No matter how old you are, staying fit and healthy is the key mantra for your overall wellbeing. With more and more people growing mindful about their health status, they are looking for various means to lose weight instantly. There are numerous diet fads and trends that guarantee you to lose those stubborn pounds; however, these plans are not sustainable in the long run.

Well, health experts recommend a calorie deficit diet as one of the most reliable methods to lose weight effectively. This diet has gained huge popularity among fitness enthusiasts in recent times.

Read through this article to know about a calorie deficit diet, how it affects weight loss and how efficiently it works in your weight loss journey in a healthy, sustainable way.
Calorie Deficit Diet

What Is A Calorie Deficit Diet?

Calories are units of energy that you derive from foods and drinks and when you take fewer calories than you burn, you attain a calorie deficit.

The calories one burns or spends each day is known as calorie expenditure which includes the following components:

Resting Energy Expenditure (REE): This refers to the calories body uses at rest for carrying out functions such as breathing and blood circulation.

Thermic Effect Of Food: This comprises the calories spend during digestion, absorption and metabolism of food.

Activity Energy Expenditure: This indicates the calories one utilizes during activities like exercise and non-exercise related activities like doing household chores.

If a person provides the body with fewer calories than it needs to support these vital components of calorie expenditure, you set your body into a calorie deficit state. Doing so regularly for long duration results in weight loss. On the contrary, one will gain weight if you consistently give the body more calories than it requires to support these vital functions. This is called a calorie surplus state.

Calculating Calorie Needs

Generally, for most people, a calorie deficit of 500 calories per day is adequate for weight loss and this does not remarkably affect their hunger or energy levels. To create this calorie deficit, one needs to know what your maintenance calorie is. Maintenance calories are the number of calories the body needs to provide for energy expenditure, which is based on a person weight, sex, age, height, and physical activity level.

With maintaining the same level of activities, one can use a calorie tracking app to monitor calorie intake and weigh oneself daily. For precise results, use the same scale, at the same time of day and wearing the same clothes. Generally, your weight may fluctuate from day to day, but in case weight has remained steady over the 10 days, the average number of calories you consumed in a day is a better picture of your maintenance calories. One must divide the total number of calories consumed for 10 days by 10 to get the mean daily calorie intake. Finally, subtract 500 calories from this number to get your new daily calorie intake goal for weight loss. For example, if a person maintenance calorie is 2000 per day, then the new daily calorie goal would be 1500 calories.

However, to support healthy weight loss and adequate nutrient intake, women should not take fewer than 1200 calories per day and men no lesser than 1500 calories.

Also Read: Top 5 Super Foods To Achieve Weight Loss - Infographic

Ways To Accomplish A Calorie Deficit Diet

One can attain a calorie deficit either by taking fewer calories or increasing physical activity levels or doing both. Having said that, it is easier and more reliable to create a calorie deficit through diet rather than exercise alone. Moreover, exercise doesn’t burn as many calories as it believes. Nevertheless, it’s still suggested for people to involve in strengthening and aerobic exercises for uplifting their overall physical well-being.

The physical activity guidelines recommended for adults is 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise (include brisk walking, and light bicycling) or 75-150 minutes of vigorous-intensity (include jogging and fast bicycling) exercise per week. Additionally, doing muscle-strengthening activities like engaging the muscles in the back, shoulders, chest, arms, and legs for two days a week, may help you to lose more fat than muscle mass.

Also Read: Lost Weight? Here Are Tips To Sustain It

Healthy Guidelines For Eating Fewer Calories

You may be surprised to know that cutting calories from the diet to create a calorie deficit doesn’t really need drastic modifications. Simple and easy strategies can greatly help one to reduce calorie intake to lose and maintain weight and they don’t even need calorie counting.

Steer Clear Sugary Drinks

One may be able to cut off several hundred calories from their diet simply by avoiding intake of sugar-laden beverages like soda, fruit juices, and hot beverages like coffee or tea. Alcoholic drinks also count for a significant number of calories. These are regarded as empty calories that do not offer any fullness or nutrient, but can lead to excess weight gain, and increases the risk of heart disease and diabetes

Avoid Processed Foods

Remember sugar, fat, and salt in highly processed foods like sugary beverages, fast foods, junk foods, desserts, ice-creams, sweets, chocolates, and breakfast cereals, will make high-calorie foods highly appetising and support excess intake.

Include minimally processed foods that are loaded with vitamins, minerals and fibre like fruits, vegetables, nuts, lean proteins, and legumes. A diet abundant in minimally processed foods will prevent one from overeating and help one get all the essential nutrients the body needs.

One can swap sugary cereals with oatmeal topped with fruit or chips with baked almonds, or ice-creams with fruit pudding, or chocolates with dry fruits.

Relish Home-cooked Meals

Preparing and eating meals cooked at home can help one to have a control over the ingredients, maintain portion size and calorie intake. Moreover, having home-cooked fresh meals is also linked with better diet quality, higher intake of fruits and vegetables, reduce body fat levels and also risk of heart disease and diabetes.

A Sample 1200 Calories Meal Plan

Early Morning:    Cucumber, ginger, lemon detox water – 1 glass

Breakfast:  Oats Porridge with Nuts – 1 small bowl

Mid-day:    Skimmed milk yogurt -1 cup

Lunch: Dal – 1 katori + Green Vegetable salad or sauteed vegetable – 1 small bowl + Hand Pound Rice -1/2 katori + ½ tsp ghee

Mid-evening:  Guava – 1

Evening: Green Tea- 1 cup

Dinner: Roti -1 + Tawa Paneer -1 katori + Carrot, tomato salad – 1 bowl