In our previous post, we talked about calories and explained in detail what they are. Following up on that, you’ve probably heard that a calorie surplus or deficit is necessary if you’ve ever tried to lose weight or gain weight. You might be curious as to what it exactly entails or why it’s important for weight loss or gain. This blog elaborates on all you need to know about calorie deficit and surplus, including what they are, how they affect weight loss and weight gain, and how to attain them in a healthy, sustainable way.
In very simple terms, when you continually give your body fewer calories than it needs to sustain calorie expenditure, a calorie deficit occurs. Consistently doing so over an extended period of time results in weight loss. So just like the bank and your money, if you take a loan from the bank and you are unable to pay, that’s a deficit, meaning you owe.
You can reduce your calorie intake, increase your physical activity levels, or do both to create a calorie deficit. Given that you might not have the time, energy, or inclination to exercise every day, it might be simpler and more sustainable to achieve a calorie deficit through nutrition rather than exercise alone. To put it differently, it might be simpler to eat 300 less calories each day than to expend this much through exercise. Exercising is not only for weight loss, it can improve your brain health, reduce the risk of disease, strengthen bones and muscles, and improve your ability to do everyday activities, so yes exercising is very important.
A caloric surplus occurs when the number of calories we consume is higher than the number of calories we burn. You will need to consume more calories than your body needs if you want to gain weight or build muscle. Still using the bank analogy, the surplus is the extra cash in investments in your account.
A calorie counter that considers your weight, sex, age, height, and degree of physical activity can help you determine how many calories you need each day. For caloric surplus, experts advise consuming 10–20% more calories than you need for weight maintenance to gain an average of 0.25–0.5% of your body weight per week. For a caloric deficit, they advise reducing calories by 500 calories daily.
Still, on calories can you give a good guess of what our next blog post will be about?