You might have heard of a calorie deficit and how most people swear by it. There's a reason for that. It works. Let us show why it does and why it is essential to your weight loss success.
What is a calorie deficit?
First, let us understand what a calorie deficit is. A calorie deficit occurs when you consume fewer calories than your body requires. Since each person is different, we also have different caloric needs. Based on NHS, there are quite a few factors that need to be considered, like age, metabolic rate and other factors.
There is a general rule that can be followed. Based on the recommended daily calorie intake, women are recommended to eat about 2,000 calories per day while men are recommended to eat 2,500 calories.
When you're on a calorie deficit diet, you would have to eat less than what is recommended or what you need. For example, instead of 2,000, you would be eating 1,500 calories for women. The same goes for men, who would be eating around 2,000 calories a day instead of 2,500.
Why is a calorie deficit essential to weight loss success?
Your best bet is to combine exercise and calorie deficit to experience significant weight loss. Exercising alone may not be enough to burn the calories needed.
Let's take running, for example. A person would burn about 80 to 140 calories per kilometer. If you run for about 7 kilometers and managed to burn 560 calories, yet, you eat about 3,000 calories a day, even when the recommended daily calorie intake is just 2,000. This means, that you won’t lose weight even when you burned 560 calories because you gained them back through eating more than what was recommended.
Calories are what we get from food and drinks. These calories provide us with the energy that we use daily. These calories are burned when you use energy and not only during exercise.
Burning calories is also called calorie expenditure. There are three classifications for calorie expenditure:
- Activity energy expenditure - calories burned during any activity, either during exercise or daily activity like during household chores
- REE or Resting energy expenditure - calories burned when you are at rest. The calories used for daily body function like breathing is used under this classification.
- Thermic effect of food. This is the classification for the activities that you do involving food. That includes digesting.
Based on the information above, eating fewer calories would aid you in your fitness journey, especially when paired with exercise.
3 Tips to not go hungry during a calorie deficit diet:
Going hungry might be your primary concern if you are new to a calorie deficit. Here are a couple of tricks for being on a calorie deficit without having to go hungry.
1. Increase your water intake
Drinking more water would help you feel more satisfied, and it also helps push empty calories from your body. Researchers proved that drinking water half an hour before meals lead participants to eat less.
2. Create a food diary
It's always a good idea to track your food intake, no matter what diet you may be in. It's one way of knowing if you are on track. ScienceDaily even showed a study that suggested those who track their food lose double that of those who don't.
It’s important that you are honest when you write in your journal about what you have consumed. Otherwise, you won’t be getting the results that you desire.
3. Decrease sugar intake
Sugar is an empty calorie that has little to no nutritional value. Based on Dietary Guidelines from Food Standards, one should eat less than 50grams of sugar daily. Having a high sugar intake poses a couple of risks, including being diabetic. This is why it is essential to read nutritional labels and track your food.
Eliminating sugar, reducing your intake of processed foods, and eating more whole foods like vegetables are important and what you should aim for.
The goal of any weight loss program is to lose fat while preserving lean muscle mass. It’s also important to remember that the act of dieting alone won't let you lead a healthy lifestyle. Before going into this type of diet, it would be better to consult a doctor or nutritionist because staying on this type of diet may cause a slow metabolism and even nutrient deficiency.
There is also a duration on when you can stay on the diet. You must first identify your goals.
Ensure that you incorporate regular exercise into your routine and take the right supplements. If you want guidance and more tips on effectively reaching your fitness goals, join our 8-week challenge, and we would be happy to help you reach your target!