Why It’s More Than Just A Calorie Deficit
In the realms of social media health and fitness, you’ve quite possibly heard of a “calorie deficit”.
It’s been shouted at you for years now.
“If you want to lose weight, just eat a calorie f*cking deficit”.
Some people have even become famous by simply uttering those few words.
But, is it as simple as just hitting a calorie deficit, seeing weight loss, and living happily ever after.
Why Does A “Calorie Deficit” Matter
So, when you’re looking to lose weight, you have to obey the rules of Energy Balance.
If you consume more calories than you expend during our day/week, you’re left with surplus energy which gets stored. Therefore, you gain weight by storing this left-over energy as fat.
If you consume fewer calories than you expend, you need to find some energy to make up the difference, so your body will tap into fuel reserves (aka fat) to make up the difference.
So, if you continued to consume fewer calories than you burn, you’ll see a reduction in body fat stores and weight since you’re now depleting our stored energy reserves.
That’s a simplistic example, but it will give you the general gist of it.
It might be very simple to think that if you want to lose weight, make sure you’re in a calorie deficit and away you run towards consistent fat loss, sunsets, and rainbows.
But if that were the case and it was that simple, then why are obesity rates still increasing?
Why are we not all going around wearing next to nothing to show off our abs and chiseled bodies?
And why are so many people still unhappy with how they look?
Well, maybe, just maybe, there’s a bit more to it than just giving clients a simple “calorie deficit” and then scolding them for not losing weight.
Why It’s More Than A Calorie Deficit
Every single week, I see more and more posts about calorie deficits, or almost ridiculing people for questioning why they’re not losing weight.
The posts tend to always be a case of “Duh, you weren’t in a [insert expletive of your choice] CaLoRiE DeFiCiT”.
To me, that defeats the purpose and doesn’t do the client or person any justice.
It would be far more productive to help you to take a moment and look back over the week and month to see why you didn’t see progress, or maybe struggled with food.
Did you have to deal with stress, or some shit life brings?
Are you prone to emotional eating?
Did friends twist your arm into having drinks and takeaway?
How have you been doing mentally? Struggling, having a rough time, stuff happening behind the scenes that are affecting your food choices?
And a plethora of other factors.
Yet every day, it’s screamed at you to “EAT A CALORIE DEFICIT”.
But you could be sitting there struggling and not enjoying life as much as you should.
And now you’ve to feel even more shit because you didn’t hit your deficit.
Avoid Feeling Bad
Let’s face it – we’re all run by emotions.
Ever leave work after a crap day and just cannot wait to get a Chinese takeaway and bottle of wine/beer on the way home so you can pull the curtains, watch tv, and just switch off from the world for a bit?
That’s emotionally driven.
Along with a multitude of impulse decisions we make.
We tend to view food and material goods based on how they will make us feel.
Nobody looks at an €800 handbag and thinks “wow, that’ll be very practical to carry my bits and pieces“.
It’s quite possible you think of how good it would feel to own it, the compliments from friends, and making that b*tch Debbie jealous. (Sorry to any Debbie’s).
Or us lads who drop some decent coin on watches or “flashy” stuff. It tends to show that you’re doing well and brings about a dose of confidence with it.
Well, the same goes for food.
We all have that comfort we go to during stressful times.
And we all fall victim to poor habits we’ve ingrained over time.
So, the best way to start getting ourselves into a consistent calorie deficit would be to start working on those underlying habits, behaviours, moods, emotions, and societal factors that tend to derail us a bit.
Start by keeping snacks and sweets out of the house, and keep the fridge stocked with good, nutritious food that’s quick to cook, even when having a ‘mare of a day.
Bring in good habits like drinking lots of water, going for regular walks to unwind mentally, and add in some more veg to your meals.
Pay attention to what foods you tend to overeat, or you just absolutely love to binge on and put some focus on keeping that limited.
Look for support too – tell a few friends what you’re trying to achieve and get them to appreciate you might not be always on for drinking and eating to excess. But you can still go have some fun.
And always remember, one bad meal doesn’t mean a bad day.
One bad day doesn’t make a bad week.
We all slip up, so don’t beat yourself up and throw in the towel.
Do something positive to bring your mind back into it and keep chipping away.
Yes, a calorie deficit determines whether you lose weight or not.
But it’s not that simple.
Your relationship with food, emotions, state of mind, external stressed, social life, peer pressure, or maybe being stuck in a rut will have a bearing on how easy it is to stick to it.
There’s a lot more going on in people’s lives, and sometimes it can feel like you’re juggling so much.
So, if you do have the odd bad week, please don’t quit.
Just aim to be that little bit better and more consistent.
Look for some simple, easy wins each day to bring in good habits and success.
Over time it will all accumulate to good things.
Keep working at it, and if you ever need help, just drop me an email.
P.s. If you want to dive deeper into how to lose weight, boost confidence, and love life, you can pick up a copy of my book (paperback or ebook) right here: