Ever wondered how to make a calorie deficit easier?
Let’s be honest, it sucks.
You are hungry, you have to be on point with your diet, and you are wondering when the heck the weight is going to finally come off.
Well, just know I feel you.
I understand where you are coming from and that is why in this quick article I am going to give you exact tips and strategies on how to make a calorie deficit easier.
There are going to be 10 immediately actionable tips and tricks I use to get you to make this whole weight loss thing just a tad bit less frustrating. I call them the 10 commandments of weight loss.
Just be sure to read through every single one of the 10 commandments so you can leave this article feeling confident in yourself to kick some calorie deficit butt.
Sound like a fair trade to you?
Perfect, let’s hit it then.
How To Make A Calorie Deficit Easier
What Is A Calorie Deficit
Before I dive into the 10 commandments, let’s first quickly cover what a calorie deficit is and how to find yours.
If you are reading this article right now, there is a good chance you know what a calorie deficit is.
Yet just to be sure, a calorie deficit is simply a negative energy balance equation.
Energy for the human body comes in the form of calories. Your body needs energy (calories) to do all of it’s bodily functions.
Digest food, recover from workouts, breathe, perform reproductive processes, etc etc.
There are a certain amount of calories you need to maintain your current body weight, this called your maintenance calories.
Therefore, if you eat below your maintenance calories, you are now in a calorie deficit.
This means you are eating less calories than what your body burns. Your body will then have to go to stored fuel for energy.
Stored fuel is body fat. Therefore that is how your body “burns fat”, is by being in this calorie deficit, and going to your stored fat as an energy source.
This is, by the way, the only way you lose body fat.
It isn’t through special diets, or certain supplements, or detox teas.
The only way to lose fat is through creating this calorie deficit. If you want some more help understanding what a calorie deficit is, check out this video I did HERE.
How To Find Your Calorie Deficit
Now that we are up to speed on exactly what a calorie deficit is, how do you find yours?
Great question and something I can help with.
I am going to link here below my 100% totally free calorie calculator. This will be able to tell you how many calories your body needs to maintain it’s current weight.
It will also be able to give you calculations on how many calories your body needs to lose fat at a given rate.
When it comes to how to make a calorie deficit easier, it starts with knowing exactly how many calories you should be consuming to lose weight.
I would use this calculator below to determine how many calories your body needs to lose weight!
Remember though, any calculator that you use is going to be a rough estimate.
It is not going to be 100% accurate.
They can be pretty darn close ( Like mine! ), but even still you are going to have to put it into practice to truly know if it works or not.
I talk more about how to know if you are in a calorie deficit in this video HERE .
How To Make A Calorie Deficit Easier : 10 Commandments
Now you know exactly what a calorie deficit is and what yours should be, yet that doesn’t make it easier.
There is a reason that we have such an obesity epidemic across the board which is that it is hard to eat in this calorie deficit.
Yet, that is truly why you are here reading this and I am here writing this.
I am going to now give you 10 actionable tips you can use starting today to make your calorie deficit easier.
Play close attention to each one as I want you to truly understand what it is and how to implement it into your diet today!
Replace One Meal For A Big Ass Salad
The first of the 10 commandments is something that is so simple, yet so effective.
That is going to be no matter what, make one of your meals per day a big ass salad.
Let’s say you have 3 meals per day, breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
For one of those meals, you know you are having a big ass salad.
Now, a few things here.
First, don’t over complicate it. People often ask me.
“Eric, what dressing do you use?! What’s in the salad?! Is iceberg lettuce or only kale?!”.
Homie, don’t overthink it.
Get a big bowl. Put some green stuff in it. Put some protein on top. Don’t lather yourself with ranch dressing, use a reasonable amount of dressing.
Then you are good to go.
Me personally, I just use the pre made salad bags.
I buy pre made salads, I use all of the greens, 1/2 of the dressing and 1/2 of whatever else they put in.
This makes it so I can decrease some of the unnecessary calories from the added extras and dressing, but still have it be more than just eating plain lettuce.
I then throw some protein on top. This could be
- Ground beef
To name a few.
The reason you incorporate one big ass salad per day is because a salad is very high volume for very low calories.
What does this mean?
It means you can fill your stomach up with a ton of food because green vegetables are not very high in calories.
As opposed to let’s say an oreo or two. Imagine two oreos in your stomach vs a big ass salad for probably the same calorie count.
Massive difference right?
Start incorporating a big ass salad as one of your meals today! Make it a non negotiable.
You can put in things you like and enjoy, but make it a staple in your diet.
2. Walk 5-10k steps per day
This is probably one of the most under rated and under utilized tools when it comes to how to make a calorie deficit easier.
There are 4 main ways your body burns calories. I can put a picture here below.
The first is your BMR, this is how many calories your body burns at rest if you just laid in bed all day.
The second is your NEAT, your non exercise activity thermogenesis. This is all of the extraneous movement you get throughout the day that isn’t dedicated exercise.
The third is your TEF, thermic effect of food. This is how many calories your body needs to burn to digest your food. ( Hint : Remember this for later! ).
The fourth is your EAT, your exercise activity thermogenesis. This is calories urned from exercise. ( Which is a huge reason why you should stop worrying about how many calories you burn during your workouts! ).
When it comes to making a calorie deficit easier, we know that you need to eat less calories than what you body burns correct?
Well, walking is going to increase your NEAT. As you can see, your NEAT takes up 15% of how many calories your body burns in a given day.
Therefore if you can increase your NEAT by walking, you are going to increase your overall energy expenditure, and help yourself get into that calorie deficit.
Us as humans are walking way less than we used to with desk jobs or transitioning from being a kid running around, playing sports, to now being an adult in the real world!
Therefore, utilizing simple walking can be a massive tool to help in how to make a calorie deficit easier.
I suggest getting roughly 5-10k steps per day!
3. High Volume Foods
I briefly touched on this earlier when talking about the salad vs the oreos.
One of the best ways you can stay full and satisfied while in a calorie deficit is going to be eating high volume foods.
Once again, high volume foods are just foods that you can eat a lot of, for not a lot of calories.
Salad is a great example of this because for example 2 cups of spinach is only 20 calories.
2 cups of spinach is a lot of spinach. That is going to fill your stomach up with food, yet for very few calories.
This will help keep you full, which causes you to be less hungry, which causes you to eat less calories overall.
Some more examples of higher volume foods are
For a whole lb of watermelon it is only 150 calories. A whole pound!
For a whole lb of strawberries it is only 140 calories. A whole pound!
To name a few.
I am not saying these are the only foods you can eat, but working these foods into your diet is going to help you stay full and satisfied.
Which why do most people end up having trouble sticking to their calorie deficit?
They get HANGRY!
4. Eat Simple Meals ( One Ingredient Foods )
In a day and age where instagram rules wild and everyone is showing off their fancy food pics, I got a secret for you.
Being successful in a calorie deficit isn’t as flashy or pretty as the people on instagram might have you believe.
The truth is the majority of people who are successful on their calorie deficit / weight loss journey, eat very simple meals day in and day out.
I am not saying they have to taste bad, but I am saying they should be simple.
What I always recommend is eating majority one ingredient foods.
What does this mean? Let’s think about it.
One ingredient food, eggs. That is the only ingredient in eggs is eggs, right?
One ingredient food, oatmeal. The only ingredient in oatmeal is, just that, oatmeal.
One ingredient food, banana. The only ingredient in a banana is, you guessed it, a banana.
Therefore basing your meals around these one ingredient foods is going to help with a few things.
First one ingredient foods tend to be more filling, more nutrient dense, and less processed.
Meaning, you are going to once again get more full from them for typically lower calories.
Second, they are also easier to track and make sure you are in a deficit with. I talk about ways to make actually counting your calories easier in this article HERE .
Third, they are much harder to over eat. Think about, have you ever heard someone over eat on oatmeal?
Or overeat on spinach? Or just ate 8 bananas in a row?
Usually not. Usually it is the higher processed foods like chips, cookies, etc that make people over eat on them.
Because, well, that is the whole reason they are designed in a lab is to make you over eat on them.
That way you go back and buy more of them!
Therefore trying to stick to one ingredient foods and trying to stick your meals around one ingredient foods is a huge pro tip in how to make a calorie deficit easier.
5. Eat High Protein ( At Every Meal )
Protein is by far the most important macro nutrient, while at the same time the most under rated macro nutrient.
Protein is important for a few main reasons.
Number one is that it has the highest TEF.
Remember what TEF stands for? Thermic effect of food.
This is how many calories your body burns while digesting food.
Protein just so happens to have the highest TEF which means your body has to burn more calories simply just because you ate protein.
Don’t you think that will help with getting into a calorie deficit?
Protein is also the most satiating macro nutrient, which just means it is going to help fill you up the most.
If you are more satisfied and less hungry for cravings and other things alike, it will be a heck of a lot easier to stick to your calorie deficit.
Finally, protein is the only nutrient to help build and retain lean muscle mass.
The more lean muscle mass you have on your body, the higher your metabolism is.
Aka, the more calories your body burns.
Therefore for all of those three main reasons above, protein is massively important.
In terms of how much protein you should consume per day, I would recommend taking your goal body weight ( in lbs ) and multiplying between .8-1.
Let’s say your goal body weight is 150lbs. 150lbs x 8-1 = 120-150g of protein per day!
Pro Tip : I know protein can be hard to get sometimes in our diet, that is why I did a quick video HERE highlighting my best ways to eat more protein!
As well as you might ask me “Eric, what about protein shakes?!”. I will link the protein shake that I use HERE and recommend to all of my clients.
You can use my code “ERIC” at checkout to save 20% off if you wanna try it out!
6. Eat REAL Meals
If you are somewhat who snacks consistently throughout the day, this one is for you.
What most people do is they under eat on their meals and they over eat on snacks.
For example, if you look at how many calories you are getting from meals, it might be 2-300 per meal.
If you look at your calories from snacks, it is probably 1-2000 per day.
This, is not conducive to losing weight or sticking to your calorie deficit because once again, you typically aren’t snacking on celery or pickles.
It is normally the higher processed, higher palatable foods like chips, cookies, candy, pretzels, etc.
To fix this and make this calorie deficit life easier for you, please start having real meals.
A meal should not be 200 calories.
A meal should be 4, 5, 600 calories.
This happens a lot with people who are scared to eat breakfast and lunch because they think they are going to need those calories later on when they “get hungry”.
Yet what they don’t realize is the only reason they or you are hungry later in the day and want to snack is because you haven’t given your body enough fuel or calorie during the day, so it is asking for some.
This then leads you to be super hungry, have cravings, and start grabbing whatever is the most convenient.
This also then leads you to go over on your calories and gain weight.
Therefore to help fix this, start eating real meals.
Try to follow the one plate rule, and that is going to be.
- make sure each meal fits on one plate
- Make sure each meal has 1/4 of the plate protein ( at least! )
- Make sure the plate has 1/2 vegetables
- Make sure the plate has 1/4 carbs
If you do this at each meal, I promise your meals are going to be incredibly filling which is going to help you keep your overall calories in check for the day.
7. Cut Out Liquid Calories
One of the easiest ways on how to make a calorie deficit easier is simply cutting out liquid calories.
First what are liquid calories.
Think things like soda, alcohol, milk, juice smoothies, juices, Starbucks coffee, etc.
Are these things bad? No of course not. One of the beautiful things about this whole “calorie deficit” thing is that it proves no one food makes you fat or gain weight.
It is all about your overall calorie intake.
Yet when it comes to liquid calories, these calories add up quick.
Think about your Starbucks coffee. That is easily 2-500 calories right there that you are drinking down the pipe.
If your calorie goal for the day is 1500, now all you have to work with the rest of the day food wise is 1000 calories?
Good luck sticking to your deficit is all I can say!
These calories add up quick and they also don’t really do anything for you.
As in they don’t keep you full, they don’t keep you satisfied, they aren’t very nutrient dense for the most part.
When you hear people say “empty calories” that is kind of what liquid calories are.
They don’t bring much to the table, rather they take a whole lot of potential food you could eat off the table.
Therefore cutting out liquid calories is a staple for me whenever I am trying to lose some body fat. It actually helped me lose 12lbs in 4 weeks .
8. Strength Train
This one is going to make a calorie deficit for a few reasons.
Number one, when you lift weights, you increase your metabolism by building lean muscle mass.
We learned that earlier, when talking about protein, right?!
When you build lean muscle, your BMR increases. Remember your BMR makes up 70% of how many calories your body burns at rest.
If you are doing anything to increase 70% of your daily calorie expenditure, you are doing something right.
Though second, and I believe most importantly, it gives you something else to focus on besides JUST losing weight.
As you already know this weight loss game is really a mental one. No one can deny that.
When you are so focused on the scale going down, measurements going down, progress pictures looking different, etc, you are focused on essentially tearing your body down.
You are focusing on what you don’t like about your body. That can be, for lack of better words, exhausting.
Yet when you introduce strength training and lifting weights, you now have something where you are focused on IMPROVING Your body.
You are lifting more weights, doing more reps, getting better form, seeing muscle definition, etc.
It is something that actually builds your body up, as opposed to tearing your body down.
In a weight loss journey, I think that is crucial to have because without it, you will get so focused on the negatives that it will be impossible to stay consistent.
If you can’t be consistent, then you won’t see progress anyway jack.
9. Two, Two, Two
This is a strategy I have used with my clients over and over again, and it just simply works.
It is the two, two, two rule.
The two and two rule is each day, no matter what, you need to
- eat 2 servings of vegetables
- Eat 2 servings of fruit
- Drink 2 liters of water
Now let me explain.
When I say “servings” I mean 2x per day.
So vegetables, if you have a salad at lunch, and spinach for dinner, you are getting two servings.
For fruit, if you have a banana at breakfast, and strawberries at lunch, that is two servings.
For the water, I put 2 liters of water.
Is there anything special about that? Nope.
It is trust a good amount of water to shoot for that is going to help you keep you full, satisfied and hydrated in your weight loss journey? Yep.
This rule isn’t rocket science, but that is what seeing results is all about.
It is about mastering the basics.
If you truly can get two servings of fruit, two servings of veggies, and two liters of water per day everyday, you will be hard pressed to NOT see progress.
10. Stop Trying To Rush It
I put this one last because I wanted you to leave with this.
When it comes to how to make a calorie deficit easier, this is in my opinion the most important thing.
You need to stop trying to rush your weight loss.
Stop trying to be perfect.
Finally, stop trying to lose 10lbs per week.
I understand we all want to see progress yesterday, who doesn’t.
Yet this is the number one reason why you can never see progress.
You are trying to lose weight as quickly as humanly possible so what do you do?
You start doing incredibly restrictive things like eating 1000 calories, cutting out your carbs, and only eating “Clean” foods.
Which, is not sustainable at all, so you do it for two weeks.
Then you think you “F*cked up” because you went off track ( uh, duh, that is legit impossible to stick to ) and think you ruined all of your progress.
Then you go off and binge for a few days, only to get “right back on track” with this incredibly restrictive approach.
Therefore you can never truly be consistent, and since you aren’t consistent, you can’t see any progress.
Stop. It. Now.
Stop trying to be perfect, you will never be perfect.
You don’t have to be perfect in order to lose weight! Seriously!
The only thing you have to do is be consistent. That’s it.
Yet consistency doesn’t come from being perfect or trying to lose weight as quickly as humanly possible.
Consistency comes from taking a slow, steady and sustainable approach over the long haul the you can keep up with and make an actual lifestyle change.
Which is what you want anyway right? You want to make this a lifestyle change?
Slow down man, stop trying to rush it. That’s what holding you back.
No more, got it?
How To Make A Calorie Deficit Easier : Final Word
Well, there you have it, The 10 commandments on how to make a calorie deficit easier.
I hope you got something from this article and if you did, feel free to share it with a friend who you think it could help.