What Is Calorie Deficit?
Calorie deficit is the key to weight loss. Regardless of all the hype surrounding miracle fad diets, the only true way to lose weight (as in fat, not water) is to ensure that your calories are in deficit. But what does this mean? For you to be in calorie deficit you must burn more calories than you eat. You must reduce your calorie intake to lose weight. For example, let’s say you burn 2000 calories in a day (this is the average daily calorie intake for women) and you only consume 1500 calories of food, then you will be 500 calories in deficit. This means, to make up the 500 calorie shortfall, your body will have to literally eat in to your fat stores beneath your skin and around your organs. If you were 700 calories or 1000 calories in deficit, it would be just the same. Your body will have to attack your fat stores to make up the difference. Sure you have to eat the right foods. You can’t eat 1500 calories of chocolate or cake every day and expect to lose weight. Yet, if you cut the right calories from your diet, if you eat the right foods, foods that mobilize your fat then it really is that simple.
There is more than one way to calorie deficit
Cutting calories is the obvious way to ensure your calories are in deficit. Eat less, consume less calories, lose weight. Whether you want to lose a stone or 5 stone, maintaining a consistent deficit is the only way. But what other ways to deficit are there? Now you have the key to weight loss, you just need the door. And NEAT, or non-exercise activity thermogenesis, is one of these doors! What on earth is NEAT, you ask? It is a scientific, geeky way of saying if you get off your backside and move around you will burn a whole load of extra calories. A good example of increasing your NEAT is to stand up and move around the room whilst you are on the phone. Think how many hours we all spend each month on the phone. For some of you, I expect this can run in to dozens of hours! You can burn up to 3 times more calories simply standing up and pacing as opposed to sitting down, so think how many extra calories you could burn off. It will literally propel your calorie deficit. If you get the bus to and from work, jump off a stop or two earlier and walk the rest of the way. Or take the stairs at work instead of the elevator. Do more gardening. Do more house work (yeah, it actually burns calories, so there is no excuse).
And for Quick weight loss…
The final method to ensure your calories are in deficit is good old exercise. The greater your calorie deficit the quicker your weight loss, and exercise will really boost your deficit through through the roof. If you do the right kind of exercise, you can even burn 1000 calories every training session. You can watch the weight literally fall off! You do not have to perform strenuous and vigorous exercise. Just moderate exercise will do. An hour’s brisk walk can burn up to 400 calories, at about 100 calories per mile. If you can add this to your lifestyle 3 or 4 times each week, then you will really notch up your calorie deficit. Of course, there is nothing stopping you doing vigorous exercise. But start off easily and build up. The last thing you want to do is cause yourself an injury then never want to exercise again.
A summary of your calorie deficit
You need not employ all these methods to ensure your calories are in deficit. Any one of these ways will help you lose weight. However, taking advantage of each, consistently, every single day, would increase the rate at which you lose weight. The more you are in deficit, the faster the weight loss. There is one caveat with regard to cutting calories though. You should not cut calories by more than 500 or 600 calories per day. Especially if you use NEAT and physical exercise to increase your deficit. If you cut back on your food by more than this, you will only suffer with lethargy, and eventually burn out. If this happens, nothing in the world, no amount of willpower, will stop you stuffing a load of high calorie food down you throat.
Determine how much weight you need to lose
Do you know how much excess weight you are carrying? You can use the BMI calculator as a guide, to help you determine how much fat you need to lose and roughly how long it will take you to lose it. It has its limitations, but for the most of us it is a handy tool to determine whether we are overweight.