Weight Loss 101: What is Calorie Deficit?

(Slim and Smart) Weight Loss 101 - What is Calorie Deficit

The results of a study, conducted by the University of Ghana Medical School, shows that the right combination of nutrition and physical activity plays a crucial role in the success of your weight-loss journey.

“Effective weight loss strategies include dietary therapy, physical activity and lifestyle modification.”1

Getting in shape and losing some extra pounds can help to avoid serious health problems. Losing weight sustainably is impossible without the calorie deficit. Understanding the concept of calorie deficit will help you see through inefficient diets and avoid methods that do not support achieving your dream physique. What is calorie deficit and how will it help you lose weight? How can you calculate your daily energy intake? What are the potential health risks of being obese? Read our article and learn more about losing weight in a sustainable way.

Health risks of obesity

Being obese can dramatically increase the risk of medical conditions like heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, some forms of cancer, gallbladder disease, gallstones, osteoarthritis, gout and breathing problems.  The following study, which was conducted by Columbia University, points out the potential health risk associated with obesity.

“Obesity is a significant risk factor for and contributor to increased morbidity and mortality, most importantly from cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetes, but also from cancer and chronic diseases, including osteoarthritis, liver and kidney disease, sleep apnea, and depression.“2

The secret of losing weight

What is calorie deficit?

In order to lose weight in a healthy, sustainable way you need to consume less energy than what your body requires. Calorie deficit refers to a negative energy balance. According to the findings of the research, which was conducted by the Medical University of Vienna, calorie deficit is the only factor responsible for weight reduction.

“This study showed that independently of the method for weight loss, the negative energy balance alone is responsible for weight reduction.”3

How to calculate calorie deficit for weight loss

Achieving your desired weight-loss goal will require to follow a diet that provides your body with less calorie than it needs to sustain your current weight. What is the most reliable way to calculate your daily caloric intake? The answer is surprisingly simple.  Use our TDEE calculator!

TDEE stand for Total Daily Energy Expenditure. Our calculator estimates the amount of energy your body uses in a 24 hours time interval. Basic body functions, sleeping, working out and even your brain functions require tremendous amounts of energy. Our calculator gives you a relatively precise estimation of the total daily caloric requirement of your body.

STEP 1 – Calculate BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate)

BMR for women = 655 + (9.6 * weight in kilograms) + (1.8 * height in centimeters) – (4.7 * age in years)

BMR for men = 66 + (13.7 * kilograms) + (5 * height in centimeters) – (6.8 * age age in years)

STEP 2 – Calculate your TDEE

TDEE = BMR * Activity Factor

Activity Factor

Your average daily activity

TDEE activity multiplier

Minimal physical activity

Light physical activity


Moderate physical activity


Intense physical activity


Extreme physical activity


STEP 3 – Subtract 500 calories from your TDEE!

In order to get your reduced daily calorie intake, you should subtract 300-500 calories from your TDEE. By decreasing your calorie intake you will reach a negative energy balance. Do you feel like your head is buzzing? Have you had enough of math exercises? Stop worrying and take a closer look at our example which will help you clarify all your doubts.

Let’s make things less complicated!

How many calories should the below-mentioned person consume in order to lose weight in a healthy and sustainable manner?

  • Gender: Male
  • Age: 40 years old
  • Height: 180 centimeters
  • Weight: 85 kilograms
  • Physical activity: running occasionally

STEP 1 – Calculate BMR

BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) = 66 + (13.7 * 85) + (5 * 180) – (6.8 x 40) = 66 + 1164.5 + 900 – 272 = 1858.5 kcal

STEP 2 – Calculate your TDEE

TDEE = 1858.5 * 1,375 = 2555 kcal

STEP 3 – Subtract 500 calories from your TDEE!

2555.4 – 500 = 2055 kcal

All the time and energy spent on calculating your energy intake is a great investment, which can be one of the most beneficial aspects of your weight-loss journey.

Did you like this article? Why don’t you read our other articles on nutrition? Learn more about the best vegan protein sources!

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What are your thoughts on calorie deficit? Have you ever considered calculating your own TDEE? Which weight-loss-friendly foods are your favorite? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!






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