In simple terms, a calorie deficit diet is the same as an energy deficit diet. It is the basis of weight loss and healthy living. The logic behind a calorie deficit diet is to reduce the number of calories consumed while increasing caloric expenditure. It leaves a ‘gap’ which the body will have to fill by burning fat stores. Fat stores are the body’s source of emergency caloric requirements. When the fat stores are exhausted, for example in starvation, the body shifts to breaking down of protein for energy. Breakdown of protein leads to muscle wasting, and it is why protein shakes can be recommended in a weight loss diet to replace some meals.
What Calorie Deficit Entails
To lose fat, there must be a daily caloric deficit. How does one achieve this? It is important to understand the concept of calorie deficit because it forms the basis of weight loss. Losing weight is more than just diet and exercise. If one takes in 2500 calories daily and burns 2000 calories via exercise and normal daily activities, then this person’s effort would have been in vain. There will be an overall gain of 500 calories every day.
To achieve a caloric deficit, nutritionists have devised a rule which limits daily intake to 1200 calories. It involves adjustments to your diet that will bring the total calorie input per day to 1200. This write-up will explore how to tailor breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even mid-meal snacks to 1200 calories per day.
By rough distribution, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and mid-meal snacks should contain 300 calories each.
Breakfast is king! Its value on health and fitness can never be overemphasized. Skipping breakfast is not a way to lose weight or stay healthy. The best thing to do is to limit the number of calories it contains by choosing a desirable plan for your diet. Considering lunch, dinner, and snacks, breakfast meal should be limited to an average of 300 calories per day. It should be a diet containing high-fiber foods (carbohydrate), fruits, and vegetables. Its fat content should be as minimum as possible. Below are a few examples of meals that will fill the caloric requirement for breakfast without exceeding the 300 calorie limit.
Whole-wheat pasta: 194 cal/56g
Brown Rice: 203 cal/56g
Spaghetti: 207 cal/56g
Macaroni: 211 cal/56g
Brown Bread: 74 cal/30g (1 slice)
Italian Bread: 81 cal/30g (1 slice)
Pancake: 89 cal/38g
These are high-fiber diet foods which provide the calories and nutrient the body requires to start the day. It is however imperative that attention should be paid to calories added when cooking or serving them. This includes butter/jam on bread and sauce on pasta. The number of calories in these spreading are listed below. Those that contain high calories will not be listed. An example of such is unsalted butter and sunflower butter which contains around 150 cal/22.7g.
Apple butter: 29 cal/17g
Chocolate Spread: 65 cal/12g
Egg: 54cal/56g (1 egg)
Tomato Paste: 14 cal/17g
Tomato Sauce: 6 cal/17g
Salad Dressing: 72 cal/16ml
Italian Dressing: 44cal/15ml
Ketchup: 15 cal/15ml
Low-calorie fruits can supplement breakfast to make the total number of calories equal to 300. An example includes cherries (4 cal/1 cherry), tamarind (5 cal/1 tamarind), and a watermelon (8.6 cal/ 28.6g). These will reduce calorie intake and will help you lose fat.
Whatever the combination of meal and fruit one takes, the total number of calories should be limited to about 300 calories for breakfast.
Lunch is also an important aspect of our daily diet, especially when the day’s activities were hectic. Also, skipping lunch has no beneficial effect on weight loss. Fast food should be avoided, mainly because most of them are high in fat. Limiting the calorie intake to 300 calories will provide just enough energy to keep you satisfied all afternoon.
The healthy lunch meal that will be listed here will not only be low-calorie meals but will be easy to make. Many people are busy, and if they want prepare their lunch themselves, they would want to spend as little time as possible to prepare it.
Pasta with Salad Dressing: 266 cal/56g
Potato Waffles: 95 cal/57g (1 waffle)
Sweet Potato: 105 cal/114g
Omelet: 94 cal/61g
Minced Veal: 240 cal/168g
Green Beans: 31 cal/100g
Peanuts: 159 cal/28.35g
Just as it is for breakfast, the dressing and spread should be considered when calculating the number of calories each diet will contain. Using low fat spread and unsaturated oil ensures that you consume very little amount of calories. Examples of unsaturated oils include olive oil, rapeseed oil, sunflower oil, and vegetable oil. This ensures that you lose fat quickly and stay healthy.
Contrary to popular belief that snacks are not good, snacks can enforce your weight loss regimen. Sticking to low fat and low-calorie snacks will prevent unnecessary starvation while supplying your body with the required energy and nutrients. Keeping your snack’s calorie content to 300 calories will maintain the total daily calories at 1200. For your mid-day snack, you can eat just fruits and vegetables, or you can make it a light food that doesn’t disrupt your diet. Some fruits and their caloric content are listed below.
Apple: 95 cal/182g (1 apple)
Banana: 111 cal/125g
Fruit Salad: 125 cal/249g
Guava: 37 cal/55g (1 guava)
Mango: 202 cal/336g (1 mango)
Peach: 59 cal/ 150g
Strawberries: 49 cal/152g
Other healthy snacks that can be taken instead of fruits includes;
3 pieces of crispbread + 2 spoons of low-fat cottage cheese: 170 cal
6 crackers + 3 ounces of tuna: 200 cal
Cream Yogurt: 140 cal/113g
Fruit Yogurt: 220 cal/227g
Salad with dressing: 72 cal/16ml
Dinner can be said to be the most controversial among all of them. However, one point of agreement is that it should be light, and should be eaten as early as possible. Eat something light early to prevent fat build-up and to enhance weight loss. Recent studies have shown that people who take soups (alone or along with other foods) for dinner are less likely to be obese. Listed below is a list of soups that will make a perfect dinner.
Beef Noodle Soup: 83 cal/244g
Cabbage Soup: 69 cal/245g
Carrot Soup: 95 cal/381g
Chicken Vegetable Soup: 77 cal/248g
Vegetable Beef Soup: 76 cal/244g
Meatball Soup: 120 cal/245g
French Onion Soup: 56 cal/243g
Protein Shake : The Ultimate Meal Replacement
Weight loss and diet experts now advise the use of protein shakes as an alternative to a regular meal. The good news is, nowadays, many protein shakes are produced with lots of vitamins and minerals. This ensures that the body gets enough protein, zero fat, and all the essential micro nutrients necessary for the optimal functioning of the body. To get one of these protein shakes, check out the link here.
The main aim of protein shakes is to provide as much protein as found in food, but with a lesser amount of calories and no fat. This enhances weight loss and facilitates muscle building. Protein shakes can conveniently replace any meal of the day, giving you just the number of calories you need to keep active.
As a final note, never forget the place of water in your quest to lose weight and stay healthy. While you are aiming for 1200 calories per day, also aim for at least 3 liters of water daily. By doing all these, you can be rest assured of a healthy and exciting life!