What is a calorie deficit?
We get a lot of questions here at Protein World from you guys about weight loss! It can be a confusing topic with so many weight loss myths and diets on the market! So today we’re here to explain the only way to lose weight - You need to create a calorie deficit!
What is a calorie deficit?
A calorie deficit in its simplest terms is consuming less calories per day than you use. It’s literally that straightforward. But you probably already knew that! What you might not know is the importance of a calorie deficit for weight loss, and how to calculate and tailor one for yourself. The best way to lose weight, and keep it off, is to eat a diet that creates a calorie deficit which works for you and your current lifestyle, and that you can maintain for a sustained time period. If you can do this, we can personally guarantee that you will lose weight.
How do you calculate your calorie deficit?
You use calories for everything you do during a day, from washing the dishes, walking up the stairs, to exercising in the gym, even breathing requires calories! There are three components of calorie expenditure which when combined will equal your total calorie expenditure across a day:
1. Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR).
This is the calories your body uses to perform basic actions to keep you alive such as breathing, circulating blood, and basic brain function. There are plenty of online calculators to work out your RMR from this information.
2. The thermic effect of food.
The calorie cost of processing food consumption, i.e. digestion, storage and excretion. It is equal to approximately 10% of your total daily calorie intake.
3. Physical activity calorie expenditure.
Calories burnt by activity or exercise. You can place yourself into one of the following simplified categories based on your individual activity level using the following values:
- Sedentary (e.g. office-based job with no exercise) = RMR x 1.2
- Lightly active (e.g. office-based job with light exercise 3-5 times per week) = RMR x 1.5
- Moderately active (e.g. moderately labour-intensive job with light exercise 3-5 times per week) = RMR x 1.8
- Vigorously active (e.g. very labour-intensive job with moderate to vigorous exercise 3-5 times per week) = RMR x 2.2
Working out a calorie deficit for yourself may require a few calculations on your part, but knowing your calorie deficit will help you to better understand your weight loss, and support positive and sustained weight loss results.
If you are looking to lose weight with a structured routine, then The Slender Plan is a great place to start. Providing your breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack for Monday-Friday with a 80-page weight loss guide teaching you how to create balanced meals in the evenings and on weekends so that you can start to make a lifestyle change. The Slender Plan also contains a week of recipes with rough calorie guidelines to help you create a calorie deficit and start working towards your goals.