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Calorie Deficit Explained – Calorie Deficit Calculator

Consuming calories is important for proper body function. Eating fewer calories than you burn can create a calorie deficit. When a calorie deficit is created, it means that the body gets energy from stored fat. To achieve healthy weight loss, you must create a calorie deficit.

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

A calorie deficit is when you burn more calories than you consume. Anything that you eat or drink is calorie consumed. Through normal daily activities, the body will burn calories. However, adding exercise to your daily routine will increase the number of calories that you burn.

To lose weight and maintain weight loss, there must be a balance between calories in and calories out. Creating a calorie deficit, as mentioned above, is important to losing weight. Knowing how to calculate your calorie deficit is also important.

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 Do I Calculate My Calorie Deficit?

To calculate your intake of calories and calorie deficit, you need to know your daily calorie expenditure. Knowing this will help you to tailor your food intake to make a unique calorie deficit.

You can calculate your calorie deficit either by calculating how much energy your body is using while resting. This is called your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). Another option is to use the Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) calculator.

Calorie Deficit Calculator



BMR calculation using the Harris–Benedict BMR Method

MenMetricBMR = 66.5 + ( 13.75 × weight in kg ) + ( 5.003 × height in cm ) – ( 6.755 × age in years )
ImperialBMR = 66 + ( 6.2 × weight in pounds ) + ( 12.7 × height in inches ) – ( 6.76 × age in years )
WomenMetricBMR = 655.1 + ( 9.563 × weight in kg ) + ( 1.850 × height in cm ) – ( 4.676 × age in years )
ImperialBMR = 655.1 + ( 4.35 × weight in pounds ) + ( 4.7 × height in inches ) – ( 4.7 × age in years )

BMR = 665 + (4.35 x weight (in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age (in years)

For example, if you are 135 pounds, 25-year-old, 5-foot 6 inches female, your BMR would look like this: 655 + (4.35 x 135) + (4.7 x 66) – (4.7 x 25) = 1,435.

Therefore, if your BMR is 1435 you will consume about 1400 calories when you are not active. On the days that you are active, you will burn between 500-1000 active calories by exercising. Therefore, for you to have a calorie deficit of 500, you will consume your BMR of 1435 on the days that you manage to burn 500 active calories and about 1900 on the days that you are very active.

Once you know how to find your BMR, that is the number of calories that you should consume daily.

Total daily energy calculation

The TDEE calculator is another useful tool that will help you calculate your calorie deficit.

How to Create a Calorie Deficit

Since it’s not a good idea to skip meal time, how do you create a calorie deficit?

Reduce the amount of food on your plate

chopping food

Eat healthy 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.

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.

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 exercises.

If you plan to burn 300 calories, you should workout to burn calories. 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.


How much of a calorie deficit should I have?

The amount of calorie deficit you should have depends on the amount of weight that you want to lose. For example, if your goal is to lose 1 pound of fat each week then you will aim for a daily calorie deficit of 200-500.

How do I figure out my calorie deficit to lose weight?

You can figure out your calorie deficit by using the TDEE calculator or by calculating your BMR, as mentioned above.

Will I lose weight on 1200 calories?

Yes, you can. But, the National Institute of Health advised that only women should have a 1200 calorie diet, while men should consume more than 1500 calories daily. The weight loss rule is simple. Create a calorie deficit by eating fewer calories, increasing the number of calories you burn through physical activity or doing both.


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.

Burning more calories than you consume will create a calorie deficit. Creating a calorie deficit is important for healthy weight loss. However, before venturing on any weight loss program you should consult your health advisor.

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 fibre 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.

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