One of the most commonly asked questions we are asked here at Results with Lucy HQ is ‘how do I create a calorie deficit?’ for weight loss.
A calorie deficit is where the number of calories you consume each day, is less than the calories you burn each day. It is the “magic” that makes weight loss possible. It forces the body to use fat stores for energy, subsequently causing weight loss. While a calorie deficit is the only way to lose weight, there are a few ways to create one, although they all involve improving your diet and exercise habits.
A calorie deficit is a state in which you burn more calories than you consume. For example:
You burn 2,500 calories per day, but only eat 2000, you have created a deficit of 500 calories per day. A calorie deficit forces the body to use non-food sources for energy (typically body fat) to make up for the shortfall, which subsequently causes weight loss.
Creating a calorie deficit is the only requirement for weight loss. The first step is figuring out how many calories your body burns each day. The Results with Lucy website feature a calorie counter whereby you can calculate your recommended calorie intake whether your goal be weight loss, maintenance or gain:
It estimates calorie needs based on size, gender and physical activity levels. The number you are given is the maximum number you need to consume each day (based on the average person with the same information as you – medical and genetic needs are not considered in this calculator).
The body stores fat in response to a calorie surplus (eating more than you burn). Genetics determine where fat is stored. For some, the body stores fat predominantly in the arms, and for others, around the mid-section. During a state of calorie deficit, the process is reversed. Genetics also determine which areas the body burns fat from. It is impossible to target your fat loss to certain areas of your body such as mid-section, bust or arms, for example.
Targeting your workouts with sit-us or the arms with weighted bicep curls, will not force your body to burn fat from those areas; spot reducing fat is impossible. A calorie deficit is the only way to lose weight and burn fat.
There are a few ways to create a calorie deficit: eat less, move more or combine both approaches. It is extremely difficult to lose weight with diet or exercise alone, but combine the two and you will be achieving a healthy, long-term approach to weight loss as long as you are consistent.
Here are our savvy-swaps you can start making TODAY to help you on your way to easily lowering your daily calorie intake:
Costa Coffee vs. Oat Milk Coffee with Honey
207 calories - Medium Latte made with Whole Milk
5 per week = 1035 calories
Per month = 4140 calories
Per year = 49,680 calories
100 Calories – made with 1 teaspoon honey & 125ml oat milk
5 per week = 500 calories
Per month = 2000 calories
Per year = 24,000
25,680 difference per year in calories
Orange Juice vs. Orange
232 calories - 500ml of carton orange juice
1 every day = 1624 calories
Per month = 6496 calories
Per year =77, 952 calories
62 calories - 1 medium orange
1 every day = 434 calories
Per month = 1736 calories
Per year = 20, 832 calories
57, 120 difference per year in calories
Ready Brek vs. RwL Apple Pie Oatmeal
303 calories per 100g
5 per week = 1515 calories
Per month = 6060 calories
Per year = 82, 720 calories
265 per serving
5 per week = 1325 calories
Per month = 5300 calories
Per year = 63, 600 calories
19, 120 difference in calories per year
McDonalds Big Mac Burger vs. RwL Mustard Burger
508 calories per serving
1 per week = 508 calories
Per month = 2032 calories
Per year = 24, 384 calories
461 calories per serving
1 per week = 461 calories
Per month = 1844 calories
Per year = 22, 128 calories
2,256 calories difference per year in calories
Dominoes vs. RwL Pitta Pizza
877 calories - 1 small cheese and tomato pizza, classic crust
1 per week = 877 calories
Per month = 3508 calories
Per year = 42, 096 calories
296 calories – per 1 Pitta Pizza
1 every day = 296
Per month = 1184 calories
Per year = 14, 208 calories
27, 888 calories difference per year
And there you have it! What a calorie deficit is, how to create one and some easy swaps to help you to get started!