Calorie Deficit Diet: Know All About This Weight Loss Diet

Calorie deficit diet is one of the most famous diet plans that helps people lose weight for the right reasons. Here’s everything you need to know about calorie deficit diets.

With so many diets, it’s hard to figure out which one is best for you. A calorie deficit diet is one of the most effective diets that has proven to be a tried and tested method towards healthy weight loss. This is because your weight is directly related to the amount of calories you eat and drink. Let’s explore this correlation and understand everything about calorie deficit diets and whether it is safe to follow for someone trying to lose weight.

What is a calorie deficit diet?

If you’re trying to lose weight, you may have heard about following a calorie-restricted diet to lose weight. A study published in the American Journal of Psychology, Endocrinology, and Metabolism found that the risk of obesity depends on a person’s total calorie intake. Dietitian Sushma PS tells Health Shots that a calorie deficit is when you eat fewer calories than your body uses in a day. “This is an important part of weight management because it encourages your body to burn fat for energy.”

A calorie-free diet is considered an effective way to lose weight in a healthy and sustainable way.

A calorie deficit diet is one of the best weight loss diets. Image Courtesy: Adobe Stock

How to calculate calorie deficit?

A calorie deficit diet is a nutritional approach that focuses on consuming fewer calories than your body requires, with the primary goal of weight loss. Although it is easy to understand, some people may find it difficult to calculate the calorie deficit. We understand that ratios can be confusing, which is why we’re sharing a simple way to calculate your calorie deficit.

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“Calorie deficit is calculated by taking your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) and subtracting a specific number of calories from it to create a calorie deficit. A rule of thumb is to aim for a calorie deficit of between 500 and 1,000 per day, resulting in a weight loss of about 1 to 2 pounds per week,” explains the expert. For example, if your TDEE is 2000 calories and you aim for a 500 calorie deficit, your target daily intake would be 1500 calories.

What foods should you eat on a calorie deficit diet?

Since you need to consume fewer calories than your body burns, you need to include low-calorie foods in your diet. Dietitian Sushma says that one should include whole, unprocessed foods that nourish the body and mind as well. Here are some foods to include in a calorie-restricted diet:

1. Fruits and Vegetables: Rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber, they are low in calories and high in nutrients.
2. Whole Grains: Brown rice, quinoa and oats provide sustained energy and are a good source of complex carbohydrates.
3. Legumes: Lentils, chickpeas and beans provide protein and fiber, promoting feelings of fullness.
4. Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, walnuts, chia seeds and flax seeds provide healthy fats and additional nutrients.
5. Lean Protein: Include sources like tofu, tempeh and low-fat dairy for protein without extra calories.

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What foods should be avoided in a calorie deficit diet?

When you’re following a calorie deficit diet, it’s important to focus on nutrient-rich foods that provide essential vitamins and minerals without increasing your calorie count. Here are some foods you should avoid:

1. Processed Foods: High in unhealthy fats, sugars and empty calories.
2. Flavored Drinks: Soda, fruit juices and sweetened beverages add unnecessary calories.
3. Fried foods: Avoid excessive fried foods, as they are high in calories and can hinder weight loss efforts.
4. Refined Carbohydrates: Limit white bread, white rice and other refined grains, choosing whole grains instead.
5. Full Fat Dairy: While dairy can be part of a balanced diet, opt for low-fat versions to reduce calorie intake.
6. High Calorie Spices: Try to avoid things like mayonnaise, sauces and creamy dressings as they are high in calories.

calorie deficit diet
Avoid junk and processed food while following a calorie-deficient diet. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

1500 calorie deficit diet plan

A low-calorie diet can vary from person to person, and you should talk to a nutritionist for some personalized guidance on keeping your calorie intake under control. Here’s a sample 1500-calorie plan by dietitian Sushma that you can try:

1. Breakfast (300 calories): Oatmeal with fruit and a handful of nuts.
2. Lunch (400 calories): Quinoa salad with mixed vegetables and a lean protein source (tofu or grilled chicken).
3. Breakfast (150 calories): Greek yogurt with berries.
4. Dinner (450 calories): Baked or grilled fish with steamed vegetables and brown rice.
5. Breakfast (200 calories): A small portion of mixed nuts and seeds.

It’s important to pay attention to your body’s hunger and fullness signals to avoid starving yourself or overeating. It is important to strike a balance while following a calorie deficit diet. It is also important to stay hydrated and incorporate regular physical activity.

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