How to Explain Calorie Deficit

What is a calorie deficit?  How do you use a calorie deficit to lose weight?  How do your create a calorie deficit?  You may have heard me mention a calorie deficit on my blog post about Metabolism and wondered what it was.  A simple way to put it is you eat fewer calories than you burn.  But the next question after that is how do I know how many calories I am burning?  Do you need to do a bunch of calculations to figure this out?  How large of a calorie deficit do I need to lose weight?

If you like to use online tools that will help calculate how many calories you should be based on the information you provide.  But if you’re not into online calculators and just want a basic way to figure it out here’s the breakdown:

Non active lifestyle (desk job/no workouts):  Take your current weight in pounds and multiply that by 12 and that will equal the number of calories you need to maintain your calorie needs.

Moderately active (waiter or waitress and/or doing an entry level program like Power 90 or Hip Hop Abs): Take your Current weight in pounds multiply by 13 and that will equal the number of calories you need to maintain our calorie needs.

Highly active lifestyle (Construction worker and/or doing one of our elite programs like Insanity for Charlene Extreme):  Take your current weight in pounds multiply by 14 and that will equal the number of calories you need to maintain our calorie needs.

Once you have that number you subtract 500 calories and that should give you the safe 1 to 2 pounds per week weight loss.  But be sure to stay above 1,200 calories per day, anything under 1,200 for a long period of time could be dangerous.  On the contrary, if you are trying to gain muscle mass you will need to add 300 calories per day and doing a solid weight-training program such as Body Beast so those calories have somewhere to go and build muscle.

Now, don’t get stuck on these numbers and don’t think that if you did extra activity one day you can eat more calories because of it.  These are broad estimates, if you follow the calorie amounts for a week and are eating healthy calories you may have to drop the number another 200 or 300 calories to achieve some weight loss.  If that doesn’t work try adding 200 or 300 calories and play around.  You might be surprised that I say to add calories, but depending on how hard you are working out your body may need those extra calories and that may be why you aren’t achieving your weight loss goals.

The hardest part is going to be tracking all the calories you eat throughout the day, but it’s important for weight loss.  Less say that you have maintained your weight for the last year and you want to lose weight.  You count your calories for a week and see that you average 2,500 calories per day.  If you do that and nothing seems to work come on over to our Beachbody Message Boards and our team of advice staff and coaches will help narrow down the issue.