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February 20, 2023

What is a calorie-deficit exactly?

- What is a calorie-deficit diet? How does one do it?

A calorie-deficit is simply a state in which your body is burning more calories than it's consuming. For example, if you burn about 2000 calories per day (including voluntary and involuntary actions) and consume 1800 calories, that is a calorie-deficit.

- What factors contribute to how many calories we need—and how much of a deficit we need to be in?

Calorie needs depend on a variety of factors including age or various life cycles, activity level, genetics and gender.

A calorie-deficit is required for weight loss and body fat-burning. This deficit doesn't have to be large and in fact, starting off smaller around 200-300 calories per day is much healthier and better for your metabolism.

- What kind of food can you eat on a calorie-deficit diet?

The good news is you can eat any food you want and still achieve a calorie-deficit. The kicker is that not all calories are created equally when it comes to health and sustainable weight loss. Although you can potentially eat 1500 calories worth of jelly beans and lose weight if you're in a deficit, this weight loss is not considered healthy weight loss and it will certainly be difficult to sustain these results and remain healthy.

Certain foods - such as vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, lean protein, and whole grains - make it easier to stay within a desired calorie range because they can stabilize blood sugar, slow digestion and therefore prolong the duration of time you feel full, and provide essential nutrients that keep your metabolism functioning at its peak.

- Do you have any lower-calorie foods that make people feel fuller that you can recommend? What contributes to making people feel fuller longer?

Filling up on fiber-rich vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, kale, and cauliflower, and fruit, including berries and apples, is a great way to feel fuller on fewer calories. Further, a diet rich in lean protein can also mitigate cravings and manage appetite.

- What are the benefits of a calorie deficit diet?

Although majority of the benefits of a calorie deficit is potential weight loss - and that's only beneficial if the individual is appropriate for a weight loss plan - some research shows that mild calorie restriction can also slow the aging process.

- What are the drawbacks and dangers?
Any time you restrict calories, you also restrict nutrients and this can lead to health-altering nutritional deficiencies. Further, if not done under supervision calorie-controlled diets can be extreme and go too far leading to a slowed metabolism, protective muscle mass loss, disordered eating habits, poor sleep, disrupted energy levels and mood changes .

- Is a calorie-deficit diet a long-term diet? Why or why not?

Remaining in a calorie-deficit for long periods of time is not advised and also very difficult to sustain. Eventually, restricting calories can lead to increased cravings and urges to over-eat. It can disconnect you from hunger and fullness cues which can make it difficult to eat appropriately and nourish your body properly.

If you’re considering a calorie-reduced diet, it’s vital to work with a professional who can ensure you’re still eating balanced and appropriately for your specific needs and demands. We have a device called the metabolic rate test available in both of our office locations that measures your calorie needs through oxygen exchange. To book an appointment and/or have this test done, click below!

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