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Calorie Deficit Explained

Now that you’re ready to shed a few pounds, you notice an endless number of blogs claiming to have the secret to calorie deficit. Some will only confuse you, others will promise miraculous results and others will claim they work so well, you will not have to concern yourself with calorie counting or watching what kinds of foods you eat.

Regardless of what an author promises, it is important to remember that in order for any diet to be successful, there must be a calorie deficit. If it’s going to work at all, a person must reduce the calories they take in.

Weight loss plans which skip counting calories force you to eat from a dedicated menu. The food choices on the menu are reduced calorie foods thus the calories have already been counted on your behalf. Before you begin such a program, it is important you understand how calorie deficit works.

What is a Calorie Deficit

Wikipedia describes a calorie deficit as burning more energy than you take in. It is important to understand the calories required to keep your body functioning, you can use our BMR (Basal metabolic rate) calculator to get an idea of how much calories you burn during rest.

You can develop your own calorie deficit plan by deciding to make smaller meals, to drink more water and set a specific time to eat. The body makes up for the calorie shortage by using stored energy or carbs (glycogen) or protein sources such as muscle tissue and stored (body) fat.

With the storage of carbs, protein, and body fat in short supply, the goal is to maximise the energy from the fat cells. It’s essential you maintain muscle mass while you lose weight.

How to Calculate a Calorie Deficit

Since it’s not a good idea to skip meal time, how do you create a calorie deficit? Matt Fitzgerald, author of Brain Training for Runners, advises a healthy deficit is between 300 and 500 calories.

There are at least three ways in which to cut calories each day, none of which will cost you an arm or a leg

1 – Put Less Food On Your Plate

chopping food

Use only calorie deficit foods and grab a smaller plate when you are ready to eat. Avoid snacking throughout the day and eat food low in calories. By the end of the day or week, you will have cut out enough calories in order to create a deficit and lose the weight.

2 – Get Out of the House


The amount of calories anyone should consume each day greatly depends on their daily activities. If you’re constantly on the go and you’re exercising, your body may require more calories than someone who is less active.

By consuming the same amount of calories each day and increasing your activities, you’re creating deficiencies. Be careful that it’s not nourishment you skimp but rather your caloric intake.

3 – Exercise and Reduce Meals


Physicians and dietitians know in order to lose weight, you must eat less and exercise more. It’s important to eat the right foods and get the proper amount of exercise. Keeping the weight off requires a new lifestyle. With this in mind, you should be thinking in terms of creating a plan to slim down gradually and consistently.

The good news is you don’t have to sacrifice flavour or authenticity to reach your goal. You can find plenty of delicious reduced calorie meal recipes online plus a variety of cool exercises.

If you plan to burn 300 calories, you should workout for about an hour. You should also eat 300 fewer calories to reach a deficit of 600 calories. Some people may need to burn more.

1000 Calorie Deficit

Simply put, calorie deficit = eating fewer calories and increasing activity. What we didn’t talk about was what happens if your weight puts your health at risk.

According to weight loss specialists, a 1000 calorie deficit may be the way to go in the case of obesity. If this your case, your physician may prescribe a reduced calorie diet consisting of fresh whole foods, foods with plenty of fiber in them, specific vitamins, or meal replacements.

However, you don’t want to lose an excessive amount of weight too quickly. More so, attempting a 1000 calorie deficit is not something you should try on your own. You can do more harm than good.

It’s possible to lose precious muscle mass, slow your metabolism or form deficiencies. Unfortunately, there’s a high probability of the weight returning once you go off your diet. Remember, weight loss is a lifestyle change and not a trend.


We hope having the calorie deficit explained makes it easier to take on the challenge. To make a success of the calorie deficit, you will need to change what you eat. Make nutritious meals with quality, whole foods to get fiber and vitamins.

Eat more green veggies, skinless chicken, fish, turkey, and eggs. You, also, want to avoid white bread and processed foods because they are very high in calories.

If you must eat processed food, try consuming half of the serving or meals prepared for the purpose of losing weight. Reach for juicy fruits instead of chocolate bars and potato chips. Good luck!

Adnan Munye

A certified personal trainer, Adnan specialises in weight loss, muscle building, body conditioning, core strengthening and injury rehabilitation. Adnan comes from a sporting background, where he has played football, badminton, rugby, and swimming all at various levels.

Adnan has always been passionate about health and fitness. He comes from a sporting background playing football, badminton, rugby, and swimming at various levels from a young age.

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