Getting Started on the Calorie-Deficit Diet
With all the great information online today, there has never been a better time to start your weight loss journey. When you want to lose weight fast, it makes sense to research what’s working and what’s not, so you don’t waste time. But, while plenty of trendy eating plans are floating around, there’s an old standby that has suddenly become popular again. It’s called the calorie deficit diet. This Ultimate Guide shows you the best and easiest ways to cut your daily calorie intake and lose weight fast.
If you have tried others diets in the past and they did not work out, you may be surprised by the calorie deficit diet. It is easy to adopt and will help you achieve your weight loss goals. This guide will help answer your questions and provide more insight into what the diet is all about.
Your body needs calories to function normally, but when you take in more calories than you need, the excess energy is stored in your body as fat.
Sitting for long hours, unhealthy eating, a lack of physical activity, and stress contribute to weight gain. However, a well-followed calorie deficit diet can help you reduce weight and prevent diseases associated with unhealthy weight gain.
What is a calorie deficit?
A deficit occurs when we consume fewer calories than our bodies burn in terms of our natural resting energy expenditure—your natural metabolic rate—and any extra exercise or physical activity in which we engage. So the concept behind the calorie deficit diet is simple: You try to eat fewer calories than you burn.
How to get started on a calorie-deficit diet.
To get started with this diet, you must first understand that to lose one pound; you have to engage in a calorie deficit of about 3,000 calories; so, to lose one pound a week, you only have to reduce your daily intake by 428 calories! Doable, right? You will have to create a calorie deficit of more calories to get rid of more fat.
I have found some tricks that have helped me lose more weight on a calorie-deficit diet without feeling hungry, and I’d like to share these with you below. Cheers to your success!
Make sure half of your plate is vegetables.
This is the number one, easiest tip to reduce your calorie intake. One-half of your plate should be vegetables, One-fourth of your plate should be a carbohydrate, and the last one-forth should be protein. By making half of your plate vegetables at as many meals as possible, you will increase the volume of food you are eating and decrease the total amount of calories. This will help keep you satisfied throughout the day AND help you meet your goal of five servings of fruits and vegetables daily!
The reason vegetables are the lowest calorie foods out there is because of the water they contain. Fruits and vegetables have high water and fiber content, which provide volume and weight but not calories. That’s why they’re low-energy-dense foods. Some are up to 90% water.
Eat consistently throughout the day.
Not all calories are created equal. When dieting, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that “less food is better” for losing weight. But what you may be doing is sabotaging your weight loss by eating too little. To begin, eating too few calories throughout the day will open up the door to binge eating at your next meal, which will make you consume MORE calories in a day than if you had just eaten regular, calorie-controlled meals and snacks. Also, eating too little for your body means that, yes, you may lose weight, but this weight loss may be at the expense of muscle mass – and when you lose too much muscle, your metabolism will decrease, making it nearly impossible to maintain weight loss long-term.
Use a smaller plate.
In the kitchen, it is important to use proper portion sizes for each meal. By taking the time to create a menu and then shop for fresh ingredients, as well as plan ahead for meals and snacks, you are helping yourself make healthier choices throughout the week. But sometimes, our minds can work against us when building our plates. When you look down on a large dinner plate that has “open space,” your mind may automatically assume you do not have enough food on that plate. Then you fill all that open space with more food and serve yourself larger portions than your body needs. The secret here is to decrease the size of your plate from a dinner plate to a salad plate! Then when you have your salad plate ready to go, refer to step 1 and follow that rule.
Eat your meals in a certain order.
Are you the type of person who eats until your plate is clean, even if it means you’re eating more than you need? Try eating like this instead: start with the vegetables, then move on to protein, and finish off with carbs. By doing this, you’ll fill up on vegetables first, which makes it easier to manage how much of those high-carb foods you eat. Sometimes, you may leave those extra carbs behind on your plate because you’re so full from eating all those colors first!
Beware of the drinks.
Alcohol, lattes, sports drinks, and other fun beverages tend to go untracked or unnoticed when trying to cut down on calories. One glass of wine every night adds up to over 1,050 calories a week. A vanilla latte every morning adds up to over 1,250 calories by the end of the work week. Be aware of just HOW MANY calories you are getting from these drinks, as they can often be the extra calories that are keeping us above our calorie range. Can you swap out a drink or two for a lower-calorie option like unsweetened tea? Can you alternate between a fun drink and a glass of water? By monitoring our drinks, we can reduce our calories and even save ourselves money simultaneously.
Expand your variety and have more fun.
Variety is the spice of life, and it’s especially important when you are calorie cutting to ensure you stay motivated. Changing the foods you eat can help you eat more mindfully and keep you from feeling bored. Start by choosing a protein, carb, or fat at each meal to switch up daily. Plan one new recipe a week or hook up with a friend to make macro-friendly dishes you can swap! Keeping it fresh and new is guaranteed to help!
Watch your activity levels.
This can be a tough one for all you workout junkies. It’s easy to think that more is better when hitting the gym, but this could be holding you back. If you are in a caloric deficit and are training just as hard as when you were at maintenance or even a surplus, chances are you are feeling tired after workouts. Be aware of how you feel before, during, and after workouts; if it is negative, cut down a little bit on training volume. Start by lowering weights a little, or if you are doing extra work on top of a normal class session, please pull back on that. Listen to your body, play around with training volume and see if you notice mood, energy, performance, or hunger improvements. If you have a good response, take note of this! Cutting back on training can result in positive body comp changes, especially fat loss!
It’s natural for weight loss to flucuate over time and you should not get discouraged when it does. Creating a calorie defiicit is one of the best ways I’ve found to lose weight fast, but I still go up and down with my commitment, cravings and weight from time to time. I see it as more of a lifestyle change than diet really. What started out as a short-term commitment has turned into making better choices while menu planning, grocery shopping, eating out and has really increased my overall well-being.
Please feel free to let me know if you have any tricks you’ve found helpful while on this plan. I’d LOVE to learn more!