Caloric Deficit 101

Reema Abdullah | January 15th, 2021

A caloric deficit doesn’t mean starving yourself. It means taking a calculated approach and reviewing your incoming and outgoing calories.

Weight loss is taking planned steps over time to achieve your goals. If you have a notebook and pen handy it may be wise to jot a few notes down.

It can seem complicated to undertake the task of a caloric deficit journey, but it’s not as difficult as you think.

Take In Account How Many Calories You Are Consuming
Sometimes, we overlook the amount of calories we are intaking on a daily basis. Recording and observing your diet trends will lead you to get a better idea of how much your calorie intake is. This number is valuable because it will be the baseline of what you are working with. An easy way to find this number is to document how much your caloric intake is for a few days. Once you get 3 sample numbers you can add them up and take the average to get an idea of how much calories you typically consume.

For example,
1,200 + 1,300 + 1,500 = 4,000 over a 3-day period
Average intake: 4,000/3 = 1,333 calories per day

How Much Of A Caloric Deficit Should You Have
This number is unique to individual because you must take in account your height, weight, age, and activity levels. Typically, a caloric deficit of 500 calories per day is effective for healthy and sustainable weight loss.

Depending on what your goals are, there are many online calculators that will tell you how much to reduce on a daily basis. If your goal is to lose 0.5 lb per week you will have less of a deficit than if your goal is to lose 1 lb per week. The idea is to keep it sustainable to avoid crashing, it’s a marathon not a sprint.

Be Aware
You will feel a bit more sluggish and hungrier on a caloric deficit, especially if you train at an intense level. Keep in mind that you will see results after a few weeks of a consistent deficit. Be patient with the results as they will not appear in the first or even second week.

Do not force your body to go into an extreme deficit as that is not healthy for your wellbeing. It could be a good idea to plan your meals out in advance that way you will know how much you are consuming to ensure you’re hitting your target.

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