Why do Calorie Deficits Help You Lose Weight?

Losing weight can be a challenging journey, and many individuals struggle to achieve their desired results despite their best efforts. But one crucial aspect of weight loss that is now being highlighted is creating a calorie deficit, which means consuming fewer calories than your body needs to maintain its current weight.

At Bodyline, our established and fully supported medical weight loss programmes combine medical treatments and personalised plans to create a calorie deficit that can be sustained longer than fad diets to ensure successful weight loss.

That’s why we’d like to help you understand the science behind calorie deficits and how they contribute to effective weight loss.

Understanding Calorie Deficits

Calories are a unit used to measure the energy content in food and beverages.

When we consume more calories than our body needs, the excess energy is stored as fat, leading to weight gain.

On the other hand, when we consume fewer calories than our body requires, it creates an energy imbalance, making the body tap into its fat stores for additional energy. This is known as a calorie deficit and is the key to weight loss.

The Science Behind Weight Loss

To comprehend why calorie deficits are essential for weight loss, we need to understand the science behind it. When you consistently maintain a calorie deficit, your body starts utilizing stored fat as an energy source. As the body uses the stored fat for energy, the fat stores to reduce, which leads to a reduction in body weight and body fat percentage.

Essentially every fad diet ever created is a new way to attempt a calorie deficit, whether you’re cutting out carbohydrates, intermittent fasting, or only eating eggs and nuts! The issue is, most of these fad diets are very difficult to sustain for long periods of time, so when results aren’t manifesting quickly enough, people give up, end up binging, and undoing all the progress they made.

No wonder data has shown that Brits are likely to try 126 fad diets in their lifetime, as none of them work long enough to produce good weight loss results!

The science behind successful weight loss is sustainable calorie deficits, so the secret to weight loss is to find a calorie deficit that you can maintain long term!

Benefits of Calorie Deficits

Creating a calorie deficit offers several benefits for weight loss:

Fat Utilization

When you maintain a calorie deficit, your body starts using stored fat as its primary energy source. This leads to a reduction in body fat percentage, resulting in weight loss and improved body composition.

Improved Insulin Sensitivity

Calorie deficits can improve insulin sensitivity, which is crucial for effective weight loss. When your body becomes more insulin-sensitive, it can better regulate blood sugar levels and prevent excessive fat storage.

Increased Metabolism

Consistently maintaining a calorie deficit can increase your metabolism over time. When your body senses an energy deficit, it adapts by increasing energy expenditure to compensate. This can lead to a higher metabolic rate, allowing you to burn more calories even at rest.

Supported Medical Weight Loss Treatment Programmes

Sticking to a calorie deficit can be challenging, especially when you haven’t been able to stick to one before. However, diet and exercise alone are not necessarily enough to help some people lose weight. Obesity itself can significantly impact the ability to stick to a calorie deficit, as the hormones are impacted and dysregulated.

At Bodyline, we use the latest in obesity treatments to help those struggling to lose weight stick to a calorie deficit with the help of appetite suppressing and hormone mimicking medications. These include oral treatments like Phentermine, and injectable therapies like WeGovy and Mounjaro.

We can assess your specific needs, medical history, and lifestyle, and provide personalised prescriptions and recommendations to help you create a sustainable calorie deficit and reach your wellness and weight loss goals.

How to Create a Calorie Deficit

Katie Illingsworth, one of our nurse prescribers and a trained nutritional therapist believes the importance of finding out what a personal calorie deficit is for you is fundamental to weight loss.

Weight loss cannot be a one size fits all approach; it has to fit around your life.

“There is a common misconception that when you’re significantly overweight you should go into a dramatic calorie deficit. Now yes, you will lose weight short term and you’ll think it’s working. But hormonally, you are physiologically causing harm, because your body isn’t designed to do that. It will think it’s gone into starvation mode, or in hibernation. This will mean it starts to store the fat and instead burn your muscle, causing them to feel weak, and tired, and make you more likely to binge.

“When people go through our weight loss programme, they need to work out how many calories they burn, which is called your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE). That’s available online. It is based on your height, weight, age, gender, and activity levels. Let us say it might be 2,500 calories – if you want to lose a pound a week, you will take off 500 calories, which will mean that the calorie deficit for you would be 2,000 calories. Even though it may not sound like it, that is the calorie deficit for some body types, and it is what helps weight loss become sustainable.”

Here are the tips that can help find your calorie deficit, stick to it, and help you lose weight sustainably.

Track Your Caloric Intake

To create a calorie deficit, you need to have a clear understanding of your daily caloric intake. Track the number of calories you consume from food and beverages using a food diary or a mobile app. This will help you identify areas where you can adjust to create a deficit.

Work Your Calorie Deficit

Depending on your weight, height, gender, and physical activity, calorie deficits can vary from person to person. Use online calculators like this one to work out what your personal calorie deficit should be, and ensure you stick to that number or below.

Reduce Portion Sizes

Portion control plays a crucial role in creating a calorie deficit. Be mindful of serving sizes and aim to reduce them gradually. Opt for smaller plates to visually trick your mind into feeling satisfied with less food.

Increase Physical Activity

Physical activity is another key component of creating a calorie deficit. Incorporate regular exercise into your routine to burn additional calories and boost your metabolism. Aim for a combination of cardiovascular exercises and strength training for optimal results.

The Importance of Sustainability

While calorie deficits are essential for weight loss, it is crucial to approach them with sustainability in mind. Drastic and unsustainable calorie restrictions can lead to nutrient deficiencies, muscle loss, and metabolic slowdown. It is important to focus on creating a moderate calorie deficit that allows for gradual and healthy weight loss.

If you’re struggling to create a calorie deficit or need support on your weight loss journey, speak to us here at Bodyline. Our experienced clinicians specialise in medical weight loss and can provide the guidance and support you need to achieve your weight loss goals safely and effectively.

Call us on 0800 995 6036 today or complete an on-line enquiry form for a call back.

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