A calorie deficit is so important if you are looking to lose weight and reduce body fat. In a previous post I covered the 3 best calorie deficit methods for weight loss.
This is continuing on from where the previous post left off. (Which if you haven’t already is definitely worth checking out.) https://www.rmfitness.net/post/calorie-deficit-methods
This time we’re going to look at 5 tips to help with your chosen calorie deficit method.
So you’ve looked at the 3 methods and you have picked the one that suits you best. Great! But that’s just picking the method. Now there’s a few things that you need to think about to get the most out of your calorie deficit and get the best results.
There’s a bit more to it than picking your deficit but thankfully not too much more than that.
1) Fast Results vs Slower Results
As I mentioned in the previous post, the bigger the deficit the greater the weight loss and a smaller deficit will mean a smaller and slower weight loss.
So why not go for a bigger deficit and lose more? Well although cutting your calories drastically will mean you reach your fat loss goal quicker, there can be a problem cutting too much.
There have been studies to show that cutting out too many calories can actually reduce your metabolism and down regulating the hormones that burn fat.
This means that it can actually start to get counterproductive.
Also, a big deficit is certainly not fun due to how much exercise you will have to do and/or the food restrictions you have.
This is why picking the correct way for you is so important. Some can deal with the big deficit and others deal better with a smaller one. You need to ask yourself what suits you better for sustained fat loss.
2) Long Term Weight Loss
I touched on some of these points in the previous section. Some people are just better sticking to larger deficits than others. This is why picking the right one is important.
Smaller deficits should be easier to stick to. It’s so much easier on your body and you should find it better to manage your hunger and appetite. These means that you should be less tempted to give into any cravings as you are still getting plenty of calories.
Large deficits are simply harder to stick to. It requires much more exercise and much more food restrictions. This can be hard to achieve and it also isn’t a lot of fun.
Another way to look at it though is that you reach your goals faster. The clearly visible and rapid weight loss results can prove to be effective in helping people stick to as they can visibly see they are losing weight.
Let’s face it, who doesn’t love seeing results after struggling and putting in hard work.
Again this is where you need to ask yourself what one physically suits you but also what one psychologically suits you.
3) Exercise Performance
If you have ever trained on a large deficit, you will know firsthand that it makes training harder and it impacts you’re ability to recover from workouts.
This means that you have to weigh up are the negative effects of a big deficit worth the dip in your workouts.
I get that the vast majority of people out there aren’t athletes, but for those that regularly work out and enjoy working out, that dip in performance can be big factor. If you’re not able to go out there and perform to your usual standards, it can very easily get you down and maybe even put you off.
Maintaining strength training is incredibly important to maintaining muscle mass while losing weight.
4) Maintaining Muscle Mass
If you go for a big calorie deficit you will lose muscle mass.
To stop this or to reduce the impact, you’re training as to be on point, as well as your diet.
It’s proven that those who don’t do strength training or get adequate amounts of protein will lose lean muscle. So it is really important that you are getting the correct amount of protein and you are doing sort of resistance training to keep your strength up so that muscle loss can be kept to a minimum if not stopped all together.
Now if you are already reasonably lean, a big deficit will more than likely make you lose muscle, even if you are strength training and get the proper amounts of protein.
I you are quite overweight, then this won’t have as big an impact on you and you more than like won’t lose any muscle. You’re body has so many calories stored as fat that it will use that as fuel and not break down muscle to use as fuel instead.
Something that gets over looked a lot is that when you cut your calories, you actually burn fewer calories.
One reason for this is that you simply weigh less and in hand don’t use the same amount of energy.
You also typically move less. Basically on a bigger calorie deficit, the activity outside of proper training sessions goes down.
There is also typically a drop in your metabolic rate. Thing major but it will more than likely dip slightly.
This is why isn’t good to track your workouts and movements such as counting steps or exercise levels. It is important that you have to keep it constant for the length of your diet.
The deficit doesn’t need to be the same throughout the diet. It can change even day to day.
Depending on your training demands you can jump between a low, medium or high calorie deficit.
You can have a high deficit maybe to get the ball rolling and drop to a smaller one. Or you can start small and if you’re getting used to it and think you can do more then you can move to a bigger deficit.
Pick the deficit that suits you can your lifestyle the best.