How Do You Train Your Body to Have a Calorie Deficit?

How Do You Train Your Body to Have a Calorie Deficit?

One of the best ways to lose weight is to operate at a calorie deficit. Basically, an individual must consume fewer calories than their body can burn through diet, exercise, or both. In general, it’s harder to create this deficit by exercising more, which is why so much emphasis is placed on the importance of dieting for weight loss.

However, this doesn’t diminish the importance of exercise. In fact, studies show that diet and exercise together produce more results than relying on either strategy on its own. Exercise burns calories, but it also requires extra calories for performance and recovery. Therefore, training while dieting will require some extra planning.

How to Train on a Calorie Deficit

Lift Weights

A pound of muscle burns more calories than a pound of fat, so it’s beneficial to work towards a body composition with more muscle than fat. Unfortunately, this means muscles also require more calories to maintain their state. Consequently, a calorie deficit may contribute to muscle loss.

Dieting limits the energy available for workouts, so it’s important to exercise strategically. Studies show that resistance training effectively preserves muscle mass in dieting individuals. Therefore, an activity like weightlifting supports muscle mass while burning calories, which helps the body lose fat over time.

Eat More Protein

In the human body, muscles are built and repaired by amino acids from protein. A diet high in protein helps prevent muscle loss by providing extra amino acids while undergoing a calorie deficit. Protein has also been shown to promote satiety, which usually cuts down on cravings and appetite, helping people eat less food overall. Some examples of high-protein, low-calorie foods are fish, chicken, egg whites, tofu, nuts, and legumes.

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Eat More Fiber

According to Fitmate, “it’s important to choose food that is “full of nutrients” like protein and fiber. While protein builds muscle, fiber takes up space in the stomach that would otherwise go to high-calorie food.” A plate of spaghetti and a bowl of lentil stew may have an identical calorie count, but the latter is preferable for its protein and fiber content. Consuming more fruits and vegetables, which are naturally high in fiber, is an easy way to cut calories while filling up on fiber at the same time.

Spend More Time Recovering

There’s more to losing weight than wondering what a calorie deficit is. A calorie deficit limits the amount of energy available for the body to use during performance and recovery. Therefore, muscles will need a more extended period of time to recover from a workout.

While training during a calorie deficit, emphasis should be placed on the quality over the quantity of a workout session. Overworking muscles when there’s not enough energy available can lead to performance breakdown and injury. In times when energy is scarce, it’s better to emphasize maintaining performance rather than increasing workout intensity. This conserves the energy that should be used in recovery.

More Than Just Calories

Obviously, there’s more to calorie-counting when it comes to losing weight. Choosing the right types of foods and exercises can go a long way in helping an individual achieve their weight loss goals.