If you've ever tried to lose weight, you've probably heard that a calorie deficit is necessary. However, you may be wondering what exactly is a calorie deficit diet, and how efficient or healthy is calorie deficit to lose weight.
Why is it important for weight loss?
Calories are the units of energy you get from food and drink, and when you eat fewer calories than you burn, you get a calorie deficit.
The calories you burn or spend each day - also known as calorie expenditure - include the following three:
- Energy expenditure at rest: It refers to the calories your body uses while resting for functions that keep you alive, such as breathing and blood circulation.
- Thermal effect of food: These are the calories your body spends to digest, absorb, and metabolize food.
- Energy expenditure linked to the activity: These are the calories you burn while doing physical activities, such as exercise, and non-exercise activities, including moving around and doing household chores.
If you supply your body with fewer calories than it needs to support these three components of calorie expenditure, you are putting your body in a calorie deficit. If you do it on a regular basis for long periods of time, you lose weight.
Conversely, you will gain weight if you regularly provide your body with more calories than it needs for these functions. This is called excess calories.
How to achieve a calorie deficit?
- You can achieve a calorie deficit by consuming fewer calories or increasing your level of physical activity - or both. A calorie deficit occurs when you eat fewer calories than your body expends. A calorie deficit of 500 calories per day is effective for healthy and sustainable weight loss.
- Meals is your diet ally. With low-calorie and high-nutrition prepared meals delivered to your door, Mr. Meals helps you stick to a limited calorie intake. It helps you follow a calorie deficit diet.
- Eliminating sugary drinks, eating minimally processed foods like fruits and vegetables, and eating homemade meals can help you achieve a calorie deficit without counting calories. That said, it may be easier and more sustainable to create a calorie deficit through diet rather than exercise alone because you may not have the time or energy, or even motivation to exercise daily.
- In other words, it may be easier to eat 500 fewer calories each day than it is to burn that number of calories through exercise. Nevertheless, it is still recommended to do muscle building and aerobic exercises for their beneficial effects on general health. A warm, high protein but low calories meal after your workout is ideal to achieve your diet goals. The Ricotta and Spinach Tortellini is your perfect choice to load up on energy and flavor, minus the calories!
- The US Department of Health's physical activity guidelines recommend that adults do 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise, each week. By engaging in muscle building activities, your body will be able to better prioritize losing body fat over muscle mass.