What is a calorie deficit?

Most often, the question of calculating the calorie deficit arises when you want to reduce weight. In the pursuit of minus on the scales, girls regularly make mistakes that become an obstacle to the desired goal. One of these mistakes is to sharply limit themselves in calories, creating a deficit, which can disrupt the body and not lead to the desired result.

What is a calorie deficit?

An energy deficit occurs when there is a difference between the calories consumed and the calories expended per day. In order for a calorie deficit to allow you to lose weight without harming your health, there are some rules to consider. 

First, it is necessary to know the level of basic metabolism – the amount of energy our body needs to keep all organs and systems working in a calm state. On your own this can be calculated with a special calculator, which is easy to find on the Internet, or you can take a bioimpedance analysis – it will tell you in more detail about your metabolism.

Second, to determine the real level of metabolism, which is much higher than the basic metabolism, it is necessary to take into account the coefficient of physical activity. Behind this complicated name is nothing more than determining your activity level over a certain period of time. So, if you lead a sedentary life, your work involves long hours at the computer and no time for sports, then you fall under the coefficient of 1.4-1.6. But if you are an avid athlete or your work involves physical activity, the coefficient rises to 2 or higher.

calorie deficit

So, how do you get a calorie deficit?

  • Reduce the total daily calorie intake.
  • Adjust the composition of foods by replacing them with less fatty ones.
  • Increase energy expenditure by increasing physical activity and changing your habitual lifestyle (climbing and descending stairs instead of the elevator, walking at a brisk pace instead of transport, and so on).

The safest calorie deficit is up to 20% of daily intake. It can be maintained for up to 10-12 months. Weight loss will not occur at a rapid pace, but the result will be maintained for a long time. A calorie deficit of 20 to 40% gives fast weight loss results, but we do not advise practicing it by yourself: it is better to consult a doctor in advance and generally change your diet under his control. An even more pronounced deficit can only be applied for a short period of time (no more than 3-5 days) with a decrease in daily intake, for example by 250 kcal and an increase in activity by 250 kcal: in the end, the “deficit” will be already 500 kcal!

Creating a deficit, it is very important to keep a balance in food (proteins / fats / carbohydrates), take into account their calories and daily requirement. For example, the energy value of 1 gram of proteins and carbohydrates is 4 kcal, and 1 gram of fat is 9 kcal. On average the body needs 1.5-1.8 g of protein per 1 kg of desired weight and 0.8-1.0 g of fat to lose weight, the rest are carbohydrates. That is why it is better to create a calorie deficit by reducing carbohydrates and fats rather than by protein.

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