?Too much of a deficit ?
So following on from something we mentioned last week. We looked at calorie deficits for fat loss but we also mentioned that you can reach too much of a deficit in your fat loss journey, that can actually be counterproductive to the results that you want.
??There are of course some long-term effects that we need to be aware of rather than just the short-term gains that you will inevitably achieve.
So what is too much of a calorie deficit??
Anything above a 25% reduction in your maintenance calories would be considered a large caloric deficit, but in this case, we’re going to look at why that would be too much for efficient and lasting fat loss.
So just to put that in perspective an individual with a maintenance calorie level (no weight loss or gain) of 2000kcal who reduces their calories by 25% equaling 1500kcal would be in a large caloric deficit. So why might this be too much?
First of all yes ? in this caloric deficit, you will lose weight, that’s a given, you’re in a deficit. However, the real issue lies further down the line as it may hinder further goals and progress.
Well staying in a large calorie deficit for a prolonged period of time could result in metabolic slowing ? i.e. your maintenance level of calories will drop, meaning when you start to eat more again weight gain will occur at a faster rate.
This can be avoided by having regular weeks at maintenance level after weight loss is achieved e.g. lose 2lbs in 2 weeks, do a week of maintenance then back to your deficit; but wouldn’t it be easier and nicer to have a smaller deficit that you can keep in for a longer period of time without having to worry about being so restrictive?
Yea I thought so too!
So instead of going from 2000kcal maintenance to 1500kcal large deficit, why not sit at 1800kcal for a longer period? (It’ll still work I promise). It’s so much more manageable and you will still get the results you’re after.
Having a larger deficit also leads to larger errors. What do I mean by that? If you’ve cut down to 1500kcal and have 2 cookies you’re now potentially 500 calories over your target that’s an increase of that 25% you cut out in the first place. Having those same cookies in a smaller deficit will give you more room for maneuver and still be within your calorie allowance.
?A few other reasons a large calorie deficit could be too much include…
?An increased risk of losing muscle tissue, therefore reducing your fat burning potential (muscle is functional and burns calories ?)
?It’s a lot harder to be motivated to stick to and maintain a large deficit
?Depriving yourself of certain foods can lead to binge eating
?If calories are too low it can be hard to maintain muscular adaption and growth
?Resting metabolic rate could reduce e.g. 2000kcal before dieting, 1750kcal after dieting
?Setting too high a deficit is just setting yourself up for failure
?So there you have our checklist of why a caloric deficit could be ‘too much of a deficit