Calorie deficit

Hi I am sorry to ask, but I don't understand the meaning of a calorie deficit could some please put it into simple terms for me, and how to work it out etc. Thank you .

Replies

  • PennStateChick
    PennStateChick Posts: 327 Member
    Put your info in myfitnesspal and eat that any calories. When you select how much you want to lose, it will tell you the calories to have a deficit.

    Basically it means you have to eat less calories than you burn. You burn a certain number of calories just by being alive (living, breathing). You also earn more calories the more you move throughout the day.
  • diannethegeek
    diannethegeek Posts: 14,776 Member
    You burn a certain number of calories daily. This is known as your TDEE. It's the number of calories you'd need to maintain your current weight.

    You can get an estimate of your TDEE through online calculators like this: https://tdeecalculator.net/ but it's important to know that it's just an estimate. It should be in the right ballpark, but you may need to adjust up or down a little to find your exact number.

    You eat a certain number of calories every day. If the number of calories you eat is below your TDEE, then you're in a calorie deficit. If it's above your TDEE, then you're in a calorie surplus. If it's the same as your TDEE, then you're in maintenance.

    Most people would aim for about 20% less than their TDEE to lose weight. You can figure this number by multiplying your TDEE times .8 to get the number of calories you should eat. Though of course, plenty of people find different ways that work for them.
  • jemhh
    jemhh Posts: 14,273 Member
    Every activity you do, from blinking to typing to walking to digesting, burns calories. The total of all of the calories you burn would be your total calorie burn. Having a calorie deficit means that you are eating fewer calories than your total calorie burn. So if your total calorie burn (also referred to as TDEE) is 2500 and you eat 2000 calories, your deficit would be 500 calories.

    When you have a calorie deficit, your body still needs those 500 calories in order to function. It then will look to its internal stores--your fat--in order to get those calories, that energy. The usage of those internal stores is what leads to you losing weight.
  • toxikon
    toxikon Posts: 2,384 Member
    • BMR - basal metabolic rate. How many calories your body would burn in 24 hours if you were comatose.
    • TDEE - total daily energy expenditure. How many calories your body would burn in 24 hours with your current activity level (sitting, standing, walking, exercising, doing active things, sleeping).
    • Calorie deficit - eating a lower amount of calories than your TDEE in order to lose weight.
  • misnomer1
    misnomer1 Posts: 648 Member
    you take in calories through food. you burn calories through living, breathing, digesting food, walking, washing dishes, jogging, etc.
    if you burn more than you take in, you're in a caloric deficit.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 40,888 Member
    Hi I am sorry to ask, but I don't understand the meaning of a calorie deficit could some please put it into simple terms for me, and how to work it out etc. Thank you .

    Based on your stats and activity, you require XXXX calories to maintain and function. In my case, that's about 2800 calories per day. A deficit would be anything less than that...I eat less than I need to maintain, I lose weight because body fat has to be used to make up for the energy deficiency.

    If you put your stats and whatnot into MFP and said you want to lose, MFP has already calculated your deficit...your calorie target is your weight loss deficit.
  • TeaBea
    TeaBea Posts: 14,517 Member
    Hi I am sorry to ask, but I don't understand the meaning of a calorie deficit could some please put it into simple terms for me, and how to work it out etc. Thank you .

    Your body uses calories 24/7. People who are more active use more.

    BMR = calories if you never got out of bed. Add activity level and you get NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis). Add deliberate exercise and you get TDEE (total daily energy expenditure).....this is also called maintenance calories.

    Weight loss occurs when you eat fewer calories than your TDEE.

    Plug your stats into MFP and they will give you a calorie goal based on NEAT & your weekly weight loss goal. With MFP you log exercise and eat a portion back.

    If exercise will be consistent......you might want to use TDEE less a percent.
  • paullee1985
    paullee1985 Posts: 4 Member
    So in order to create a calorie deficit I need to burn more calories then I consume. My recommended calorie intake is very high, how every I don't ever manage to hit the recommended calories. As I am active all day at work as a carpenter, coming home to do atlesst an hour walk a night etc. This is a made up example recommended calories 3000 daily, my calories 1800, exercise 1000, net = 800 does that take in consideration my active level whilst working. Sorry if I confuse people bit confused myself. Simple times simple mind
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 40,888 Member
    So in order to create a calorie deficit I need to burn more calories then I consume. My recommended calorie intake is very high, how every I don't ever manage to hit the recommended calories. As I am active all day at work as a carpenter, coming home to do atlesst an hour walk a night etc. This is a made up example recommended calories 3000 daily, my calories 1800, exercise 1000, net = 800 does that take in consideration my active level whilst working. Sorry if I confuse people bit confused myself. Simple times simple mind

    I have a maintenance calorie requirement of 2800-3000 per day. That includes everything I do...I "burn" around 1800 calories just existing on this planet and nothing more...I burn calories going about my day to day and sitting here typing and thinking and getting up to go to the bathroom and blowing my nose...I burn calories with deliberate exercise...those all add up to around 2800 - 3000 per day. A reasonable deficit to lose weight would be 500 calories per day....so If I wanted to lose about 1 Lb per week I'd eat around 2300-2500 calories per day total.

    I know your example is made up, but eating a net 800 calories daily would be a pretty bad thing...I'm also assuming your male. The lowest net calorie intake for a male is 1,500 calories which isn't even enough to support basal requirements for most men.
  • MegaMooseEsq
    MegaMooseEsq Posts: 3,119 Member
    edited September 2017
    So in order to create a calorie deficit I need to burn more calories then I consume. My recommended calorie intake is very high, how every I don't ever manage to hit the recommended calories. As I am active all day at work as a carpenter, coming home to do atlesst an hour walk a night etc. This is a made up example recommended calories 3000 daily, my calories 1800, exercise 1000, net = 800 does that take in consideration my active level whilst working. Sorry if I confuse people bit confused myself. Simple times simple mind

    Assuming that you are correctly judging the number of calories you are using during the day and the number of calories you are consuming, then you shouldn't worry that your recommended calories seem high. All that matters is the deficit. So let's say that your TDEE/maintenance is 3000: that would include purposeful exercise (the 1000 you mention), as well as your activity level while working. In order to lose one pound a week, you need to be eating at a 500 calorie deficit per day. That means you would eat 2500 calories.
  • TeaBea
    TeaBea Posts: 14,517 Member
    edited September 2017
    So in order to create a calorie deficit I need to burn more calories then I consume. My recommended calorie intake is very high, how every I don't ever manage to hit the recommended calories. As I am active all day at work as a carpenter, coming home to do atlesst an hour walk a night etc. This is a made up example recommended calories 3000 daily, my calories 1800, exercise 1000, net = 800 does that take in consideration my active level whilst working. Sorry if I confuse people bit confused myself. Simple times simple mind

    You need to EAT FEWER calories than you burn. Don't focus on calories burned.*

    Let's say I burn 2000 calories (before exercise). If I want to lose 1 pound a week....I eat 500 calories less or 1500 calories.

    Let's say I want to add exercise. Cardio burns a somewhat decent amount, strength training not much at all. *If calorie burn was my focus I would skip strength training.....bad idea.

    So let's say I burn 200 doing cardio on Monday......I eat 1500 + 200 or 1700. Then I burn 50 calories (total guess) from strength training on Tuesday.....I eat 1500 + 50 or 1550.

    If my exercise is consistent, TDEE is a better option than NEAT, because it includes exercise already. TDEE "averages the exercise out. Then I take 500 calories away, and skip logging exercise all together.