Creating a Calorie Deficit

Calorie or energy deficit is when we consume less than we burn, so for example if someone burns 2000 cals per day and they consume 1800 cals, they would be in a deficit.

Ways that we can create a calorie (energy) deficit:

  1. Eat less than we burn.
  2. Burn more calories than we consume.
  3. A mixture of the two above.

We’ve all heard that you can’t out train a bad diet, so whilst it is possible to increase our physical output to a point where we are burning more than we consume, this can lead to a number of issues such as injury, overtraining and severe fatigue.

The better option for the majority (everyone is different) is option 3 which is a mixture of both, understanding what we are eating and the makeup of this, combined with regular training will allow for a good balance.

Remember, we are not looking for shock and awe, just solid progress without hammering ourselves.

Time for an example!

Mr Xyz is currently eating about 2200 cals per day, walks around the office and that’s about it.

He has a daily calorie burn of 1900 cals, so, currently is in a surplus, zero need to go crazy, so we would look at about 1800 cals, look to introduce a lunchtime walk (15 mins rising to 30 after a few months) and 2 resistance sessions per week.

With this, we should lose around 1-2 lbs per month without any drama, this will of course fluctuate depending on how much muscle is gained vs bodyfat lost (remember overall mass doesn’t give the whole picture).

Mr Xyz isn’t being super restrictive, progress is slower, however, it is sustainable and therefore giving a higher chance of success.

The daily walks help to keep his energy use up, the resistance work helps to build and maintain muscle, and the small calorie deficit ensures we are burning more energy than we consume.

Things to note, firstly, our weight fluctuates based on a large number of factors, such as hydration levels. 1ml is 1g so if you drink a litre of water then weigh yourself you will be heavier!

Your muscles need to repair after working out, to do this they need glycogen, to save getting too professor here, glycogen binds to water to the tune of (approximately) 2.7 grams per 1 gram of glycogen. This is a temporary affair, allows for good repair (and continued progress) and will even out after a few weeks.

Our hormones play a big role in weight, these can cause us to retain more water, not release glucose and many others, all I’m trying to get at here, is that sometimes we may ‘stall’ despite everything being on track! – keep going, likelihood is that our bodies are adjusting and getting ready for the next stage.

If you would like some more information on creating a calorie deficit, speak to a member of team SF on