Our society tends to over-complicate weight loss. To lose weight, you must burn more calories than you consume. One way to do this is by putting your body in a caloric deficit.
What is a caloric deficit?
A caloric deficit is any shortage in the amount of calories consumed relative to the amount of calories required for maintaining your current body weight.
Barry’s Bootcamp and Nike Trainer Kate Lemere says it best, “even if you are eating “healthy” the quantity of consumption (portions) matters. If you need to consume less than 1800 calories to lose weight and you’re consuming 1950 calories- even if they’re all from chicken, broccoli and egg whites GUESS WHAT?! You still won’t lose weight.”
Weight loss TRULY comes down to calories in versus calories out. It’s that simple. It’s not easy, but it’s simple. For years I looked for the “trick” or secret to getting in shape. I thought there was something that I didn’t know.
If you’re looking to lose weight, you first need to determine your caloric deficit.
How to determine your deficit
You can determine your caloric deficit by multiplying your body weight by 10 to 12. Your caloric intake should fall somewhere within these numbers.
For example, if you weigh 150 pounds- 150×10= 1500. 150×12=1800. This means your caloric intake should fall between 1500-1800 calories per day.
According to Jenny Sugar, “a modest calorie deficit is key here, not a substantial one, because this needs to be a daily calorie amount you can sustain. If you cut too many calories, you’ll be too tired to work out, feel hungry all the time, and most likely be constantly thinking about food. What’s worse, you’ll be more likely to give up.”
Now that you have your calories, it’s time to nail your nutrition. ACE-certified personal trainer Susan Niebergall says, “weigh, measure, plan. Be meticulous. It’s hard to tell if something is working if you are winging it and estimating.”
You can get a cheap food scale at Walmart or Amazon to weigh your food. Then, use MyFitnessPal or LoseIt apps to keep track of what you are consuming.
Susan Niebergall suggested, “Be consistent for 30 days. Issue yourself a 30 Day challenge. Your goal is to hit your calories and protein for 30 Days straight. Period. Non-negotiable. Put in the work, and track. Do it for 30 days.”
Track your progress
Be sure to track your progress! Take before pictures, take measurements and weigh yourself. Don’t worry too much about the weight on the scale. The scale doesn’t tell the full story! Pictures and measurements will help you see the whole picture!
How to stay in a caloric deficit
Here are a few helpful tips for staying in a caloric deficit.
Fill up on veggies first
Fill up on veggies first, then satisfy your taste buds. Use veggies as volume to fill you up and provide nutrition!
Start Intermittent Fasting
Try intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting, commonly called IF, has gained popularity over the past few years because it’s simple and it works! You simply choose a window of time to eat and a window of time NOT to eat. The window of time you are not eating is your fast. Typically I do a 12 hour fast. I wake up, work out on an empty stomach and then start eating at 7 am. I then get all of my meals in and am finished eating by 7 pm. Since you are only eating during certain hours, this helps cut down on calories. I tend to snack at night, so this is especially helpful for me! Another popular method is 16:8.
Leave The Tempting Foods At The Store
Don’t buy junk foods or tempting foods! If you can’t see them and easily access them, you will have time to make a decision that benefits your goals.
Keep Your Mouth Busy
Chew gum. Buy some sugar-free gum and keep your mouth busy! Often I am bored and not hungry. Chewing on gum keeps my mouth busy and prevents me from reaching for snacks when I’m not hungry!
Don’t Drink Your Calories
Don’t drink your calories. Juices, sugary coffees add up fast! Stick to water and EAT those cals instead!
Hold Yourself Accountable
Keep yourself accountable. Find a friend or someone you trust and have them check in with you once a week or when you are feeling like falling off the wagon.