Calorie Deficit Calculator
Uncover the perfect calorie deficit to achieve sustainable weight loss (without spending hours doing complex calculations).
What do I eat to achieve the deficit?
One way to achieve a deficit is with a meal plan.
Use the calorie deficit meal planner to generate meal plans to match your daily calories.
What’s a calorie deficit, and how does it cause weight loss?
Put yourself into a calorie deficit by providing your body with fewer calories than it needs.
Your body receives energy from what you eat and drink and spends this energy to perform every function essential to keep you alive, like breathing, digestion, and circulation.
This can be achieved by:
- Eating less
- Exercising more
- A combination of both
When you create a calorie deficit, your body is forced to burn stored energy, which results in fat loss.
How much of a calorie deficit to lose weight?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the amount of weight or fat loss you can achieve will vary depending on the individual.
To lose 1 pound (0.45 kg) of fat, you must create a calorie deficit of about 3,500 calories.
This equates to 500 calories less than the number of calories your body needs daily.
A better deficit is 20% of your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). Five hundred calories can be too much for a smaller person with a lower metabolic rate.
Do you lose a pound a week with a 500-calorie deficit?
This depends on several factors: weight, body composition, activity level, hormones, medications, and diet.
Some people may lose a pound or two per week with a 500-calorie deficit, while others may lose less.
The human body is highly adaptive. Continuously being in a deficit can result in rebound weight gain further on.
After extensive work with thousands of clients, we found that most dieters eat too little. Sustainable weight loss does not arise from endless caloric restriction.
Reducing calorie intake too far from your daily energy expenditure will cause faster adaptation and undermine weight loss efforts.
The best way to create a calorie deficit
Some popular methods of creating a calorie deficit include:
- Eating less food
- Exercising more
- Combining both of these
- Planning your meals and snacks
- Tracking your food and exercise
Calorie Deficit FAQ
Should I create the deficit by exercising more?
It’s tough to out-exercise a poor diet. Please pay attention to your nutrition plan first — with some exercise alongside it.
If you exercise, find out the calorie burn amounts for hundreds of exercises.
How can I exercise more without feeling overwhelmed?
You might consider breaking up your exercise routine into smaller, more manageable chunks.
For example, you could try exercising for 10 minutes a day and gradually increase the time you exercise as you become more comfortable with it.
You could also try different types of exercise, such as walking, biking, or swimming, to find an activity that you enjoy that doesn’t feel too overwhelming.
It’s far easier to get a deficit from dietary changes than from exercise.
But exercise has many benefits, including better mental health, better sleep, and a lower risk of getting sick.
What are some healthy foods to eat to lose weight?
There are some quick wins:
- Reducing soda intake
- Reducing fast food intake
- Increasing protein (you feel fuller earlier, therefore eat less)
What are some good snacks to eat when trying to lose weight?
Some good snacks to eat when trying to lose weight include fruits, vegetables, low-fat yogurt, nuts, seeds, and light protein bars.
How do I track my food and exercise when trying to lose weight?
Some popular methods of tracking food and exercise include using a calorie-tracking app, keeping a food journal, or using a fitness tracker.
For some people, counting is not their thing. In this case, it’s best to pay extra attention to portions and try to eat high-quality, nutrient-dense foods.
Is 1200 calories a day too much of a deficit?
If, for example, your maintenance calories were 2,000 per day, then 1200 is far too little. It entirely depends on your makeup.
It would help if you used a calculator to determine this, as fixed numbers are not helpful.
How much carb, protein, and fat should you eat? See the macro calculator.