Calorie deficit – everything you need to know

Calorie deficiency is an increasingly common concept in nutrition and fitness. Although it sounds like a difficult task to understand, nothing is complicated about it. Moreover, it turns out that many experts believe that calorie deficit is not just an effective method in the fight against weight but usually does not hide serious risks, as we find in some very dubious types of diets. In this article, we will explain in detail what a calorie deficit means, how it works, how it is achieved, as well as its main goals and results.

What is a calorie deficit?

The term calorie deficiency has been introduced recently and is increasingly used both in science and medical practice. Just as its name suggests, it is associated with a deficiency, i.e., a lack of calories or energy in the body. In particular, calorie deficiency is a condition in which a person consumes fewer calories than he needs to perform his daily duties, including exercise. With a calorie deficit, we take in fewer calories than the number of calories we burn. Here is a concrete example to clarify the term more clearly. Suppose you eat an average of 2,000 calories a day. You are in a state of calorie deficit when you burn 2500 calories.

Calorie deficit – goal and results

The primary purpose of calorie deficit is to lose weight. That is why we can understand the term as a method of getting in shape, a kind of diet. However, this diet is more remarkable because the types of food are not as important as the number of calories in each of them, as well as their total amount at the end of the day. However, not only calories received but burned are essential for the calorie deficit. When the received calories are less than those burned, the fat-burning process is activated. In this way, through calorie deficiency, we not only lose weight, but we do it effectively and healthily – by burning harmful subcutaneous fat, which often puts our health at risk.

What are calories?

In order to properly understand the mechanism of action of calorie deficit as a way to lose weight, it is essential to know what exactly calories are. They are the units by which we measure energy. Technically, a calorie is a certain amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of one gram of water by about 1 degree Celsius. In practical terms, calories are those units that allow heat exchange. Each food includes a certain amount of calories. This means that different foods bring us different amounts of energy, which we can then use to perform movement, activities, sports training. Feeling full after eating is not necessarily equivalent to consuming enough calories from which we will get the energy we need to spend the day.

How to calculate calorie deficit?

Using a specially designed calorie deficit calculator is an excellent way to do this. It helps us by entering specific data to calculate the conditions under which we will enter a state of calorie deficit; respectively, we will begin to burn fat and lose weight. The calculation of calorie deficit also depends on the analysis of our recommended calorie intake for the day. This recommended intake determines the number of calories we need to eat per day to maintain our current weight and is based on the basal metabolic rate.

Medical News Today gives two formulas for calculating the required daily amount of calories depending on gender. In other calculators, it is not so much the gender that matters as the fact whether you train or not, because in the latter case, you need more energy, i.e., more calories. Online you can find different versions of a calorie calculator, through which you can quickly establish basic facts such as: how many calories you need to maintain your current weight and how many calories you need to take to enter a calorie deficit state.

How to get into a calorie deficit?

The medical journal Healthline mentions that, on average, a person needs to go on a calorie deficit of 500 calories to start losing weight without experiencing a severe lack of energy or constant hunger. If you eat 1500 calories in this intake, you will have to burn 2000 calories. This, of course, is an approximate value that should not be taken for granted. Each organism and way of life is individual, i.e., each person consumes food with different caloric values and spends different amounts of energy within 24 hours. Therefore, in order to get into a calorie deficit, it is first essential to accurately measure the difference between calories consumed and burned should be for you personally. Use a calorie calculator for this purpose. In addition, you can follow the following practical tips and guidelines for entering a calorie deficit:

  • The change should depend on your current condition. In other words, if you already have a healthy enough diet, start exercising (or increase the number and intensity of your workouts) to burn more calories. On the other hand, if you are already active enough in the gym but are not very strict in your diet, change something about it. You can reduce harmful food, but you can also reduce your portions.
  • Don’t start with a high-calorie deficit. In fact, the difference of 500 calories between those consumed and burned in favor of the latter is a realistic plan. With such a caloric deficit, your body will not experience a severe shock, expressed in a constant lack of energy, fatigue, muscle weakness and hunger.
  • Don’t be afraid to make changes even if you are sure that everything in your regimen is perfect. There are cases in which we believe that our training is effective, but this is not the case. For example, if you run on the treadmill at the gym every day at the same speed and time, your results will not be the same longterm. The reason is that at some point, your body will adjust to the speed and intensity of this workout, and thus with each subsequent run on the treadmill, it will burn less fat because it will need less and less energy to complete its task.
  • Do not give preference to your diet or training. The two must be in constant unity and balance. Diet can not be more important than physical activity, but the opposite statement is also true. Be strict with both the food you eat and your workouts.

We will end this material with a piece of essential and universal advice for all who care about their physical shape. Listen to your body. It knows best when you need a workout, calorie intake, or just a well-deserved break.

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