A Caloric Deficit Is Needed Over Time To Lose Weight

You must burn more calories than you eat (caloric deficit over time) in order to lose weight and burn body fat. This is the law of thermodynamics. Even if you are a "workout warrior," the law of thermodynamics still applies. You cannot eat as much as you want (or maintain a caloric surplus) and still lose weight.

Having said that, eat whole, natural foods and don't focus solely on your caloric intake. Whole foods have one ingredient, the food itself. An example would be a piece of fruit or vegetable. You will find yourself getting full on fewer calories. And, you will stay fuller for a longer period.

You can keep a food journal until you get good at knowing what, how much and when to eat. You will establish healthy eating habits that you can maintain. Starvation and fad diets, which focus on severe calorie restriction, cannot be maintained for very long. That's why you regain the weight you lost when you start to eat regularly.  Eating 1,000 calories a day would be severe calorie restriction.

Again, you must maintain a caloric deficit over time in order to lose weight. Here is an example: your daily maintenance calories are 2,500 and you burn another 1,000 calories through activities and exercise (6,000 total calories burned). Your caloric intake on day 1 is 2,500 and 3,500 on day 2 (a total of 6,000 calories eaten).

Over the two day period, you have not achieved a caloric deficit. Instead, you are in caloric balance. You will not lose weight over the two day period. You can expand this example to one week, one month, etc.

Of course, there are other factors involved in the weight loss process such as sleep habits, stress and medical problems. But, the primary cause of weight gain are consistent caloric surpluses.

If you exercise regularly, it will be easier for you to maintain your caloric deficit.

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Mark Dilworth, BA, PES


  1. I recently lost a large amount of weight. However, I occasionally hit a wall with diet and excercise. I'll be looking at this site often for tips and expert advice. Thanks.

  2. I totally agree you have to burn off more then what you are taking in :)

  3. That is a great point, you don't have to have the exact same calories every day. That's why it's best to monitor your intake and activities by using a calorie counter or journal.

  4. This is a great article its have great tips

    Thanks For this


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About Mark


Mark Dilworth is a Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist and since 2006 he has owned Your Fitness University, Her Fitness Hut, My Fitness Hut, Sports Fitness Hut.

Mark has helped thousands of clients and readers make lifestyle changes that lead to better long-term health, which includes acceptable body fat and ideal body weight.He does not recommend fad diets, quick weight loss gimmicks, starvation diets, weight loss pills, fat burner supplements and the like.

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