When it comes to fat loss, we tend to want results fast, if not immediately.  This leads to fad diets, crash diets, elimination of major foods, or expensive supplements.  As we’ve mentioned in our previous blogs on fat loss, this isn’t an effective method for fat loss, and for so many reasons! Calorie deficits are a proven method for long-term and sustainable success with fat loss. If at any point in your journey you feel like you need more guidance, you can contact one of our Coaches for a reliable and knowledgeable resource to help guide you in the right direction.

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Calorie deficit cautions

But how do you know how much of a calorie deficit is best for you?

Too much of a calorie deficit (also known as a crash diet) is actually detrimental to your success.  By reducing your calories drastically or for too long, your body will go into “defence mode”.  An inevitable reaction is for your body to slow its metabolism. This is because your body gets confused. It doesn’t know what a diet is, it just knows it’s not getting enough energy to support energy requirements, thus slowing down processes in your body to stay alive.

The other issue with too much of a calorie deficit is that you are most likely to be starving yourself, resulting in being undernourished and putting your body in danger. Let’s look at the example below to understand why:

Stacy and Jeff both want to lose 2lbs per week. 1lb of fat equals 3500 calories, so if they want to lose 2lbs per week, they would need a weekly calorie deficit of 7000 calories. Broken down over 7 days, this would equal a deficit of 1000 calories per day.

Deep diving

If Stacy’s maintenance calories per day were 1800 calories, by being in a daily calorie deficit of 1000, she would only be able to eat 800 calories per day.  Not only is it hard to live off of only 800 calories per day, but it would get pretty darn boring eating only celery and lettuce.

Smooth sailing

If Jeff’s maintenance calories per day were 2800 calories, by being in a daily calorie deficit of 1000, he would still be able to eat 1800 calories per day.  This is much more manageable, still giving him the opportunity to have regular meals while providing his body with the energy it needs.

So it’s clear that a safe calorie deficit is different for everyone.  In general, losing 0.5% to 1% of your weight per week should be okay for most people, and this should always be coupled with regular exercise. We recommend consulting a doctor or a professional for advice on what is safest for you.

Have questions? Contact one of our Coaches to get your answers and find out what you can do to start your journey today!

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