Weight loss: Put yourself into a calorie deficit

Less calories

When it comes to weight loss, you must be in a calorie deficit to lose weight. You can achieve this by either eating less or increasing the amount of exercise you do. A simple guideline is to create a deficit of around 500 calories per day to lose approximately a pound of fat each week.

One common mistake most people make is they eat very little and put themselves into an extreme deficit. Not only will this cause you to feel weak, low on energy and possibly lose a large amount of muscle, but you also run the risk of bingeing and putting back on enormous amounts of weight within a short period.

How many calories do I need?

To know how many calories you should eat in order to be in a deficit and lose weight can vary from person to person. It’s dependent on a number of things such as age, gender, work type, regular physical activity, lean mass and weight.


To get started, find out how many calories you normally consume on a daily basis. To help you do this, use a calorie counter app such as My Fitness Pal and enter in all your food for the day to calculate your total calories. Next you’ll need to know if you are losing, maintaining or gaining weight on your current daily intake by monitoring your weight on a weekly basis.

If you’re gaining weight, then reduce your daily calorie intake by 10-15%.

If you’re maintaining weight, then reduce your daily calorie intake by 5-10%.

If you’re losing weight, then keep your calorie intake the same.

When weight loss stalls and you intend to continue to lose weight, then reduce your calories by another 5-10% to keep things moving.

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