General Diet Plans and Questions - Calorie Deficit Formula?

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09-02-2010, 08:01 PM
What is the correct formula for calculating calorie deficit?

I have been doing Maintenance Calories - (Calories Consumed - Calories Burned) = Deficit. Is that right?

And do you need to have the same approximate deficit each day, or do you just need a certain deficit for the whole week (more on some days, less on others, but equaling the correct amount for the week)?


09-02-2010, 11:16 PM
I think you will find an answer on I've linked to 2 calculators, but the site has lots more information.

Calorie calculator:

Nutrient calculator:

09-03-2010, 09:10 AM
Thanks Sherrie. I used that site to determine my calorie range and my required deficit. But I can't find info there or anywhere about how to actually calculate the deficit.

09-03-2010, 10:40 AM
I track my calorie deficit average over the previous 7 days. So today's Friday, my average deficit looks at last Saturday through today. This mentally stops me from having a blowout day and starting a new week over again. It also helps me keep perspective if I eat too much or exercise too little on one day not to just through in the towel on the whole plan. As long as I can add a little more exercise and/or cut a 1-200 calories over the next 6 days, I can "repair" mistakes.

For example, at my starting weight I was aiming for average daily deficit of 1100 (you get a lot of maintenance cals at 265!). One Saturday I swam laps for 85 minutes and then did my grocery shopping on the way home. Big mistake. I was so hungry I bought something I shouldn't and ate in in the car on the way home. Despite the huge calorie burn that day, my deficit that day was only 195 calories. However, over the next 6 days I made adjustments that ended the period with the daily average back up to nearly 1100.

Hope this makes sense. I call it my "numbers geek method of weight loss".

09-05-2010, 09:45 AM
caryesings - How do I calculate the daily amount in order to figure the weekly average? That's the part I'm not sure I understand. Is the formula I mentioned in my original post correct?