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Calorie deficit for weight loss: Why is it important and how to achieve it

Your weight loss plan will always trick you into believing to opt for a low-calorie diet. However, in that process, you might end up landing into a calorie deficit. An expert explains the concept.
Understanding calorie deficit
Understand calorie deficit better for healthy weight loss. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Purvi Kalra Published: 1 Mar 2023, 11:04 am IST
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In recent years, the obsession for weight loss has influenced people to follow a diet devoid of calories or at least have fewer calories. As the name suggests, calorie deficit happens in your body when you are eating lesser calories than you are burning. People rely on a calorie deficit diet to shed weight and maintain it. Let’s break it down for you!

When you are in the initial weeks of consuming a calorie deficit diet, your body might feel normal. But such a prolonged diet may make you feel fatigued, dehydrated, nauseous, constipated, have headaches, crabbiness, etc. HealthShots got in touch with nutritionist Avni Kaul to understand what is a calorie deficit and ways to overcome it.

How much of a calorie deficit an average person needs?

“There is a formula to gauge how much of a calorie deficit you need to lose weight. Here’s a simple way to find out. Multiply your body weight by 10, and remain in this calorie range for at least 3-4 weeks. Your calorie consumption should lie somewhere within this range. Another way to calculate your calorie deficit is by finding out your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure, which is the number of calories your body burns every day), and subtracting 500 calories from it,” tells the expert.

calorie deficit
Eating fewer calories will make you feel dizzy and weary. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

“Always keep in mind the fact that if your calorie deficit is too big, it is not sustainable. The over-restriction can lead to binge eating which may make you end up gaining weight. Make it a point to keep your daily consumption of calories at least more than 1200, and even more if you are someone who works out. Eating less will make you feel weary and exhausted and will boost your cravings and hunger, leading to overeating,” adds the expert.

How to achieve a calorie deficit

Well, if you follow stringent diet plans, chances are that you might end up running low on calories. However, there are simple ways through which you can achieve a calorie deficit for weight loss.

calorie deficit
Control your portions, and know what your plate should look like. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

1. Opt for smaller plates and bowls

If you are someone who believes in wiping off food from your plate, it’s best to use smaller plates. You may fill up your small plate with food, but using slightly smaller plates aids in controlling your portion and visually makes you feel more satiated.

2. Keep a check on everything you eat

Keep yourself accountable by keeping a track of your calorie intake precisely. You may use various apps for it, or you can always go basic by maintaining a diary or a food journal.

Also read: Weight loss: 7 negative calorie foods you can add to your diet

3. Get ample sleep

When you don’t get enough sleep, your body secretes more cortisol, the stress hormone, that causes a rise in cravings and hunger. That translates to binge eating the next day. Further, low energy drains away all the motivation you need to work out or go about the day. If you are trying to shed weight, go for at least seven hours of sleep.

Sleep for weight loss
Quality and quantity of sleep is important for weight loss. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

4. Stay hydrated

Headache, fatigue, or dizziness are all symptoms of dehydration that can make people think that they are famished. Make it a point to stay hydrated by keeping a water bottle with you all the times that you can keep sipping.

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Also read: Burn upto 500 calories in just 30 minutes with these 5 weight loss exercises

5. Get walking

No one can deny the power of a workout in helping burn calories and build calorie-burning muscle. However, you can’t discount the power of walking. Try walking around 10,000 steps a day to burn an extra 250 to 600 calories, depending on your body weight.

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About the Author

After testing her skill-set in the field of management and marketing, Purvi Kalra is exploring the world of turning thoughts to words. Her penchant for writing stems for being an avid reader all her life. Her work drives her to be better every day. ...Read More

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