Calorie Deficit for Weight Loss

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It is summertime. Burning more calories than you eat, the so-called "calorie deficit", can help you lose weight. Thus, to achieve this goal, properly calculating a calorie deficit can help you decide how many calories you should eat and burn daily.


How to Create a Calorie Deficit?

You will simply have to eat fewer calories than you typically do, exercise more or, ideally, a combination of both strategies.

How to create a Calorie Deficit for Weight Loss

The exact amount of calories that anyone should eat per day to lose or maintain weight depends on age, gender and level of activity. To lose weight healthily, Virtual Personal trainer recommends a loss pace of 1 to 2 pounds (0.5 to 1 kg) per week. This means creating a daily calorie deficit of approximately 500 to 1000 calories daily, i.e. cutting down 500-1000 calories a day. 


What is the reason behind it? Basically, the body loses 1 pound (0.5 kg) per week when it burns ~ 3,500 (7 days x 500 calories/day) more calories than it consumes. 


A simple 4 weeks calorie deficit plan for successful long-term weight loss (~8 pounds (~4 kg) per month weight loss plan)

  • Week 1: losing 0.5 pounds per week (0.25 kg): Daily calorie goal = Your maintenance calories - 250 
  • Week 2: losing 1 pound per week (0.5 kg): Daily calorie goal = Your maintenance calories - 500
  • Week 3: losing 1.5 pounds per week (0.75 kg): Daily calorie goal = Your maintenance calories - 750 
  • Week 4: losing 2 pounds per week (1 kg): Daily calorie goal = Your maintenance calories - 1000 

Important: Experts recommend, for women, a calorie intake not lower than 1200 calories per day, and, for men, not lower than 1500 per day. Anything below these levels may deprive people of nutrients and produce negative health effects.

How to be successful with a Calorie Deficit?

To successfully implement a calorie deficit, you should:

  1. Eat fewer calories daily: This does not mean drastically reducing the eating amount but rather prioritizing foods based on nutrition facts. For example, eating fruits, vegetables and/or whole grains rather than processed foods. This will help you to lose weight naturally by eating fewer calories. To do so, Virtual Personal Trainer recommends: a) Reducing portion sizes; b) Avoid eating high-calorie low-nutrition foods like candy or sugar-enriched drinks; c) Replace high-calorie foods with lower-calorie ones such as salad instead of french fries.
  2. Get active: Regular exercise can also create a calorie deficit by burning more calories. For adults, I recommend exercising for at least 2 hours and a half every week, including cardio and strength training.

Calculating the right calorie deficit for everyone

Fortunately, some calorie-tracking tools/apps can help you to estimate the right calorie deficit for everyone taking into account all necessary information. Here is a weight management tool/app I created that can help you to achieve your weight loss goal.

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