When it comes to losing fat mass, there are a number of factors to take into account. Our blog, Measuring Your Fat Loss Progress, helps break down ways that can help you track of your progress. But what about calorie consumption and weight loss?
A calorie is a unit of energy. Your body needs calories (energy) in order to function. The amount of calories we need in a day varies for everyone depending on gender, body size, speed of metabolism, how much we move, genetics, etc. We call this daily amount of calories, “maintenance calories”. If you’re interested in calculating your maintenance calories.
You consume calories simply by eating and you burn calories by the very act of living and moving.
Calorie surplus vs. calorie deficit
If you consume more calories in a day than you burn, you are in a calorie surplus. For example, by consuming 2500 calories while only needing 2000 calories, you are in a calorie surplus. Being in a caloric surplus leads to FAT GAIN due to your body storing the extra calories as fat.
If you burn more calories in a day than you consume, you are in a calorie deficit. For example, if you consume 2000 calories, but your body needs 2500, you are in a calorie deficit. This results in FAT LOSS due to your body being forced to use fat stores to get the energy it needs.
You can see fat loss progress by adopting almost any meal plan, as long as you are maintaining a calorie deficit.
Now, we all have at least one friend who has lost weight by cutting out sugar, carbs, gluten, dairy, or some other elimination method. From the surface, it appears they lost weight simply by eliminating something out of their diet. However, thats not the case. The only real reason why weight loss was achieved is because they were able to create a calorie deficit by eliminating something out of their diet. Though, eliminating major foods/nutrients out of your diet is NOT recommended because it’s nearly impossible to sustain long term success. Can anyone actually live without carbs or sugar? I know I can’t!
The bottom line is that weight loss is a calories-in-calories-out game. It’s not the removal or addition of individual foods/nutrients that causes weight loss, it’s the calorie deficit.
Habits to help you create a calorie deficit
Sometimes achieving a calorie deficit can be as easy as reviewing and changing current habits:
- start cooking at home and cut down on eating out
- start meal prepping
- smaller meal sizes
- increase consumption of veggies by 1 serving per day
- learn to read and understand nutrition labels
- cut down on processed foods
And for any other assistance, accountability, tips and tricks, feel free to contact one of our Coaches at Momentum Fitness!