Weight loss is the opposite of accounting. Your goal: accumulate red ink, spending more kilojoules than you bring in.

We asked nutritionist, Alan Aragon, and Dr Mike Roussell, author of The Six Pillars of Nutrition, to give us a budget-busting plan

PART ONE: METABOLIC MATH

How many kilojoules are you eating? Track everything you eat and drink for three days and tally your daily total at with an app like Calories 2 (free). How many kilojoules do you actually need to maintain your weight? Use Aragon’s formula. These are sample calculations for a 85kg man.
A Zero workouts
Multiply your weight by 10. (At 85kg, that’s 850 kilojoules a day.)
B One or two workouts a week Y
our weight Å~ 12 (9 280kj)
C Two to four workouts a week
Your weight Å~ 14 (10 800kj)
D Five or more workouts a week
Your weight Å~ 16 (12 370kj)

PART TWO: BURNING MAN

Aragon recommends a maximum daily deficit of 2 090kj when you’re trying to shed some pounds. Our 85-pound man is working out two to four days a week, so 10 800kj a day maintains his weight. Here’s how his body allocates those kilojoules and ways he can create some extra burn.

RESTING METABOLISM

60% to 75%
This is the cost of not being dead, including energy used by everything from your organs to individual cells.
70% = 7 580kj
BONUS BURN High intensity exercise can elevate your metabolism for 14 to 36 hours after exercise.
420 to 1 000kj

THERMIC EFFECT OF FOOD

10%
These are the kilojoules burned by digestion.
10% = 1 080kj
BONUS BURN You use 25% of protein kilojoules for digestion, far more than with fat or carbs. By eating your target weight in grams of protein daily, you can burn more sans effort.
420kj

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

15% to 30%
These are the kilojoulesa you expend through exercise and movement. 20% = 2 165 kilojoules
BONUS BURN You don’t have to sweat through two-a-days to get the benefit of moving more. Minimise your sitting time, take the stairs, fidget – it all adds up.
840 to 2 500kj