Jeff asked in HealthDiet & Fitness · 1 decade ago

What exactly is a calorie deficit to lose weight?

So i thought i understood a calorie deficit but apparently i don't. I thought it was; say i need 3000 cals to maintain 190 lbs, if I eat only 2500, the calorie deficit of 500/day over time will result in weight loss. But if i am reading right, a calorie deficit is burning 3500 calories on a 3000 calorie maintenance. Both ways make sense now that i think of it...are they both the same idea? Is one right? Thanks

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    A caloric deficit just means that you are burning off more than you take in. In both of your examples, you are creating a deficit. One by exercise, one by consuming less. Which way you create the deficit doesn't really make a difference, the end result is the same.

  • 1 decade ago

    Your first thought was correct. Its a complicated topic.

    Okay, put it like this; Your body needs a certain amount of calories just to stay healthy / alive, yes? we'll take for example, someone who needs 1000 calories to stay healthy

    So they must eat 1000 calories a day if they want everything in their body to function.

    Now they must eat an additional 1000 calories if they want to stay the same weight, 2000 calories total. (1000 for weight) (1000 for staying healthy).

    If this person ate, 2500 calories, they've eaten 500 calories MORE than they need to maintain weight, and so this excess is laid down as fat and therefore weight is gained. If they eat 1500 calories (reduction of 500 calories) they are eating LESS than they need to MAINTAIN weight, but enough to stay healthy, and so combine that with cardio, and you have weight loss.

    Its a very complicated topic, but basically, reduce your calorie intake by 500, and exercise, you'll be fine and lose weight.

    Hope that description helped!

  • 1 decade ago

    Both of those methods will create a 500 calorie deficit. A calorie deficit simply means that you don't consume as many calories as your body expends during the day.

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