Losing one pound of fat every week sounds great, right? You’ve probably been told that to do that, you need to be in a caloric deficit. You’ve also probably heard all of the ways you’re supposed to do that – restrictive dieting, excessive exercise. All things that don’t sound like a particularly enjoyable way to spend your time.
The truth is caloric deficits are necessary. But achieving a caloric deficit doesn’t have to be an all-encompassing task. In my recent YouTube video, I explained just how I go about losing one pound of fat each and every week while still feeling free to enjoy a plate of wings on game day.
It’s all about focusing on a weekly caloric deficit instead of a daily deficit. Let’s dive in!
What is a Caloric Deficit and Why is it Critical for Weight Loss?
A caloric deficit is when you’re consuming fewer calories than you’re burning. There are a lot of ways to do this, but the most common (and effective) way is by eating less and exercising more.
In order for weight loss to occur, we must be in a caloric deficit. It’s that simple. You can be the most dedicated person in the world, working out seven days a week and eating perfectly clean meals, but if you’re not in a caloric deficit, you will not lose weight.
The reason a caloric deficit is so important is that it’s what causes our body to burn fat for energy. When we consume fewer calories than we need, our body has to look elsewhere for fuel – and that’s when it turns to our fat stores.
So, a caloric deficit is critical for weight loss. But, as I said before, it doesn’t have to be restrictive or overly difficult. In fact, there’s a really simple way to make sure you’re in a caloric deficit each week without feeling deprived.
How to Create a Weekly Caloric Deficit
The best way to create a caloric deficit is by focusing on a weekly goal instead of a daily goal. This method is not only more sustainable in the long term, but it also allows for more flexibility in your diet.
Here’s how it works:
- First, calculate your goal weight
- Enter that into a caloric deficit calculator like this one
- The result is the daily caloric deficit you’ll need to sustain to achieve your goal weight
- Multiply that number by seven, and that is the weekly caloric deficit you should shoot for.
Now, you can reduce your calorie intake by eating less to achieve this goal, but what I like to do instead is to add activities to my week that also benefit my fitness.
Specifically, I hit my weekly caloric deficit by adding 3 cardio workouts every week. These three 30-minute sessions — usually on my Peloton — help me burn around 461 calories each workout. That’s 1,385 calories each week!
You can choose any kind of cardio exercise that appeals to you, such as:
Whatever gets you moving and helps you burn those extra calories!
Add in Strength Training
In addition to our three cardio sessions, we want to make sure we add in two whole-body workouts each week, so we’re building muscle as well. Strength training not only helps us build a strong and healthy body, but it also helps to increase our metabolism.
Again, you can do any kind of strength training that you enjoy, whether that’s lifting weights at the gym, working out with resistance bands, or taking a HIIT class. Melissa and I regularly share our favorite workouts built for those of us over 50 over on our YouTube channel, so head on over there and subscribe, so you don’t miss them!
Shift Your Mindset
We also want to ensure we have an active mindset, meaning that we’re proactively looking for ways to add activity to our daily lives.
Throughout the week, try to do a few other things to get yourself moving. Take a dance class, go for a walk or a hike, swim some laps. Whatever you can do to help you burn a few extra calories and boost your health overall. These kinds of activities are not just great for your physical health, but for your mental health as well!
Besides that, it’s as simple as making a few small adjustments to get some extra steps in each day, like parking a little further away from the store or skipping the elevator and taking the stairs instead.
The beauty of this method is that it’s not restrictive. I’m not telling you to cut out all your favorite foods or spend hours at the gym daily. You can still enjoy your life while working towards your weight loss goals, no matter your age.
And if you happen to have a day (or two, or three) where you go over your weekly caloric deficit, don’t sweat it. Just make sure you get back on track the following week and hit that number.
If you focus on creating a weekly caloric deficit, you can still kick back and enjoy your favorite foods while working toward your goals. Remember – slow and steady wins the race! This is about building long-term health so we can enjoy the best years of our lives after 50!
That’s it for today! If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below. And for more tips on how to stay fit and focused over 50, make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow us on social media.