I was going through my DMs today & saw a question that I get asked all the time by people who want to lose weight in an impatient way. “Is it okay if I eat in a 1000 calorie deficit?” Some are curious, some are serious. Simply the answer is “no that’s a very bad idea” but why is it a bad idea?
Extreme deficits are an awful idea for losing weight because:
1. This sets you up to rebound and fail. The number one aspect of any weight loss strategy is that it has to be sustainable or else it will result in failure. This is why “Fad diets” never work. Because they’re unsustainable. Think of your body like an engine, what if you just stopped putting gas in your car? Would you really be surprised when it leaves you stranded on the side of the highway?
2. They make you feel like death. Have you ever done a cut? If you have you know how rough the last couple weeks are, if not I’ll sum it up for you. You’re exhausted to the point where you’re going to Starbucks four times a day, always hungry (& I mean always) & usually pretty miserable. & this is at a controlled deficit, not a wild 1000 calorie drop.
So how do you use surpluses or deficits? Well for starters I’d go get a good food scale, measuring cups & download myfitnesspal. Second, understand that aiming to gain or lose more than 1lbs a week through diet becomes VERY unsustainable very quickly. A caloric surplus or deficit should fall in the range of 250 calories (for 0.5lbs weeks) – 500 calories (for 1lbs weeks) per day. For reference, a pound of body weight is 3500 calories.
Most importantly make sure you adjust your numbers as you increase or decrease in weight. Be smart & be patient good things take time, great things take effort!