What Is A Calorie Deficit Diet Plan
For the most part, all weight-loss diets work on the premise of calorie restrictions. Take Weight Watchers, for instance. They work on a points system or slimming world, and they tend to use the term sins for high-calorie foods.
There are hundreds of diets out there, and they all work to the same principle. The reason being, eating fewer calories than your body needs, you are guaranteed to lose weight.
In essence, you consume fewer calories than the body requires. Thus, you start to lose weight.
What Is The Most Important Thing To Know About My Calorie Deficit
The answer to this question depends on several factors, such as your starting weight and exercise type. The most important thing to know is your calorie deficit. This is the number of calories you need to consume less than what you burn in order to lose weight. A deficit is usually calculated using the calorie calculator. Its important to note that this number can vary, depending on your starting weight. If youre unsure of your starting weight, you can use the BMI calculator. If youre looking for a calorie calculator, the calorie calculator that our Nutrition team created is the most popular. Once youve calculated your deficit, you need to plan out your diet. You can do this by planning your meals and snacks, as well as timing your workouts. The next thing you need to do is count your calories. This is a simple process, in which you count the number of calories you eat throughout the day. After youve counted them, you simply add up your total calories. This is the number you use to figure out your daily intake of calories.
How To Burn More Calories Than Youre Eating
Burning more calories than you eat in a day is referred to as a Calorie Deficit and is the basis of many weight loss equations. The idea is daily calories in minus daily calories out = caloric deficit. The first thing you need to understand is that one pound of fat is made of about 3,500 of extra calories. Therefore in order to lose one pound of fat, you need to create a caloric deficit of 3,500 calories. For example if you wanted to lose one pound a week ~3,500/7= 500. That means negative 500 calories a day overall.
There are only 3 ways you can create a deficit of calories each day:
1. Eat fewer calories than you burn each day. Keep in mind that your body burns calories all day long as part of your basal metabolic rate , because it takes energy for your body to perform basic functions that are necessary for lifebreathing, digesting, circulating, thinking and more. It’s important for you to know what your BMR is so you can estimate how many calories you burn in an average day. In addition to that, you also burn some calories with normal daily activities like bathing, cleaning, walking, typing and exercising . SO by simply taking in less calories each day, that means less excess calories you have to burn off. Easy ways to do this include: eat less fast food or junk food, eat more fresh vegetables and fruits, eat lean protein, reduce the amount of bad fats, and drink more water.
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How Hard Is It To Follow A Calorie Deficit Diet
It really depends on what your dietary habits were like in the past, Cording says. If you werent the healthiest eater and youre ready to make a change, it may not be that hard to cut excess calories out of your life, she says.
But, she adds, its really important to take things slow and not get too excessive with the amount of calories you cut. I wouldnt recommend being overly restrictive, she says. Some people will resort to 1,200 caloriesthats what youd give a toddler. If you currently take in 2,500 calories a day, Cording suggests starting with 2,200 calories a day and seeing how you feel, along with what kind of results you get. If its doable, you may be able to get down to 2,000 calories a day. I just dont recommend starting with a huge deficit, she says.
If youre interested in doing a calorie deficit diet and arent sure where to start, check in with your primary healthcare provider or a registered dietitianthey should be able to help offer personalized guidance.
What Are The 5 Foods That Burn Belly Fat
Foods and ingredients that help burn belly fat include red fruits, oatmeal, plant protein, lean meat, leafy greens, fatty fish, apple cider vinegar, resveratrol, choline and others. Research indicates that people who followed a low-carb diet had a smaller waist circumference in five years than those who didn’t.
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Calculate Daily Calories Burned
If youre not already in a caloric deficit, first aim for a maximum daily deficit of 500 calories when you’re trying to shed some pounds. That means either eating fewer calories or burning more calories throughout your day.
So if our 185-pound man works out 2 to 4 days a week, eating 2,590 calories a day maintains his weight. Here’s how his body uses those calories and a few ways he can burn more calories.
Should You Be In A Calorie Deficit Everyday
You dont have to be in a calorie deficit every day to see the results. Many forms of intermittent fasting or calorie cycling work by alternating days with normals calorie intake with the days of calorie deficit. This approach makes the process more suitable for people and more sustainable.
Making an alternative days of calorie restriction make the process easier.
- Its more realistic
- Can be used long term
- Can be adjusted with the personal and professional needs
- It doesnt create too much stress
Which means it will combat the cravings for the foods you want to eat and therefore reduce the stress.
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Ways To Achieve A Calorie Deficit
You can achieve a calorie deficit by consuming fewer calories or increasing your physical activity levels or both.
That said, it may be easier and more sustainable to create a calorie deficit through diet rather than exercise alone, as you may not have the time, energy, or motivation to exercise daily. Plus, exercise doesnt burn as many calories as many people believe .
In other words, it may be easier to eat 500 fewer calories each day than to burn this number of calories through exercise. Nonetheless, its still recommended to engage in muscle-strengthening and aerobic exercises for their beneficial effects on overall health .
The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans from the Department of Health and Human Services recommend that adults do 150300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, or 75150 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise, weekly .
Moderate-intensity exercise includes brisk walking and light bicycling, whereas examples of vigorous-intensity exercise are jogging and fast bicycling.
The guidelines also recommend that adults do muscle-strengthening activities involving their major muscle groups including the back, shoulders, chest, arms, and legs at least two days every week .
Engaging in muscle-strengthening activities will help your body prioritize the loss of body fat rather than muscle mass .
How Do I Create A Calorie Deficit
If youre on a weight loss journey or ever have been before, youll be very familiar with a calorie deficit. Wiping away the fad diets and workouts that promise to blast belly fat, theres a very simple science behind weight loss.
To lose body fat, you need to burn more energy than you consume over a prolonged period. It doesnt matter what you eat or how you burn it keeping yourself in the negative when it comes to energy in vs out will lead to weight loss.
In reality, its not that easy. Were all busy human beings. Our lifestyles, relationships with food, relationships with exercise and many other factors make this simple equation pretty tricky to execute. Being told calorie deficit over and over again doesnt really help with this.
So, lets understand what a calorie deficit actually is and how to create one for weight loss. If thats what you want to do.
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Why You Lose Muscle When Doing Calorie Deficit
In general, during a calorie deficit, the muscle protein breakdown increases, and muscle protein synthesis goes down, which leads to muscle loss. In order to preserve muscle mass in the calorie deficit, you need to eat more proteins than during the maintenance calorie intake.
Preserving your muscle while youre in a deficit will not only make you look diced and saucy but also ensure you wont regain all the weight that you lost.
I wont be covering here the mechanism behind how much protein should you eat during the calorie deficit. Ive already covered that in my article calorie deficit and protein, which I recommend you read.
In short, for optimal muscle protein synthesis during the calorie restriction, you need around 2.0 2.4 g of protein per kg per day .
However, high protein intake alone wont be enough to fully prevent muscle loss. You also need strength training, progressive overload, and optimal sleep .
Can A Calorie Deficit Diet Help You Lose Weight
If you calculate things right, a calorie deficit diet should help you lose weight. Calories are one of the primary factors in weight gain or weight loss, Cording says. If somebody is consuming fewer calories than they burn, that can result in weight loss.
So, if you typically eat 2,200 calories a day, on a calorie deficit diet, you should lose weight if you strive to cut that back to 2,000 or so calories a day.
Theres a reason why this happens. When we take in fewer calories than we burn, our body has to get the energy from somewhere to continue its natural functioning, Hunnes explains. This additional energy to maintain bodily functions comes from stored energy within our own bodies. Your body will usually burn fat first, followed by glycogen, which is what carbs are turned into in your body after you eat them, Hunnes says. And, when that fat is burned off, you end up losing weight.
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/6no Crash Dieting For Higher Calorie Deficit
Once you understand how to create a calorie deficit, you may be tempted to create a higher deficit for faster weight loss. However, dropping down your calorie intake by not eating enough will not be beneficial for sustainable weight loss, and you can also feel weak and easily tired. Lack of calorie intake will force your body to slow down metabolism and it will get trickier to lose weight. So dont rush the process and focus on losing around 0.5 1kg per week.
How To Create A Calorie Deficit
Once a person knows how many calories they need each day or week, they can work on creating a calorie deficit.
One lb of body fat contains about 3,500 calories. For a person to lose 1 lb of fat in a week, they would need a deficit of 3,500 calories, or 500 calories per day, over that time. To lose 2 lb, a person would need a deficit of about 7,000 calories.
However, it is for a calorie deficit to exceed 7,000 calories per week.
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Adjust Your Calorie Intake For Weight Loss
Once you know your maintenance calories, for example lets say 2500, we can calculate the calorie intake level needed for weight loss.
Remembering that 1 kilo of body fat is about 7,700 calories and we want to aim for 0.5-1 kilo of weight loss per week:
500 calorie deficit per day = 3,500 calorie deficit per week
700 calorie deficit per day = 4,900 calorie deficit per week
These calorie deficits come from a combination of eating less and burning more. If you have a strictly healthy diet and arent sure where to cut calories, you might have to exercise a little bit harder.
If you know you can reduce your portions and cut back on carbs or fats in your diet, you can focus on a greater calorie deficit from your food. Keeping track of the calories you eat by measuring and weighing your portions is crucial for these calculations.
Is It Possible To Lose Weight Without Being In A Calorie Deficit
Short answer, no. Long answer, no.
Being in a calorie deficit is the only way to lose weight no matter which eating protocol you choose e.g. keto, vegan, standard or paleo diet. It all comes down to intake vs. expenditure when your body determines whether it needs to tap into adipose body tissue for fuel.
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Increase Your Protein Intake
Overall, to do calorie deficit without muscle loss you need to increase your protein intake to around 2.0 2.4 grams per kg. During the calorie deficit, the amount of protein required to maintain muscle mass goes up.
Muscle turnover is a dynamic process that can be compared to plasticine, or even chewing gum. In the most simplistic way, our muscles are plastic and respond to different signals to either grow or shrink.
Those signals can be divided into muscle protein synthesis and muscle protein breakdown.
What is muscle protein synthesis? Muscle protein synthesis is a process of remodeling and building muscle mass. It is triggered by the sufficient availability of amino acids in the body and muscle damage .
When you do a biceps curl, your muscle will adapt and grow. When you add more weight, your muscle will adapt again, and grow more.
What is muscle protein breakdown? Muscle protein breakdown is also part of muscle remodeling but in the opposite way. It catabolizes the muscle tissue when there are not enough amino acids available in the body.
When you stop doing biceps curl, your muscle will adapt again, and shrink.
Heres the kicker.
In the state of calorie maintenance, which is when our calories that come in matches calories that go out our muscles are happy with just the regular protein intake to keep doing their job.
Don’t Forget About Neat
Whilst creating an explicit deficit through exercise isn’t advised, making sure you’re keeping NEAT exercise incorporated in your schedule is crucial. NEAT stands for Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis and refers to all calorie burning activities that don’t qualify as exercise or calories burned when eating.
This includes anything from doing chores around the house to fidgeting. Yes, it’s a wide remit! Making sure you’re adding more consistent movement into your day every day will keep your metabolism fired up and burn extra calories without much thought.
Learn more with our full guide to NEAT exercise.
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Can You Be In Too Much Of A Calorie Deficit
You can be in too much of a calorie deficit when you eat not enough calories for a long period of time. After a prolonged calorie deficit, the body starts to down-regulate, lowers the metabolic rate, and hits the weight loss plateau. One of the effective methods to overcome a plateau is calorie cycling.
Calorie cycling is when you alternate days of low energy intake with days of high energy intake.
- 5 days a week calorie deficit
- 2 days a week calorie maintenance / surplus
Or you can alternate one day after another. One of the popular methods of intermittent fasting ADF works by alternating days of fast with the days of feeding:
- 36-hour fasting window
- 12-hours feeding window
How Can You Achieve A Calorie Deficit
To achieve a calorie deficit you need to first work out your Basal Metabolic Rate the amount of calories your body needs to achieve its most basic life-sustaining needs at rest. There are lots of online calculators to help you do this.
Once you know your BMR, you need to include factors like how active you are and how much exercise you do, says Parren. This calculation is your Total Daily Energy Expenditure or TDEE, which is a more accurate representation of how many calories you actually burn in a day.
Your TDEE will take into account how many steps you do in a day, how active your job is , and even activities like gardening or walking your dog. Once you have a figure for your TDEE, you can calculate how many calories youd need to eat to be in a deficit.
A calorie deficit is any number below your TDEE and one pound of fat roughly equates to 3,500 calories. So if you are in a deficit of 500 calories a day over seven days, you will lose roughly 1lb per week.
To be more specific, if your TDEE is 2,500 calories, you would need to eat 2,000 calories per day to lose 1lb per week.
Remember once you start losing weight you will need to recalculate your TDEE to work out your new daily calorie deficit figure. Once you have lost some weight, eat at maintenance level the same number of calories as your TDEE to make sure you dont gain the weight back, says Parren.
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How To Calculate Calorie Deficit With Bmr
You can calculate calorie deficit with BMR using the Mifflin-St Jeor formula:
- For men + + 5
- For women + 161
NOTE: To accurately calculate your BMR you need a strict laboratory setting and perform the test in a pone position after 12 hours of fasting.
Thats why those calculations arent the most accurate, but they can give you the benchmark of your daily energy expenditure, without physical activity.
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