RDs Explain How To Calculate Your Calorie Deficit To Lose Weight

The concept of calorie intake is the subject of many diet plans – from calorie counting to calories in-calories out (CICO) to low-calorie diets. Weight loss has always relied upon staying in a calorie deficit, which means you expend more calories than you consume.

It can be overwhelming if you’ve never tried this weight loss method. How do you determine what macronutrients (or macros) to eat and which ones to avoid? How do you calculate the calorie content of different foods? How do you determine how many calories your body needs in a calorie deficit?

Here are all the nutrition experts’ answers to your questions.

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How Do You Define A Calorie Deficit?

Calories measure energy. Calories in food provide your body with the fuel it needs to survive. It depends on what you need at the time when you eat, but your body breaks down food to release energy for immediate use or storage.

Keri Gans, RD, author of The Small Change Diet, says your body needs calories to maintain weight. She explains, “a calorie deficit is when you consume fewer calories than your body requires to stay at its current weight.”

What Is The Ideal Calorie Deficit?

Although it can be challenging to calculate your exact calorie deficit, it’s generally believed that reducing 500 calories a day will lead to one pound loss a week.

Angelone, the spokesperson, says, “The classic definition is based on the fact that one pound of fat contains 3,500 calories. If you eat 500 calories less than the amount you need to maintain weight, you will lose one pound weekly.

How Do I Calculate My Calorie Deficit?

Various methods exist for determining a calorie deficit, some of which are more accurate. Angelone uses the Harris-Benedict Equation, Mifflin-St Jeor Equation, or Katch-McArdle Formula for her clients.

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How Do I Achieve This Calorie Deficit?

Create a calorie deficit using a combination of several methods, ideally.

  • Increase your strength training
  • Consume fewer carbs
  • Eat more protein, fiber, and healthy fats
  • Don’t eat after dinner
  • Food journals are a good idea
  • Download an app