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What is a calorie deficit and how can it help you lose weight?

Let’s be totally honest, ladies, losing weight is hard work. With so many diet plans and workout routines online, it can be confusing knowing what to follow. One moment you’re being told to cut out carbs, while the next you’re told that carbs aren’t the enemy!

So where do you begin? With a calorie deficit diet.

Weight loss can be made a lot easier when you know the answer to the following questions:

What is a calorie deficit? And how does it benefit weight loss?

Knowing the right strategy to hit your weight loss goals means incorporating a calorie deficit to lose fat, making a healthy lifestyle the new normal.

Let’s jump right in.

What is a calorie deficit?

In short, a calorie deficit diet involves consuming fewer calories than your body needs to maintain its weight. When paired with regular exercise, a calorie deficit diet can result in maximum fat burn, helping you hit your weight loss goals.

Sounds pretty straightforward, right? Well, there’s more to it than cutting out those pesky snacks. In order to find the magic number for your calorie deficit diet, you need to do a little math.

Firstly, your body needs to burn a certain number of calories daily to perform everyday functions. However, the number of calories we need each day can depend on several factors:

  • Sex
  • Age
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Body composition
  • How active you are

But before we work out how much of a calorie deficit to lose weight, we need to know what a ‘calorie’ really means. A calorie is a measurement of energy, with us finding this source of fuel through the food we eat. But food is more than enjoying fancy meals, since our bodies need this fuel in order to survive.

Depending on the type of food we eat, we can be delivering plenty of vitamins and nutrients to our bodies. When we don’t eat quite so good, it’s easy to feel sluggish, since our bodies aren’t receiving enough of the nutrients it needs.

No matter what we eat, our bodies break it down, releasing energy for immediate use or for storage. And so, this is where knowing ‘what is a calorie deficit?’ comes in! Your body needs a number of calories to maintain your weight, making a calorie deficit to lose fat a common strategy.

It simply makes sense. In order to lose weight, you need to reduce your calorie intake – aka, follow a calorie deficit diet. If you were looking to gain weight, you would increase it.

How much of a calorie deficit to lose weight?

While it’s great knowing what a calorie deficit is, or how much of a calorie deficit to lose a pound, consistent and sustainable weight loss is key.

But is a calorie deficit enough to lose weight? Frankly, it’s just one piece of the puzzle. Calories are not the only thing that affects your weight, which is why if you do very little physical activity (or none at all), we’d recommend introducing 30 minutes of daily exercise.

Also Read: Why does losing weight take so long?

Plus, following a calorie deficit diet correctly doesn’t mean starving yourself. Restrictive diets can lead to yo-yo dieting, meaning a quick weight loss before we all get fed up and start raiding the fridge. Ladies, I totally get it! We’ve all been there.

This is why there is no one ideal calorie deficit diet suitable for everyone. However, it doesn’t have to be super confusing to work out your calorie deficit to lose fat. Which is why we’ve included the formula to work out your calorie deficit diet below.

Calorie deficit for weight loss – How to calculate

Working out a calorie deficit to lose fat doesn’t have to feel like a minefield. This can be done by reducing your calorie intake, increasing your physical activity levels or a combination of the two. Where possible, we recommend pairing a healthy diet with regular exercise!

In order to calculate your calorie deficit for weight loss, you need to take your basal metabolic rate (BMR) and activity levels to understand your current calorie needs.

Here’s how to determine your BMR:

655 + (4.3 x weight in lb) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years) = BMR

Once you have your BMR, you can use the following formula, based on your activity levels to work out your calorie needs.

  • sedentary: little or zero exercise = BMR x 1.2
  • minimally active: 1 to 3 days per week of exercise/activity = BMR x 1.375
  • moderately active: 3 to 5 days per week of moderate activity or sports = BMR x 1.55
  • very active: 6 to 7 days per week of hard exercise = BMR x 1.725
  • extra active: Fitness fans and athletes who train twice daily, for example = BMR x 1.9

If the above formulas have left you feeling frazzled, don’t worry! You can perform a manual calculation if you’re moderately active. This means multiplying your current body weight by 15 to estimate your calorie needs each day.

Also Read: Check out our weight loss calculator

However, in order to maximize your calorie deficit for weight loss, you would then need to subtract around 500 calories to fall into a deficit and lose weight. Think of this number as a guideline, rather than a strict rule!

How to hit your calorie deficit diet goals

As we touched upon earlier, there are different ways to approach a calorie deficit for weight loss. Ideally, you’d take the following combo into account:

A calorie deficit diet and healthy food

Often, we put ourselves through restrictive, unrealistic diets in the hope of losing weight. Sadly, this type of strategy isn’t sustainable, and can lead us to quickly break our new ‘diet’ and binge on everything in sight.

So, instead of focusing in on what you can’t eat, it’s more about building a healthy relationship with food. Try to add fiber-rich foods into your diet, such as fruit and vegetables. Alongside plenty of protein and healthy fats, fiber will also keep you feeling full for longer – making it easier to keep to your new healthy eating.

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Regular exercise and strength training

While focusing on a calorie deficit for weight loss, when paired with regular exercise you can maximize fat burn! Cardio in the gym, or even a bodyweight workout at home can be great for burning calories, meanwhile, strength training encourages after-burn long after your workout is over.

Also Read: Burn fat by building muscle: The body recomposition

A combination of the two means you can burn calories during exercise and at rest! The more lean muscle mass you have, the more calories you will need to maintain weight. Therefore, you won’t need such a drastic calorie deficit for weight loss.

Reduce carbs – not eliminate

For years now, we’ve been led to believe that carbs are the enemy. When in fact, it’s right type of carbs that matter – complex carbs. Our bodies convert the majority of carbs to sugar, with these calories absorbed or stores for later. However, by reducing those pesky carbs (not eliminating them!), your body will store less away for later.

Keep track of what you eat

Many of us don’t realise how much we’re eating each day. By keeping track of your meals, creating a calorie deficit to lose weight is much, much easier.

Building a healthy relationship with food and exercise is crucial for your calorie deficit diet.

A calorie deficit diet – Our conclusion

A combination of healthy, mindful eating and regular exercise will allow you to maximize your calorie burn and result in a sustainable calorie deficit diet.

Instead of focusing on foods you cannot eat, try to explore nutrient-rich foods that keep you feeling full!

However, while a calorie deficit to lose fat is certainly a good strategy to take, it’s important to ensure you’re getting enough calories. Eating too few calories could result in your body not receiving enough nutrients, which may lead to further health problems.

Lose weight safely with Trimtone

By now, we should have answered the two most pressing questions:

‘What is a calorie deficit?’ And, ‘how much of a calorie deficit to lose weight?’

A calorie deficit to lose fat is possible, with the right strategy! Following our tips will certainly help you hit your weight loss goals. But if you need a helping hand, there’s always Trimtone.

Our 100% natural fat burner for women works to reduce your appetite, boost your metabolism and burn fat faster than ever before.

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