Fat loss is about calories in versus calories out, but exactly how many calories should be cut out to lose weight? After coming up with a workout schedule to complement your meal plan, figuring out how much the caloric deficit should be is usually the next step. Your maintenance number, the number of calories you need to maintain your current weight, is normally used as the basis for safe weight loss. Here are a few ways to achieve a caloric deficit that are safe for your body.

Pick a Number to Achieve a Certain Rate of Weight Loss

Picking a specific number of calories to cut from their daily eating habits is how most try to reach their weight loss goals. They might decide to lose about one pound a week. A pound of fat has around 3,500 calories. Cutting 500 calories a day would be a safe solution if you were getting sufficient calories before deciding to cut them. If you’re already dieting and maintaining your weight at 2,000 calories per day then cutting 25% of your food intake might be too much.

Set Your Caloric Intake According to Your Body Weight

Rather than estimating your caloric intake and then subtracting a number, you can set your caloric intake with weight loss in mind from the beginning. Bodybuilders often use 10-12 calories per pound as a starting point for weight loss. While this approach is more customized to your individual needs, it only takes into account your bodyweight, which isn’t always an accurate representation of your total energy levels. Exercising more means that you’ll need more energy. This method might not work safely and might lead to an excessive caloric deficit. Guidance from a personal trainer could could make sure you’re not hurting your body.

Set Calories as a Percentage of Your Maintenance Number

Estimate your maintenance number and then subtract a percentage from that number. If you need 2,000 calories per day to maintain body weight and you cut your caloric intake by 20%, you’d eat 1,600 calories or 400 less calories per day. Instead of assigning a number to achieve a certain rate of fat loss, this method scales your caloric intake to your energy needs. More active people with higher energy energy needs can eat proportionally and lose fat without hurting their bodies.


Achieving a caloric deficit is a key factor in losing weight. Figuring out the method that works for you could make your weight loss goal easier, but it’s important to make sure you don’t negatively affect your body. If you need help with your weight loss or fitness goals, remember that we’re here for you! Give us a call at (954) 406-0618 or contact us online to try a free class.