How to Choose Your Calorie Deficit
If you're on a mission to lose some of the excess fat that you've been carrying around for far too long, the very first thing that you need to do is set yourself up a proper diet plan to follow. And as you go about that process, the most important thing that you need to get into place is a proper calorie deficit.
Your calorie deficit is going to dictate how fast you lose body fat since it's what will cause your body to use stored body fat as a fuel source.
This said, that doesn't necessarily mean the higher the deficit, the better. There are a number of factors that need to be taken into account. Always remember that it does take 3500 calories to burn one pound of body fat, so use that as your reference as you go about this process.
Let's look at what you should know.
How Fast You Want to Lose Weight
The very first thing that you'll need to assess is how quickly you want to lose weight. If you use a 500 calorie per day deficit, that's going to lead to around one pound of fat lost per week. A 250 calorie deficit will be half a pound and a 1000 calorie deficit would be two pounds.
For most people, it's not recommended to go up to a 1000 calorie per day deficit unless you have a lot of weight to lose as it will be too risky in terms of suffering from a nutritional deficiency.
Also keep in mind that the more aggressive the deficit is that you are using, the stricter your diet is going to be and the greater the chances you will feel hunger throughout the day.
The Amount and Type of Activity You're Doing
Next, you also need to think about the amount and type of exercise that you're doing as well. If you're someone who's involved in multiple intense workouts per week, this can be hard to do while sustaining a high deficit.
Remember that exercise requires fuel, so the more workouts you plan to do, the higher your calorie intake needs to be. Keep in mind that strength training and interval training will require the most total calories for support as well.
Very bad things tend to happen to those who attempt lots of exercise on very few calories. Their body will literally start holding fat and burning muscle—which is exactly opposite of what you want.
How Much Body Fat You Have to Lose
Moving along, you also need to take into account how much total fat you have to lose. Those with a higher overall percentage of body fat (so they have more fat to lose) will be able to sustain a higher calorie deficit without a problem because their body has so much stored energy in place.
If you're already quite lean and only have a few pounds of body fat that you could lose, your body is going to fight back harder if you go on an intense diet plan.
For this reason, those who are already quite lean should stick with a 250–500 calorie per day deficit instead.
So there you have the primary points to know when it comes to selecting your calorie deficit. It's not a one size fits all situation, and rather, you need to take a number of factors into account if you want to see success and keep yourself sane as you go about the diet process.