If you have ever googled anything about losing weight then I am sure that you’ve come across this term before. If not, then a caloric deficit is basically a way of forcing your body to burn fat on it’s own. You create a caloric deficit by lessening the amount of calories that you intake daily.
In order to create a deficit in a safe and healthy way, you need to cut out about 500 calories a day. By doing this, you should be able to lose about a pound per week. Eventually your body will hit a plateau and you will need to re-adjust your deficit according to your current weight and your goal weight (I will help you figure that out later in the article). Sounds simple enough right?
Well in the beginning, your body isn’t going to like this too much. It’s going to try to hold onto that fat for as long as possible. This means that it may take a few weeks for you to start seeing a difference on the scale. (Remember how I mentioned it’s going to take time in my mindset article?)
As you create a caloric deficit, you can start cutting out foods that you know you shouldn’t be eating. Don’t go “cold turkey” and cut out everything at once. You have been living a certain lifestyle for how long? It’s not easy to change it over night. Baby steps.
I personally stopped buying chocolate chip cookies. They were my weakness and I was eating about 6 of them (or more) every night. It’s not something that I am proud of but I promised honesty and that’s what I am giving you. I also stopped buying chocolate. It was VERY hard but I always asked myself, “What do you want more? Two minutes of satisfaction or a lifetime of it?”
I swear by a caloric deficit. I strongly believe that the reason I gained so much weight in the first place was because I was eating my emotions. I ate whenever I was sad, happy, angry, bored..etc. This meant that I was eating way too many calories a day and it didn’t give my body the chance to burn them. If I had to guess how many calories a day I was taking in I would say about 3,000 or more. I’m not kidding. That is
probably DEFINTELY how I gained weight so quickly.
So the reason I swear by a deficit? It is because I saw first hand how a deficit alone could help to lose weight. In the beginning, I didn’t just cut out 500 calories, I cut out 1,000. At the time, I knew that I was eating way too much food and that I could afford to not have that many calories in my diet. (MINDSET) I focused on my deficit for about three weeks before I started working out. I did this in order to get my mind and body used to the deficit and not throw all of these crazy factors at them at once. In the first three weeks of my journey I lost 9 pounds. I wasn’t starving myself as I was still eating well above what I should have been but I was also still eating less than what my body was used to.
There are plenty of caloric deficit calculators online that will tell you EXACTLY the amount of calories that you need to intake daily in order to lose weight. They save you plenty of time rather than you sitting down and calculating everything yourself. I will link my favorite below and you can input your information to figure out how many calories a day you need. Before I do that I want to mention that I do have an issue with these calculators.
The issue is that they will most likely tell you that you need to take in around as little as 1,000 calories to as much as 2,500 calories a day (maybe a bit more or less depending on your height.)
What’s wrong with that? Well if you are like me or rather, the way that I used to be, then that means that you are accustomed to eating way more than that amount a day. If you immediately try to only take in the amount of calories that these calculators suggest, you definitely will lose weight, but the chances of “relapsing” or “binging” are way higher due to cravings and hunger. I don’t want you to put yourself through that.
Instead, start out by cutting 500 calories a day like I explained earlier. This will help you to slowly get on board with the reality that you do have to eat less and you can slowly cut out more calories as you move along in your journey. Once you get closer to taking in only 2,500 calories a day then you should use the deficit calculators.
Now if you know that for a fact that you are taking in only a tad bit more or less than 2,500 calories a day, then I suggest you use the calculators now. Here is the link:
The reason that I like this one is because it asks you to input the time frame in which you want to achieve your weight loss. I do ask that you try not to overdo it and allow your mind and body enough time to transition and lose weight properly. (I’ve been losing weight for 8 months now and i’m still not done. Overall, I want to lose 48 lbs. I still have about 15 to go. What I am saying is “Don’t Rush Yourself” Remember: The point is to lose weight and learn how to keep it off in the process)
If you are reading this page then I am assuming that you read my article on “Setting Your Goals.” You should have a few short-term ones and I suggest you input those into the calculator rather than your overall long-term goal. This will help you to input a reasonable time frame to achieve that STG.
Oh and yes! If you don’t know how to count calories, then you will need to learn. I will be doing an article on it shortly.
If you have any questions, don’t be afraid to contact me or post them down in the comments. (I was super confused in the beginning too)
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