Weight loss through a calorie deficit is the only consistently proven mechanism for weight loss in randomized controlled studies. Even popular medicated weight loss drugs, such as Ozempic and other GLP-1 agonists, work by decreasing people’s appetite because they help them to more easily obtain a calorie deficit. This is shown by the fact that natural diets with a similar calorie intake to those on medicated weight loss see similar weight loss results.
A calorie deficit is just as it sounds, it occurs when you consume fewer calories than your body needs to maintain its current weight. This deficit forces your body to use stored fat and/or muscle for energy, leading to weight loss over time. Though calorie deficits are the only consistently shown mechanism for weight loss, the source of the calories you consume in a deficit greatly impacts the type of weight you lose, either primarily fat or a combination of fat and muscle.
Below are some natural ways to achieve a calorie deficit to achieve similar results to those using medicated weight loss solutions.
- Calculate your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE): TDEE is the total number of calories your body needs in a day to maintain your current weight. It includes your basal metabolic rate (BMR) and the calories burned through physical activity.
- Create a Calorie Deficit: To lose weight, you need to consume fewer calories than your TDEE. A common approach is to create a calorie deficit of 500 to 1000 calories per day, which can result in a safe and sustainable weight loss of about 1-2 pounds per week. To maximize fat loss and limit muscle loss during your calorie deficit, you will want to consume at least .75 grams of high-quality protein per pound of ideal body weight.
- Monitor Caloric Intake: Keep track of your daily calorie intake using food journals, apps, or other tracking tools. Be mindful of portion sizes and choose nutrient-dense foods to ensure you’re meeting your nutritional needs. One of the most effective ways to monitor your caloric intake is through meal prep systems, such as the Isagenix 30-Day Reset, which provides formulated meals with minimal calories and maximum protein for breakfast and lunch in the form of meal replacement shakes to keep your caloric intake controlled.
- Regular Exercise: While creating a calorie deficit through diet is crucial, incorporating regular physical activity can further enhance weight loss and overall health. Exercise helps burn additional calories and contributes to overall wellbeing.
- Healthy Eating Habits: Focus on a balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats. This approach ensures you get the necessary nutrients while managing your calorie intake. This is best achieved by following a weight loss system that allows variety without rigid rules. For example, the Isagenix 30-Day System allows individuals to consume a variety of different meals as part of their proven system.
- Stay Hydrated: Drinking an adequate amount of water is important for overall health and can also help with weight loss. Sometimes, feelings of hunger are actually signals of dehydration.
- Be Patient and Consistent: Weight loss takes time, and it’s essential to be patient and consistent with your efforts. Crash diets or extreme restrictions are generally not sustainable and can be harmful. The most effective natural programs to help individuals lose fat are the programs with the highest adherence, which allow you to lose fat the right way and create healthy lifestyle changes so that you keep the weight off.