In this video, I’ll talk about the calorie deficit for weight loss, how to do it right. And how to know that you’re in one.
Hi, it’s Ivana, helping you get fit healthy and strong at any age.
Counting Calories & Calorie Deficit
Let me clear up a common misconception.
You don’t actually need to count your calories in order to get into a calorie deficit, a calorie is just a unit of energy to get into a calorie deficit. You need to expend more energy than you take in through food and drinks. And there are strategies that allow you to reduce your calories naturally without actually having to count them or track them in any way.
I’ll explain some of those strategies as we go along, but you’ll learn about them in detail in my online weight loss course. I actually give you the option of counting or just using habit-based ways of reducing your calories in order to lose weight, I’ll leave the link in the description.
So calories count, but you don’t actually have to count them.
But a diet plan for fat loss has to allow you to reduce your calories in order to lose weight.
How To Achieve A Calorie Deficit
So I’m gonna go through ways that you can achieve a calorie deficit.
And at the end, I’m gonna tell you how, you know, for sure that you’re in a calorie deficit.
You can certainly use an app in order to track your calories and your macros in order to more finely tune your diet and lose weight.
The Role Of Hyperpalatable Foods
However, if you don’t wanna do that, you don’t have to a highly processed food are more likely to be more calorie dense, and they’re very easy to eat. Sometimes they’re called hyperpalatable foods. So you might think of those as like chips and French fries and ice cream and cookies. And boy, I’m making myself hungry right now. So all those things that have a lot of calories, very easy to consume a large quantity of calories at one time to reduce your intake of those types of foods.
I actually call them treat foods as opposed to junk foods because let’s face it. They’re good, they’re enjoyable. We like to have them, and there’s no need to completely eliminate them from your diet.
Reducing Processed Foods
But you do wanna reduce your intake of these highly processed refined foods because they add a lot of calories and they’re very easy to over consume. And for long term weight loss, I’d argue that you don’t have to eliminate those foods. Of course, most of the time you wanna focus on your lean proteins, your vegetables, and fruit and other things that are quite low in calorie density to reduce your calories and get yourself into a calorie deficit.
But in order to create a diet plan, that’s sustainable for you. You need to incorporate your favorite foods. Even if some of those foods are highly processed, refined, hyper palatable foods. That’s the only way that you can be consistent with your diet and for it to be sustainable in the long term.
Achieving Weight Loss Long Term
Weight loss is simple.
Just burn off more calories than you take again, but it’s not easy to do.
Many of us suffer from cravings, which means that we often eat more of those hyper foods than we would like.
Meeting A Protein Goal
One of the ways that you can manage those cravings is to start with protein and get enough protein on a regular basis.
I generally recommend 0.7 to 1.0 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day.
Now, if you’re 30 or 40 pounds over your target weight, then you can use your target weight as your protein goal. So if you weigh 240 pounds and you wanna weigh 200, then you can do up to two to grams of protein per day. And in order to naturally lower your calories, you wanna focus on lean proteins. Things like chicken, fish, Turkey, lean beef, lean pork, and also things like low fat dairy products.
So Greek yogurt or cottage, cheese, or even milk and protein powders that you can mix in.
Some vegetarian sources can be quite good as well. Like edamame or beans or lentils.
Benefits Of Protein For Getting Into A Calorie Deficit
Protein not only helps you to feel fuller for longer.
It can help manage your cravings, particularly your cravings for carbs. And that’s where a lot of people go astray because they really enjoy those hyperpalatable carbs. They love their ice cream. And they love their chocolate. They love their chips or fries.
If you’re eating enough protein regularly throughout the day, it keeps your appetite under control.
The Role Of Fat & Carbs
You also want a balanced intake of fat and carbs. Fat increases the feeling of satiety with the meals, or you’re gonna feel fuller for longer. If you follow an extremely low fat diet, you might find that it’s quite challenging to keep your cravings under control. Your appetite tends to increase on that type of a diet.
Although if you are able to maintain that it’s no better or worse than a low carb diet. But I have found through my experience and the experience of my hundreds of clients over the years, that if you have adequate protein and fat in your diet, it makes it a lot easier to keep your appetite under control. That naturally reduces your calorie intake. Remember that fat also helps you to absorb the fat soluble vitamins like a D E and K. That means that it’s important to get enough fat in your diet as well.
Picking The Right Calorie Deficit
When you’re aiming for a calorie day deficit, it’s important to get the correct energy deficit.
If you have too much of an energy deficit. So you’re reducing your intake by way too many calories, you’re gonna be really hungry. You’ll be tired. You won’t be able to work out and you won’t have the energy to prepare healthy meals.
If you don’t have enough of a calorie deficit, then you’re not gonna see any changes you may become discouraged. And then you may quit the whole process altogether.
If you lose weight too quickly, you may also lose muscle mass and long term. That’s not something that you want because muscle is slightly more metabolically active.
The Role Of Muscle In Calories Out
You’ll feel more energetic if you have more muscle compared to fat. So that means that you’re more likely to expand more calorie is throughout the day. You’re more likely to put more effort into your workouts. And that means a cumulative amount of calories that you’re burning off.
And remember, that’s the other part of the energy equation, energy out. Also, if you’re trying to create too large a calorie deficit, you might find that you’re extremely hungry and then you might have a hard time actually sticking to the plan that you have and you might end up binging.
And that happens to a lot of people when they’re on a very restrictive diet plan, they’ll only maintain it for a certain period of time. And then they’ll start binging and over consuming calories. Again, essentially they end up up exactly where they were at the start.
Preserving Muscle Mass In A Calorie Deficit
When you’re choosing the right level of calorie deficit, you wanna maximize your fat loss while preserving your muscle mass. It’s actually possible to eat at a maintenance level of calories and lose some fat.
That goes into a topic that I’m gonna have a video about very shortly, which is body recomposition.
If you’re using some of those calories to build muscle, you’re using some of your energy stores, then you can lose fat and build muscle at the same time.
A really important thing about your calorie deficit is that you need to maintain it for a period of time.
You can’t just do it for a week, and then think that you’re going to lose several pounds.
This needs to be consistent.
It takes time for your body to adjust and for you to be losing weight.
Normal Weight Fluctuations
Remember that your body is going up and down over the course of a week, even from morning tonight. So there are natural variations in your body weight weighing yourself one week at a time. Isn’t necessarily gonna give you a clear picture of what’s happening with your body, whether you’re actually losing weight, or maybe you’re just really bloated one day, retaining a lot of water. You need to take a longer time in order to see those differences.
You wanna maintain your calories at a certain level for two to three weeks before you make any adjustments. By the time it comes to about a month, you should definitely see a difference.
Even if they’re is no difference on the scale, you should see some changes in your body.
How To Know You’re In A Calorie Deficit
And this sort of rolls into how you know that you’re in a calorie deficit.
So the first sign is that your weight is going down. It might not be every week, but if you weigh yourself, let’s say after two to three weeks, and you’re seeing a gradual downward trend, then you’re in a calorie deficit.
Maybe your clothes are fitting better. So things that were a little bit tight are a little looser now, or you’re leaner.
You can see that you’re looking leaner. Other people are telling you that you’re leaner. Maybe you see a little bit more muscle definition in your arms or your legs.
One other sign that you might be in a calorie deficit is that you’re a little hungry sometimes. So if you go through whole process and you think you’re dieting and in a calorie deficit, but you always feel like fully stuffed at the end of your meals. It’s probably unlikely that you’re in a calorie deficit.
Not that I think you should be constantly hungry because that’s actually an indicator that you maybe doing too much of a calorie deficit. But you should occasionally feel hungry here and there and the desire to eat something healthy in general. So it’s not just cravings for your hyperpalatable favorite foods, but you’re feeling genuinely hungry. Like you need to eat.
Your hunger will adjust as you get towards the weight that you want to be at. Assuming that your goal is reasonable and realistic for you.