Body Composition

How Spren Helps You Set Up Your Diet for Fat Loss

Matthew Mace
February 1, 2023

Lose weight and target fat loss with Spren.

If you’ve ever tried to lose fat, then you know how tough it can be. Aside from putting in the work—diet and exercise—you likely have many questions: are carbohydrates bad for you? Can you eat sugar when you want to lose fat? And how many calories should you actually be eating each day?

The truth is, even when on a diet, you can eat carbohydrates and sugar. In fact, carbohydrates provide you with much-needed energy. Plus, who wants to quit delicious pasta and freshly baked bread? Not us.

Instead, you need to set up your diet for fat loss. That means calculating your required daily calories to lose fat. That may sound complicated—but don’t worry; we’ve got you covered.

This blog post will explain how to set up your diet for fat loss properly. We’ll also show you how Spren can help you stay on track and measure your progress throughout your fat loss journey.

How to lose fat with Spren

Fat loss is often overcomplicated. And while Spren can’t lose fat for you, it can help calculate your calorie requirements while measuring your body composition to help you stay accountable.

To lose fat, you need to:

  • Find your maintenance calorie intake 
  • Calculate a calorie deficit to lose fat
  • Get your nutrition in check

Find your maintenance calorie intake

Peter Drucker once said, “what gets measured gets managed.” And while he was talking in the realm of business, it directly applies to diet. If we keep track of how much we eat, we can pivot toward fat loss.

These days, we’re told to follow high-carb, low-carb, high-fat, low-fat, and everything-in-between diets… However, it’s a lot more simple than that: we need to strip it back to basics.

You need to find your maintenance calorie intake to determine how many calories you should eat daily.

At the very basic level, there is what is known as your basal metabolic rate (BMR). This is your daily energy requirements for basic functions—it’s what you need to survive [3]. Spren can calculate your BMR to help you find your goal maintenance calorie intake. 

Your BMR is not the same as your maintenance calories. For example, if you only consumed enough calories to meet your BMR, you would not maintain your body weight or lean mass. 

To calculate your maintenance calorie intake—what you need to maintain the same weight and lean body mass—you multiply BMR x activity level.

You don’t need to do this yourself. There are loads of online calorie calculators available that can give you a rough estimate of how many calories you need to eat to sustain, gain, or lose body mass.

But these tools are exactly that—an estimate. Once you have a base number to work with, you should consume the recommended number of calories for 1 week. Monitor your weight and body mass and see if it changes throughout the week. 

If possible, measure body composition—this is a better indicator of health. Body composition is also not susceptible to inaccurate readings due to water fluctuations. 

Adjust your calorie intake as needed to find your maintenance calories.

Calculate a calorie deficit to lose fat

Once you’ve calculated your maintenance calorie intake, you can work out a calorie deficit for fat loss.

A calorie deficit is eating slightly less than your maintenance calories—fewer calories than your body expends—to lose fat.

Often, many people try to lose fat too quickly. They choose a calorie deficit that is too high and risk losing additional lean body mass and muscle mass. 

Body composition is more favorable when you lose weight slowly [2]. Yes, it means it will take longer to see results, but you’ll hold onto more muscle mass and lean mass for a healthier physique. 

As a general rule of thumb: aim to lose less than 1% of your body mass each week, but ideally closer to 0.5%. For example, if you weigh 100 KG, then you should aim to lose 0.5 KG a week. If you lose 1% of your body mass, then that’s 1 KG a week.

Over a period of 12 weeks, that’s anywhere between 6 and 12 KG total fat loss.

If you need to lose weight quickly, then choose up to 1% per week, but if possible, keep it closer to 0.5% to minimize lean mass and muscle loss.

A 500-calorie deficit should equate to roughly 0.5% of your body mass loss per week.

Get your nutrition in check 

Now that you have an idea of how many calories you should be eating each day, you might be wondering what foods you should eat to meet those caloric needs.

There are three macronutrients you must consume:

  1. Protein
  2. Carbohydrates
  3. Fats

We’ll explain each category in more detail below, including how much of each macronutrient you should be eating.


Protein is an important component of a healthy diet [1]. You find protein in meats, cheese, eggs, milk, fish, nuts, beans, and weigh protein. There’s also trace amounts in most foods, even in fruit and veg.

But how much protein should you eat per day? The recommended daily allowance (RDA) is 0.8 grams per KG of body weight a day. But research suggests consuming upwards of 50 to 100% of your daily intake could be more beneficial for those trying to lose fat and increase muscle mass [1,4]. 

Therefore, eating between 1.2 and 1.8 grams of protein per KG of body weight is likely to support weight loss while preserving lean mass and even reducing cardiometabolic risk factors. 

So, if you weigh 100 KG, you should eat anywhere between 120g and 180g of protein daily.

Protein provides 4 calories per gram. So using our 100 KG example, that’s roughly 480 to 720 calories a day of protein.

Fats and carbohydrates

Your distribution of fats and carbohydrates is less important than your daily protein intake requirements.

You can allocate the remaining calories to fats and carbohydrates as you wish. 

Macronutrients do not determine weight loss—you need to pay attention to the total calories you’re eating [5].

Although, do not eliminate fats entirely—aim for at least 20% of your remaining calories to be allocated to fats. This macronutrient is essential for basic functions in the body.

Many people prefer to eat more carbohydrates than fats. Eating more carbohydrates will provide you with additional energy for training. It also means you don’t need to give up bread or pasta, as many fad diets suggest.

What about fruit and vegetables?

Fruit and vegetables are micronutrients. These are important for numerous reasons—they contain fiber, essential vitamins and minerals, and provide necessary dietary fiber. Although not a macronutrient, you should eat plenty of these each day. 

Aim for at least one fistful of veg with each meal—the more color and variety, the better.

Most fruits and vegetables are low in fat and calories. You might choose to skip the salad dressing, though—this is typically high in sugar and calories. Alternatively, you can opt for a low-sugar/low-calorie option.

Why Spren for fat loss?

Spren can calculate your BMR, allowing you to more precisely work out your daily calorie intake for fat loss.

Simply snap a full-body selfie, and Spren will use its machine learning algorithms and computer vision to accurately calculate your body composition. 

Keep track of your body composition and fat mass results, adjust your diet and activity level as needed, and make progress toward your fat loss goals.

Try Spren today and set up your diet for fat loss.


  1. Antonio, J., Candow, D.G., Forbes, S.C., Ormsbee, M.J., Saracino, P.G. and Roberts, J., 2020. Effects of dietary protein on body composition in exercising individuals. Nutrients, 12(6), p.1890.

  1. Ashtary-Larky, D., Ghanavati, M., Lamuchi-Deli, N., Payami, S.A., Alavi-Rad, S., Boustaninejad, M., Afrisham, R., Abbasnezhad, A. and Alipour, M., 2017. Rapid weight loss vs. slow weight loss: which is more effective on body composition and metabolic risk factors?. International journal of endocrinology and metabolism, 15(3).

  1. Henry, C.J.K., 2005. Basal metabolic rate studies in humans: measurement and development of new equations. Public health nutrition, 8(7a), pp.1133-1152.

  1. Lemon, P.W., 1987. Protein and exercise: update 1987. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 19(5 Suppl), pp.S179-90. 

  1. Sacks, F.M., Bray, G.A., Carey, V.J., Smith, S.R., Ryan, D.H., Anton, S.D., McManus, K., Champagne, C.M., Bishop, L.M., Laranjo, N. and Leboff, M.S., 2009. Comparison of weight-loss diets with different compositions of fat, protein, and carbohydrates. New England Journal of Medicine, 360(9), pp.859-873.

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Matthew Mace

Matthew is a keen cyclist and freelance health and wellness content writer. He studied sport and exercise at Durham University and now writes for numerous active brands. When he's not writing or cycling, he can be found on the edge of his seat watching the Formula One.

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