What is a Calorie Deficit?

Learn about calorie deficits and how they work for weight loss. Read more today.

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A calorie deficit, also known as an energy deficit in Australia, occurs when the number of kilojoules burned through physical activity and the body’s metabolic processes exceed the kilojoules consumed. Basically, more kilojoules (aka energy) are being spent, than are going in! Properly understanding the concept of an energy deficit goes a long way in the aim of effective weight loss.

Let’s take a closer look at what exactly an energy deficit is and how it can contribute to weight loss while examining the science behind this process.

A Deeper Dive into Energy Deficits

A person enters a deficit when they consume less energy than their body expends, prompting the body to use stored fat for fuel. 

This deficit is an important concept in weight loss, as it tells the body to tap into its reserves to meet its energy needs. Energy deficit diets, therefore, revolve around reducing their kilojoules through mindful food choices, while at the same time increasing energy expenditure through exercise and physical activity. 

These diets are based around the principle that weight loss is achieved when the body burns more energy than it takes in.

How Do Energy Deficits Work?

By deliberately reducing kilojoules through thoughtful food choices and portion control an energy deficit is created. This deficit signals the body to start using stored fat for energy, resulting in weight loss over time. The concept is based in the equation of energy balance, where the kilojoules burned through basal metabolic rate, physical activity, and other bodily functions exceed the kilojoules taken in from food and beverages.

Speaking of which, beverages are a huge culprit when it comes to hidden kilojoules. If you’re looking to reduce energy input, cutting excess sugary drinks is a fantastic and easy way to start. This includes soda, juice, and other high sugar drinks. They add plenty onto your kilojoules count, without keeping you satisfied for long. 

Additionally, energy deficit diets are not just about restriction. It helps to remember the importance of choosing nutrient-dense, satisfying foods to that will keep you feeling full and help ensure you are meeting nutritional requirements whilst losing weight. Ensuring you are maintaining muscle during weight loss is an important consideration, always consult with a trusted health professional before making changes to your diet.

The Importance of a Nutrient Rich Diet

Dietary choices are the most significant factor to keep in mind when following an energy deficit diet. 
Making informed choices about the quality and quantity of foods is essential, as these choices ultimately ensure the success of one’s diet. It’s important to choose nutrient-dense foods, especially while following energy restrictive diets to ensure you receive essential vitamins and minerals and are left feeling satiated.   

Opting for lean proteins, whole grains, and plenty of fruits and vegetables not only helps with achieving an energy deficit, but also supports overall health.

Balancing macronutrients and incorporating foods rich in fibre ensures a satisfying and well-rounded diet, helping dieters stay on track with their goals while promoting weight loss.

The Importance of Exercise

Incorporating regular exercise into your routine is important, especially when trying to reach weight loss goals. Exercising while following an energy deficit, enhances energy burning which can assist in the progress of losing weight. 

Engaging in a combination of cardiovascular exercise (think walking, jogging and swimming), along with strength training, and high-intensity workouts not only contributes to increased energy expenditure but also helps preserve lean muscle mass. 

By striking a balance between dietary choices and physical activity, dieters can create a sustainable and well-rounded approach to weight loss.

Calculating Your Energy Deficit

To calculate a deficit, one needs to assess their Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE), representing the total number of energy the body burns in a day. By subtracting the kilojoules consumed from the TDEE, one arrives at the energy deficit. 

This calculation serves as a roadmap, providing a clear understanding of how many kilojoules need to be consumed to achieve weight loss.

Individual factors such as age, gender, metabolism, and activity level should be considered when calculating a suitable energy deficit, while regular adjustments based on progress help create an effective strategy for successful weight management.

It’s important to always consult with a trusted health professional before implementing any dietary or lifestyle adjustments.

Metabolic Rate

Metabolic rate is the rate at which the body expends energy to maintain its basic functions. It plays an important role in weight management and this rate varies significantly from person to person. 

Factors such as age, gender, body composition, and genetics influence metabolic rate, creating individual differences in how efficiently kilojoules are burned. 

Some individuals may have a naturally faster metabolism, allowing for more leniency in energy restriction, while others may need to be more meticulous in their dietary choices.

Using Energy Deficit Diets Safely

Drastic reductions in energy intake can potentially lead to nutritional deficiencies, metabolic slowdown, and muscle loss if not executed with caution. 

Choosing healthy foods, staying well hydrated, and incorporating a well-rounded exercise routine are all part of a safe energy deficit approach. It’s a great idea to work alongside a dietitian to ensure safe weight loss is achieved without putting your health at risk.

Don't Go Too Far into An Energy Deficit

Easing into an energy-deficit diet allows the body to adapt gradually, reducing the risk of nutrient deficiencies and metabolic slowdown. Start with any positive changes you can and build up to your eventual weight loss goals!

It’s a great idea to work alongside a dietitian to ensure safe weight loss is achieved without putting your health at risk.

Learn Different Ways to Achieve Weight Loss with FatBlaster

FatBlaster Weight Loss Program

If you’re looking for an easy way to track your dietary intake and create a deficit, the FatBlaster Weight Loss Program provides a fantastic opportunity, with tailored meal plans, exercise programs, and a delicious shake routine.

FatBlaster Weight Loss Hub

While energy deficit diets can certainly work for many individuals, everyone’s weight loss journey, goals and needs are different. 

Check out the FatBlaster Weight Loss Hub for more information on weight loss, healthy eating, diet and exercise.