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 About Calorie Deficit Diet

If you are on a weight loss program, chances are that you may have heard of a calorie deficit diet. But what exactly is a calorie deficit diet? And why is it necessary to lose weight? We breakdown the concept of a calorie deficit diet and how it can benefit your weight loss journey.

What Does a Calorie Deficit Diet Mean?

A calorie deficit diet is when you are consuming fewer calories than you are burning over time. Estimating the calories you consume in your food and beverages and factoring in what you burn through activity are the two key elements to calculate your goal calorie deficit.

Let’s take an example to understand this better.

On average, Shyam consumes around 2500 calories a day. However, he also visits the gym twice a day and as a result loses close to 3000 calories during the course of the entire day. Therefore, it can be said that Shyam has a 500 calories deficit.

Calorie deficit can happen in two ways:

  • Eat less
  •  Exercise more

For an ideal weight loss program a combination of both must be achieved. How many calories a person needs each day varies based on following factors:

  • Sex
  • Age
  • Physical Activity Levels
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Body Composition

Why is it Important for Weight Loss?

Maintaining a calorie deficit is probably the single most important component of an effective weight loss program. This could be in the form of cutting carbs, fat, or fasting intermittently. Whatever your approach may be, the results of a calorie deficit is sure to impact weight loss.

If a person does not get sufficient physical activity during the day, which means they either live a sedentary lifestyle or do go outdoors much, they need to exercise at least 30 minutes every day to maintain the right calorie deficit.

How to Calculate Calorie Needs?

There are several ways to determine how many calories a person normally burns in a day. An easy way to find out is to use a BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) calculation to measure daily calorie needs. The calculator presents a calories deficit number accurately up to 200+- calories.

To calculate the calories deficit manually, you must first know your current weight. Then you must multiply your weight by 15. Once you get to that figure, you must subtract that number by 500. Your final number is the amount of calories you should consume in a day. However, it’s also important not to cut back too much on your diet. Regular and sufficient exercise can also contribute significantly to a calories deficit diet.

Below is a calorie chart that specifies daily calorie intake requirements for both men and women.

For Men

Age

Sedentary

Moderate

Active

19–20

2,600

2,800

3,000

21–25

2,400

2,800

3,000

26–35

2,400

2,600

3,000

36–40

2,400

2,600

2,800

41–45

2,200

2,600

2,800

46–55

2,200

2,400

2,800

56–60

2,200

2,400

2,600

61–65

2,000

2,400

2,600

66–75

2,000

2,200

2,600

76+

2,000

2,200

2,400

 For Women

Age

Sedentary

Moderate

Active

19–25

2,000

2,200

2,400

26–30

1,800

2,200

2,400

31–50

1,800

2,000

2,200

51–60

1,600

1,800

2,200

61+

1,600

1,800

2,000

 How to Achieve a Calorie Deficit?

Now that you know how many calories to consume in a day, it’s time to create a calories deficit plan. A calories deficit diet involves two major lifestyle changes.

1. Reduction in Diet

A major component of a calorie deficit plan is changing daily eating and drinking habits. The focus needs to be on consuming foods that are rich in nutrients and low on carbs, sugars, and other harmful fats.

This should include the following food types:

  • Vegetables - These include dark green, red, orange, starchy, and other vegetables
  • Grains - At least half of which should be whole grains
  • Fruits - A focus on whole fruits
  • Proteins - Proteins such as lean meats, poultry, eggs, legumes, nuts, soy products, and seafood
  • Dairy products - Low fat or fat-free dairy, including milk, yogurt, cheese, or fortified soy beverages
  • Healthful oils - Olive oil, canola oil or coconut oil

2. Regular Exercise

Your diet is not the only way to a calories deficit plan. Another important aspect to cutting down calories is exercise. Individuals who don’t see much physical activity during the day should try to inculcate these habits a far as possible:

  • Walking
  • Taking the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Hiking
  • Playing a sport like cricket or badminton
  • Biking

Calorie Deficit Diet Plan

No single food provides all the calories and nutrients the body needs to stay healthy. That’s why a balanced diet consisting of macronutrients like carbohydrates, protein, and fat along with micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals is recommended.

An ideal diet should contain foods from the five major food groups:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Cereals
  • Pulses
  • Meat and dairy products
  • Fats and oils

In addition to the food you consume, it’s also important to balance your diet, find fresh and vibrant ingredients for your dishes, and most importantly, shorten intervals between food consumption.

Risks of Eating too Few Calories

Cutting down on your calories or not getting enough necessary nutrients can lead to a number of serious health problems. The body needs a minimum number of calories to function properly. There are a number of health risks associated with gross calorie deficit, these include:

  • Not getting enough nutrients, which can interfere with gaining or maintaining bone mass
  • Depriving the brain of necessary energy
  • Decreasing metabolism
  • Increasing the risk of developing gallstones

Before moving ahead with a calorie deficit, a person must talk with their doctor or nutritionist. People with specific health conditions, such as diabetes, may need specialized diets to help them manage their condition.

Tips For Eating Fewer Calories

Cutting down on your calorie intake is by far the easiest way to lose weight. This can be achieved by simply making changes to everyday habits and cutting out some practices. Here are some of them:

  • Stop Snacking: Snacks are full of calories and preservatives that are unhealthy for our body. Stick to a healthy balanced diet as far as possible.
  • Quit Smoking: Quitting this habit will not only help you lose weight but will also avert a number of harmful diseases like lung cancer, throat cancer, emphysema, heart disease, and more.
  • Avoid soft-drinks and other sweetened beverages: Aerated drinks or soft drinks are full of sweeteners and preservatives. Consuming soft drinks will lead to excess fat in the form of sugar and sucrose.
  • Make low calorie substitutes: Substituting a high carb diet with low calorie substitutes like dry fruits and soups will keep extra carbs off your diet.
  • Avoid fried foods entirely: Eating friend foods regularly can put you at a higher risk of developing diseases like diabetes, heart disease and obesity.
  • Eat fewer portions: While eating meals, it's important not to overeat and limit your portions. Eating excessively will leave you feeling bloated and add to the calories.
  • Shorten meal intervals: In addition to eating fewer portions, shorten your meal intervals so you are not going hungry for more than 2 hrs. This will insure you are not overeating in one meal and your blood sugar levels are constantly maintained.

Final Thoughts

If you are looking to lose weight, a calorie deficit plan can be a great way to start. Generally, a calorie deficit diet of +-500 calories will be ideal for most people and can be both healthy and sustainable. When planning a calorie deficit diet , the biggest challenge you’ll come across is cutting down on unhealthy snacking or sweets and other delicacies. Taking good care of your health begins with your diet and focusing on your BMI and BMR to make sure you keep your health and calories in check. Though this may seem difficult, you will see a healthier you if you stay the course of the diet. Speaking of a healthy lifestyle, perhaps you should consider health insurance to protect you and your family from all medical exigencies. 

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FAQs related to Calorie Deficit Diet

  • ✔️What happens if you don't eat enough calories when trying to lose weight?

    If you take in fewer calories than needed, you will lose weight. Restricting intake to fewer than 1,000 calories daily can slow down your metabolic rate and lead to fatigue since you're not taking in enough calories to support even the basic functions that keep you alive.

  • ✔️Is 1200 calories enough to lose weight?

    Most people need significantly more than 1,200 calories a day. Therefore, individuals who cut their daily intake to 1,200 calories can expect to lose some weight. This can be beneficial for people who are overweight or obese.

  • ✔️I lose 10 kg in a month?

    By making some small changes to your daily routine, you can safely lose up to 10 pounds (4.5 kg) in just one month, hitting your weight loss goals quickly and easily.

  • ✔️Why am I not losing weight after eating 1200 calories a day?

    Weight loss is about more than the calories a person consumes and burns. The body may change the rate at which it burns calories depending on how many calories a person eats. Therefore a person on a 1,200 calorie diet may burn fewer of them. 

  • ✔️Is 800 calories a day healthy?

    It's difficult to get good nutrition and feel satisfied on a very low-calorie diet. In addition, consuming as few as 800 calories daily may not give you the energy you need for daily living and regular physical activity, especially if you eat the same foods every day.