Counting Calories

 | Health  | 53 Comments

Counting calories is unnecessary in my opinion and rather pay attention to my portion sizes which gives me an easier way to measure the right amount of food I eat on a daily basis. Counting calories can still be a great tool for someone who seems to have  a problem reaching their goals. For example, a 30 year old woman that has always been skinny, who’s trying to put on some muscle, but can’t put on any weight even tho she says she “eats a lot”. I have friends like that and they all have two things in common:

1. They all feel like they eat a lot.

2. They actually don’t eat enough.

You could be also one of the very rare cases with some type of rare condition that is preventing you from any weight gain, but before you jump into any conclusions, it would be wise to check the numbers.


First you have to find out what “Activity Level” you’re at. There are 3 levels:

1. Sedentary  – minimal exercise, maybe yoga or aerobic exercise, mostly sitting at work.

2. Moderately active – sedentary job, but following ZGYM’s workout schedule daily.

3. Very active – Doing 2 ZGYM workouts daily, or following ZGYM daily plus doing a lot of sports and  activities, having an active job, basically moving all day long and doing high intensity workouts regularly.


Once you figure out what is your activity level, we can calculate how many calories a day you should be eating based on your goal. Here’s an easy to use calorie estimator:





To demonstrate how this works in practice, let’s have a look at a couple of examples.

Example #1:

A 150lb, moderately active ZGYM member interested in fat loss would begin by taking in between 1800 (150lb x 12) and 2100 (150lbs x 14) calories a day.

Example #2:

A 120lb very active ZGYM member interested in muscle gain would start by taking in between 2400 (120lb x 20) and 2640 (120lbs x 22) calories a day.


**please note that these guidelines are really only helpful if you’re eating clean, nutrient-rich foods – for example #1 if you eat 2100 calories a day of fast food or junk snacks then it’s doubtful you’ll lose much, if any, weight at all


Zuzka’s tip:

If you look at your grocery list, I can guarantee you that most of us stick to about 20 basic ingredients (it better be super foods) that we buy on a weekly basis. If you get familiar with your favorite foods, and learn the amount of calories that they contain, you’ll always be able to tell how many calories are approximately in the meals that you make out of these ingredients.





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53 comments on “Counting Calories”

  1. private avatar image

    Private  | 

    Hi Zuzka tomorrow i will start the routine and im very excited!!, i just had my 2nd baby and i cant wait to have my body again!! i only have some doubts about the diet, i dont know how to do it, its my first time, should i take your recipies and just choose whatever i want?, and also im breastfeeding.. … Please help me!

    • private avatar image

      Private  |  Los Angeles, CA, USA

      Hi, I’m glad you’re motivated 🙂 I like to eat mostly low carb foods and earning my carbs with my workouts. If you want to see an example of what I eat on daily basis, then check out my Food Journals. I just posted a new one for the past week here.

  2. private avatar image

    Private  | 

    Does anybody know if zuzka does more than one ZGYM workout daily? Like is she very active? Cuz she always says 20 mins a day is enough, so I thought she only does one workout per day, but now Im thinking she does more than one per day maybe… I’d like to follow her exact same food/workout routine… Altho it looks pretty hard… I love her workouts but my problem is the food… im so tempted with junk food (like cookies or chocolate or pizza etc…). Im 5’1 and 110 lb so not fat nor skinny… but i’d like to get in shape…

    • private avatar image

      Private  |  Los Angeles, CA, USA

      I do one high intensity workout a day. Sometimes I do high intensity workout and an easy workout like stretch and tone in one day when I try to get ahead with the videos. I don’t do two high intensity workouts a day because I always put all of my energy into the routine and doing two a day would be counter productive. Your body needs time to recover. It’s better to stay consistent and workout daily instead of focusing on high volume of training.

  3. private avatar image

    Private  | 

    Hi zuzka i have finished the beginner workout alredy!, i dont know what to do next!, please help me…. Theres so many excersices and numbers ,im lost! Thanks you

  4. private avatar image

    Private  | 

    Hi Zuzka! I just love you. I’m starting your workouts starting this Monday. I love your food journal but I don’t see the breakout of the carbs, fats and proteins. Is that posted anywhere?

    Lizz Williams
    Upper Marlboro,MD

    • private avatar image

      Private  |  Los Angeles, CA, USA

      Nope no breakdowns of macros, because I don’t play that game. I focus on food as oppose to macros or calories. I think it’s good to be aware of what we eat and what is considered to be high in what type of macros or vitamins. I also think it’s good to be aware of the approximate amount of calories we eat, however, counting grams and calories takes us away from being in tune with our bodies and using our body awareness.

      • private avatar image

        Private  | 

        How am I suppose to eat 1860 cal according to the guideline above to lose weight but then use my hand as a portion size? I would have to eat like 8 times a day….I’m confused.

  5. private avatar image

    Private  |  Houston, TX, United States

    Hi Zuzka, needing some help determining/balancing my macros. it’s established that i need to consume an estimated 1680 calories. Now if I want to follow a low-carb diet like yourself, and i’ve already determined my maximum protein and fat intake, how can the remainder calories be disbursed? i weigh 120lbs, sedentary environment… 120g of protein intake, and 72g of fat intake. Now for the carbs, i read in your book you follow an est intake of 50g or less of carbs. Could I apply that to myself, or how can that work? if i were to apply that for myself as well, i have a remainder of unconsumed calories… that’s where i’m stuck. Thank you for your help!

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