nutritionist for a recommendation. 

5’10 (178 cm) or above

You will need more energy to sustain your body and can go above the recommended calorie range to 1700-2200 calories to stay in a calorie deficit. Again if you have a special situation, medical condition, high muscle composition, or other exception worth consideration, we’d urge you to seek guidance from a professional. Our ranges are general for the average lady.

The very simplified recipe for determining calories for PCOS fat loss.

You might be wondering… where are these people getting these numbers anyway? It’s not out of the air. But it’s also not overanalyzed and overcomplicated because we believe analysis paralysis is no way to achieve anything.  Here is the short answer:

measuring waistline for PCOS fat loss

First we consulted a BMI chart. Don’t freak out. We know this chart doesn’t take into account special circumstances. It’s just a helpful place to start. If you aren’t familiar, this is a chart with height and weight on the X and Y axis, it basically takes into consideration how tall you are and gives you a range of weights that would be considered healthy.

Elite athletes aren’t going to find any information on the chart that applies to them because they are likely very muscled and since muscle weighs more than fat, they would appear to be overweight according to the chart. It’s not for them. It’s for typical women. Search Google for ‘BMI chart’ (body mass index) and lots of examples will come up.

Where did these numbers come from anyway?

So basically, we looked at the healthy weight range for the average woman and figured out what calorie count would keep them exactly at that weight. Any daily calories eaten below this number would put this woman in a deficit and she will lose weight. This is how we came up with 1500-1800. This is a range of calories that is a deficit for most women. Can you eat below this number and still lose weight? Yes. Can you eat above this and lose weight? Yes. This is just the range we’ve chosen because it’s enough calories to not to be too hungry and it also is low enough that your progress won’t be too slow.

If you are insulin resistant, there’s a good chance your BMI is in the overweight or obese category. Hyper-focusing on these numbers is not going to add much value until your weight gets into the healthy BMI range. So, focus on 1500-1800 calories to lose fat to start or one of the above ranges for the tall or short. 🙂 Keep it simple. 

BMI for PCOS fat loss

We eat for the weight we want to be, not the weight we currently are.

This seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people, our staff included, have made the mistake of balancing EVERY LAST MACRONUTRIENT down to the gram only to realize months, or even, years on, that we weren’t eating at a deficit. *smacks self in face*

Give yourself a little reality check here: If you are significantly overweight, you do not need to be overcomplicating this. Eat at a deficit for your height. When you’re getting close to your goal weight, that’s when you get help really honing in the details.

PCOS fat loss is not only about calories.

We keep it dead simple. In addition to tracking calories, the only other thing we track is protein. We eat 120-230 grams of protein daily. If you are eating according to our recommended meal structure and PCOS Nutrition food lists, you don’t have to worry about tracking carbs anyway because you won’t be eating the ones that hinder fat loss.

Now you know your calories, here are some more PCOS fat loss resources:

Browse our Recipes and start building your day’s meals to meet your calories and protein goals. Download our We the PCOS inspirational posters and put them on your fridge, notebook, gym locker, or anywhere else you need a little lift.

Check out our YouTube Channel for supportive videos weekly on PCOS Nutrition, PCOS Inspiration, PCOS Training, PCOS Mental Health, and PCOS Accountability.

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