Have you noticed how some people go on a diet, eat less and less, and still don’t get the result they want?
Many of these frustrations are due to a lack of understanding of a very important concept—calorie deficit or energy balance. Do you know what that expression means?
Understanding the caloric deficit is key to succeeding in your weight loss strategy. With this goal, diet will work, and you will experience discouragement and frustration.
A good example is the low-carb diet. Many people believe that they can eat all the other food groups just by cutting back on carbs.
The same mistake happens to those who choose intermittent fasting. It’s not the fact that going several hours without eating causes fat elimination.
Several studies show that fasting only has good results when it comes to reducing calorie consumption.
Therefore, understanding the caloric deficit is the basis for success in your diet, regardless of the weight loss strategy you adopt.
Want to know more about it? So, read on!
What Is The Caloric Deficit?
The caloric deficit happens when the person can eat fewer calories than they spend in everyday life.
Calories or kilocalories, represented by the unit kcal, measure energy.
Thus, when we talk about a food that provides little energy, it has fewer calories. Already a food with many calories provides a lot of energy.
Therefore, if the person eats 1,800 calories when adding up all the meals and expends about 2,000 calories on their activities, they have produced a caloric deficit of 200 calories.
On the other hand, if she ate 2,000 calories and spent 1,800 calories, there would be 200 left over. The body takes this surplus and stores it was accumulating fat. Then, the pointer of the scale rises gradually until it produces overweight and obesity.
What Is The Importance Of Energy Balance?
This math of calories will determine whether we will maintain our ideal weight, remain below it, or, as is more common, whether we will develop overweight and obese.
This means that the person does not need to be in a caloric deficit all the time but only when he wants to lose weight. It all depends on one’s needs.
So, when the person is already at the correct weight, ideal to meet their body’s needs, they need to maintain the energy balance: eat the same amount of calories they burn.
If she is underweight for her needs, she needs to increase the amount of calories she eats. This situation is rare.
However, if she is obese or overweight, she needs to produce a caloric deficit and ingest fewer calories than she spends daily.
How Can I Know How Many Calories My Body Burns?
This is the hardest question to answer. After all, each person is unique, and this amount varies according to several factors: height, weight, activities that the person performs, and metabolism.
We know that some people eat more and have trouble putting on weight. We say these people have accelerated metabolisms.
This is because your body naturally expends more energy to perform basic survival activities like breathing, keeping your heart and other organs working, etc.
Other people have slower metabolisms. It’s as if their body saves energy when performing these activities. So, naturally, more calories are left over at the end of the day.
There is a test called calorimetry to know the basal metabolism rate and the amount of calories your body spends at rest.
How To Produce The Caloric Deficit?
If you already know that you need to lose weight and therefore produce a caloric deficit, we will explain how you can do this:
You can create a caloric deficit by eating less or eating better. It’s your choice. For example: if you can eat 1500 calories daily, you can reach that energy by eating 18 Brigadeiro’s of 30 grams.
But is this the healthiest option to lose weight? Is this the best way to produce your caloric deficit? Will it satisfy your hunger and, more importantly, meet your nutritional needs?
For the body, the best way to produce a caloric deficit is to eat better.
When you put a lot of greens and vegetables on your menu and reduce the amount of sugar, refined cereals, and various industrialized foods, for example, you will consume fewer calories, but at the same time, you will not fail to meet your body’s needs.
It is worth seeing a doctor and a nutritionist so that they can help you establish a balanced diet.
In our experience, we noticed that when our patients exchange their products (cookies, crackers, soft drinks, sausages) for real food, they can only eat some of what the nutritionist proposes for that day.
Your basal metabolic rate reveals the amount of calories your body spends at rest to make your organs work.
So the expense will be the same whether you spend the entire day on the couch or working in a passive role — which most people do today.
But you can increase this caloric expenditure by practicing exercises and physical activity. For this, it is worth planning movements for a purpose, as with bodybuilding and moving more throughout the day.
There are examples we always give, like changing the elevator for the stairs, getting off the subway one station earlier and completing the journey on foot, going out for a walk with the dog, and so on.
If you move more during the day, your body’s energy will increase, making it easier to run a calorie deficit.
Accelerate Your Metabolism
Fortunately, you can also speed up your metabolism. To do this, drink more water, maintain regular meal times, sleep well, and increase your muscle mass.
Muscle is one of the tissues in the body that consumes the most calories. So, if you develop your muscle mass, the body needs to spend more energy to maintain it, which speeds up your metabolism.
That’s why weight training is so important. Anyone who enjoys exercise burns calories when performing the movements and later when resting.