A calorie deficit is something you have probably heard if you have ever tried to lose weight.
Still, you may wonder how it all works and how does it help you with weight loss.
In this article you will learn everything you need to know about a calorie deficit including, what it is, how it relates to weight loss, and how to maintain it in a healthy way.
What is a calorie deficit?
A calorie is a unit of energy that you get from food, and when you eat fewer calories than you burn, you get a calorie deficiency.
There are three categories of calories you burn including thermos, physical and REE which is resting energy.
Calculating your calories
For a normal person, a 500 calorie deficiency is sufficient for weight loss and it should not affect your energy or hunger levels.
You can use online calculators to estimate your maintenance calorie needs. Monitoring your weight and calorie intake for 10 days is necessary for an accurate number. A calorie intake between 1,200 and 1,500 calories is sufficient for healthy weight loss.
How to achieve a calorie deficit
To achieve a calorie deficit, you either have to consume fewer calories than you burn or do more exercise. Diet may be better than physical activity since exercise does not burn as much calories as people think.
Nonetheless, regular strength training and cardio exercise is still beneficial for your overall health.
Tips to cut calories
Contrary to popular belief, counting calories actually does not require any major changes.
In fact, many strategies that help reduce your calorie intake to lose weight and maintain it, do not involve any calorie counting at all.
Limit sugary drinks
Sodas, fruit juices and special coffee are all examples of beverages you should avoid when trying to decrease your calorie intake. Alcohol contains a lot of sugar and calories as well so it should be limited.
Avoid processed foods for a calorie deficit
Highly processed foods have little to no nutritional value and should be substituted with minimally processed foods. Lean meats, nuts and fruits and vegetables are examples of minimally processed foods rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber.
Eat home-cooked meals
If you are like me, I love me some home cooking. Not only is it delicious, but you can save money and enjoy the foods you love while getting quality nutritional value.
The main idea
A calorie deficit happens when your body burns more calories than it consumes.
A calorie deficiency of 500 calories per day is good for healthy and sustainable weight loss.
Avoiding processed foods, removing the sugary beverages and eating home-cooked meals will help you achieve a calorie deficit without counting calories.
Source: Walle, V. Gavin. MS, RD “What Is a Calorie Deficit, and How Much of One Is Healthy?” www.healthline.com December 12, 2019