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Calorie Deficit for Weight Loss – The Basics

May 17, 2019

What is a calorie deficit?

The food you eat contains energy in the form of calories. Calories are required for our bodies to function. In today’s world most of us consume more calories than we need on a daily basis. These excess calories are then stored as fat.

A calorie deficit occurs when you consume fewer calories than your body burns for energy.

When you create a calorie deficit your body then turns to excess fat for fuel. Stored fat is stored as energy which the body can use instead of food for energy.

So when your body burns fat for energy you then lose weight.

How much calorie deficit?

Deciding on how much of a calorie deficit depends on your weight loss goals.

Goal Deficit Per Week Deficit Per Day
Lose 1lb 3500 Cals 500 cals
Lose 2lb 7000 cals 1000 cals

How to create a calorie deficit?

Step 1 – Current calorie consumption

The first step to creating a calorie deficit is to figure out how many calories you consume each day to maintain your current weight. The best way to do this is to use a calorie counter app or use a food diary and calculate manually. MyfitnessPal is a popular and free app you can use to track calories.

You need to understand how many calories you are consuming now before you can determine how many calories you need to cut from your diet.

Step 2 – Set calorie deficit goal

Reduce calorie intake depending on your weight loss goal. In order to lose 1 pound you will need a calorie deficit of 500 cals per day / 3500 cals per week.

It is not recommended to lose more than 2 pounds per week. This would result in a daily calorie deficit of 1000 calories /  7000 calories per week.

Finally you need to adjust your calorie intake week to week as you lose weight so that you ensure you remain in a calorie deficit. As you lose weight your body will need less energy to function.

Step 3 – Reduce calories

There are a number of ways for you to create a calorie deficit.

  1. Diet – Consume less calories
  2. Exercise – Burn more calories
  3. Diet and Exercise

Summarise a calorie deficit

Creating a calorie deficit is a priority for weight loss.

The average man consumes 2500 calories per day.

The average woman consumes 2000 calories per day.

It is not recommended to lose more than 2lbs per week.

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