If you need to lose weight, burn fat, increase your energy and tone your body, you need to understand: «what is calorie deficit», in order to achieve your goals.  This term is closely related to your metabolism, which will depend on several factors including the amount and type of physical activity performed, thermogenesis and basal metabolism

Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet, being physically active and adjusting calories are fundamental aspects to improve health and achieve weight control objectives, thus achieving a good caloric deficit.

Definition of calorie deficit

Caloric deficit is a bodily state in which there is the capacity to burn more calories than are ingested.  The main idea of maintaining an adequate caloric deficit is to reduce weight and establish an energy balance between calories expended and calories consumed.

In order to create a caloric deficit it is also necessary to understand several key aspects.  Calories, energy expenditure during rest and the thermic effect of the different foods consumed are very important aspects that must be understood and taken into account.  

Definicion de deficit calorico

The calories that are part of the calorie deficit are basically the energies that can be obtained from food and liquids ingested during the day. Also the energy expenditure at rest, refers to the calories that the body uses to perform basic and vital functions such as breathing and blood circulation, finally, the thermal effect that food has, refers to the amount of calories that can be expended by the body when food is ingested, absorbed and metabolized.

What are calories?

The word calorie is used to refer to the amount of energy in food. They are responsible for describing the amounts of energy the body receives from the fats, proteins, carbohydrates and alcohol in the food consumed.  

When a person wants or needs to reduce his or her weight, he or she must then modify the amount of calories consumed and this will be achieved by modifying his or her caloric deficit.  Maintaining a healthy diet that includes fewer calories does not necessarily mean eating less.  The ideal will always be to substitute those foods that have a high caloric content for others that are lower in calories, but at the same time are rich in nutrients. This is a key aspect of the calorie deficit.

Importance of knowing your metabolism

Metabolism is a very important aspect of weight loss and caloric deficit.  It is the process by which the human body converts food into energy.  During the process, calories from food and beverages combine with oxygen to release energy, which is needed to keep the body functioning.  The amount of calories that are used by the body to carry out basic body processes is known as the basal metabolic rate.

Importancia de conocer tu metabolismo

Basal metabolism functions depending on several different factors, which, in one way or another, can influence the caloric deficit. These factors include body size and composition, gender and age.  In addition to body metabolic rate, there are important aspects that influence the amount of calories that can be burned or expended during the day that influence the caloric deficit.  One of these is known as thermogenesis.  

Thermogenesis from physical activity refers to energy expenditure from physical activities and exercise and is fundamental in the caloric deficit.  It is an aspect that can vary considerably and also determines the amount of calories that can be expended in a day.  

Food thermogenesis refers to the amount of energy needed to process the nutrients consumed, in other words, the amount of energy needed to perform processes such as: swallowing, digestion, absorption and metabolization of food.  All these aspects can influence the caloric deficit.

How should we eat to burn fat with a healthier caloric deficit?

Perhaps one of the biggest questions for people who want to lose weight is how much and how should I eat in order to lose weight?  Although there are many «miracle» diets that promise accelerated weight loss, the only secret to achieving the goal is a caloric deficit.

Como debemos comer para quemar grasa con un deficit calorico mas saludable

Food within the caloric deficit is very important and you should eat fewer calories to lose weight, but at the same time you should avoid consuming foods that are low in nutrients and that provide large amounts of energy.  It is necessary to include vegetables, vegetables, fruits, avoid the consumption of unsaturated fats and carbohydrates.  Following a plan to achieve a caloric deficit that reduces the amount of calories without the proper supervision of a specialist could lead to muscle loss, weakness and fatigue.

Therefore, creating a balanced and healthy caloric deficit is critical to weight reduction. This can be calculated by means of a formula used to determine the caloric deficit, known as the Mifflin-St. Jeor equation.  Before applying this formula, the basal metabolic rate (BMR), in other words, the calories expended by the body at rest, must be known.  The formula establishes the following operations:

  • Male BMR: 66 + (13.7 x weight in kg) + (5 x height in cm) – (6.75 x age in years)
  • BMR women: 655 + (9.6 x weight in kg) + (1.8 x height in cm) – (4.7 x age in years)

Once the BMR is obtained, we proceed to multiply the result by the physical activity performed during the day.  For this purpose, the following data are used:

  • BMR x 1.2: When little or no exercise is performed.
  • BMR x 1,375: if light exercise is practiced, about 1 to 3 days per week

  • BMR x 1.55: when the exercise performed is moderate 3 to 5 days per week.
  • TMB x 1.72: if you are an athlete and exercise 6 to 7 days a week.
  • BMR x 1.9: if you are in the athlete category, in other words, if you exercise in the morning and in the afternoon.

The result of this multiplication will give the data on the calories you need to maintain your current weight, but, if the idea is to lose weight, then you should consume fewer calories per day.  Experts recommend reducing 500 calories per day to achieve an adequate caloric deficit that reduces weight, burns fat and does not produce a rebound effect.

WHAT ARE THE HIGHEST CALORIE FOODS YOU SHOULD CONSUME TO ACHIEVE AN EFFECTIVE CALORIE DEFICIT?

When we talk about foods with more calories to achieve an adequate caloric deficit, we are not referring to junk or unhealthy food.  In this case, we are talking about healthy fats which have been seen for years as harmful, however, the reality is different because they are necessary in the diet, especially if you want to lose weight.  This type of food can be acquired from different sources.

Healthy fats of plant origin come from a variety of foods. These can be: nuts, avocado, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds or sesame seeds. They are good sources of fats that will help the body function properly.  Olive oil is rich in essential oils such as Omega-3 and Omega-6 and some types of legumes such as soybeans and peanuts are ideal to introduce in the diet, as they reduce the caloric deficit in a healthy way.  

Cuales son los alimentos con mas calorias que debes consumir para alcanzar un deficit calorico efectivo

We can also find healthy fats of animal origin, which can help to improve the caloric deficit.  Oily fish, sardines, salmon and tuna are ideal foods to provide the body with vitamins, minerals and essential oils.  Eggs, although often seen as inappropriate, are actually very healthy and in addition to providing a large amount of micronutrients. You can read this article: How many calories are in an egg?  These are some examples of foods that, despite having a high number of calories, will help the body to lose weight and reduce fat and maintain the caloric deficit, especially if physical exercise is included in the plan. 

Key tips for caloric deficit and healthy weight loss

Some key tips that can be followed to achieve a healthy caloric deficit and lose weight in a safe and healthy way are as follows:

  • To achieve an adequate caloric deficit, the first thing to do is to calculate the amount of calories needed during the day, this will depend on the profile of each person.  For example, those who are physically active on a daily basis may have a caloric deficit that allows them to ingest a greater amount of nutrients. 

If you are sedentary or do very little physical activity, the caloric deficit could be around 800 calories per day at the beginning of a weight loss diet, followed by a moderate phase where you would be allowed to eat between 1200 and 1400 calories per day.  

Consejos claves para el deficit calorico y adelgazar sanamente

If, on the other hand, you are a physically active person, your caloric deficit will be greater because the body has the ability to lose weight and reduce fat more easily thanks to the calories that are burned during exercise.

It is of utmost importance to always seek the advice of a professional in nutrition so that you can have a complete health evaluation and based on your evaluation, the nutritionist can establish a correct and efficient caloric deficit.

  • Many studies recommend dividing or distributing calories.  It is recommended to consume 45% carbohydrates, 25% protein and 30% to 35% healthy fats to achieve a good caloric deficit.  
  • Avoid processed foods and include vegetables, greens and nuts in the diet to increase body fat burning.
  • Eat 4 to 6 meals per day (moderate amounts) to avoid the sensation of hunger and at the same time stimulate the metabolism.
  • Introduce cardiovascular physical exercises to maintain and improve the caloric deficit.  
  • Drinking between 1.5 and 2 liters of water during the day is also highly recommended.  It is important to avoid sugary drinks, sodas and alcohol.
  • Rest and sleep are also a fundamental part of the caloric deficit to reduce measurements and weight, as the body needs to replenish and repair muscle tissues after exercise..

General recommendations and conclusion

With an adequate nutritional plan that establishes healthy levels of caloric deficit, it is possible to reach the ideal weight without putting the organism at risk.  To do this, calories can be reduced progressively and in small amounts, with this, the percentages of fat will be reduced little by little.  Including healthy foods in the diet is of vital importance to achieve weight loss, including proteins, healthy fats, vegetables, vegetables and fruits.

Think about visiting the gym and start your routine with weights, this type of exercise is ideal to increase your daily energy expenditure and gain muscle mass, you can also keep your caloric deficit under control in a better way.  Remember that the main objective of this whole process is to spend a greater amount of calories than you normally consume during the day and thus cause a progressive, healthy and safe weight loss.

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