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What is a calorie deficit and how does it help weight loss?

When we set off on a weight loss journey, it can be pretty confusing knowing the best route to take. With so many workout plans, fad diets and new trends appearing pretty much every day, how do you know the best plan to follow?

Thankfully, this is where a calorie deficit diet comes in. But if you’re sat there thinking, ‘what is a calorie deficit?’ you’re not alone. We’re about to tell you everything you need to know to smash your goals.

What is a calorie deficit diet?

We could be here all day going into every tiny detail about how calories work, including the power of a calorie deficit diet. Put simply, a calorie deficit requires you to consume fewer calories than your body needs to maintain its weight.

Although some follow a calorie deficit to lose weight solely based on their diet, we recommend pairing this strategy with regular exercise. But we’ll talk a little more about that later!

For now, let’s dive deeper into a calorie deficit for weight loss, and how to work out what your calorie deficit should be.

To kick things off, you need to know how many calories your body burns to perform its usual daily functions. There is no one number for this, however. It can depend on a number of factors:

  • Sex
  • Your age
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Body composition
  • Activity levels

It’s important to remember that your body requires a number of calories to maintain your weight. When you go over this amount, if you are not burning this new input, you will gain weight. And so, in order to lower that number on the scales, you need a calorie deficit to lose fat.

Also Read: 5 fitness tips for women

Sounds simple enough, right? But while you may believe that cutting out the odd snack here and there will help you shed a few pounds, it’s more about the type of food you’re eating.

By getting plenty of fiber and protein into your diet, you’re less likely to snack in the first place! Plus, you’ll be supplying your body with the fuel it needs.

How much of a calorie deficit to lose fat?

Many of us want to know the right calorie deficit to lose a pound, especially when we’re trying to squeeze into our favorite skinny jeans! However, losing a pound or two isn’t quite so sustainable as you may think.

So how much of a calorie deficit do you need to lose weight? In all honesty, it’s just one part of the weight loss puzzle! Of course, taking into account the factors above will certainly help you gain a greater understanding of your activity levels and potential to lose weight!

But that’s not quite enough.

Here’s how to calculate your calorie deficit to lose weight.

How to calculate your calorie deficit diet

The best recipe to create a calorie deficit diet that works is a combination of healthy eating and regular exercise. By reducing the number of calories you’re consuming, your body has no choice but to eat into stores. Then, when you introduce regular exercise, you’ll really be maximizing calorie burn!

So, how do you get the magic number for your calorie deficit to lose fat and stay trim?

First, you need to determine your BMR using the following formula:

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

Once you’ve done the above, you can use the next formula, according to how active you are:

  • 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

While a little confusing at first, these formulas will help you calculate the best calorie deficit for weight loss, so you can smash your goals in no time!

The formulas above will enable you to see your current calorie needs, then, we’d suggest subtracting around 500 calories to begin with to head into a deficit.

Hitting your calorie deficit to lose fat

We all lose weight differently. This also means that we all approach our weight loss journey a little differently, too. So whether you’re a total gym bunny or new to exercise, there is always a way to smash your calorie deficit diet.

Also Read: The 800 Calorie Diet Plan for Weight Loss – Does it Work?

Of course, we’d suggest a combination of the following:

Eating well

Your food is your fuel! Especially during a calorie deficit to lose fat. Your body will notice the drop in calories, so you need to ensure that you’re getting enough nutrients in your diet.

By building a healthy relationship with food, you’ll soon start to see food a little differently. Plus, when you incorporate plenty of fiber, protein and complex carbs (no, not cake! Sorry!), you’ll feel full for longer – resisting the urge to snack.

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Exercising regularly (and lifting a little weight)

While the aim here is to perfectly balance your calorie deficit to lose fat, lifting weights can actually benefit your calorie burn more than you think. Of course, you don’t have to go overboard, we’re not trying to enter a bodybuilding comp just yet!

However, a combination of regular cardio and strength training can maximize your calorie burn during and after your workout – so you’ll be shedding weight in no time.

Track what you’re eating

Sure, the aim is a calorie deficit to lose weight but that doesn’t mean you need to feel super restricted by what you can eat. These types of fad diets may start off with an initial weight loss, however, they are simply not sustainable long term!

Plus, you’re likely to drive yourself mad and spin-off into a yo-yo dieting pattern – totally ruining your efforts.

However, tracking what you’re eating is important, just don’t get too panicky about every little ingredient! Many of us don’t realise how much we’re eating each day, so using a food tracking app is a great way to measure your calorie intake.

Also Read: Does counting calories work?

Even if you just use it for one week before starting your calorie deficit diet!

Ready to smash your weight loss goals?

Phew! We made it. Hopefully, by now, we’ve answered some of your common questions, especially, ‘what is a calorie deficit?’ and how much of a calorie deficit to lose weight.

Thankfully, our formulas have made this whole process a lot easier! But if you do feel like you need a helping hand on your weight loss journey, why not try PhenGold?

Our 100% natural supplement supercharges your metabolism to fight even the most stubborn of fat, while suppressing your appetite so you can stay on track with your calorie deficit!

Go smash it ladies, you’ve got this.

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We research and write articles about health, fitness and dieting. Each of our articles includes sources from scientific studies where possible.

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