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The Myths and Truths of a Calorie Deficit

Profile member eating a delicious salad.

Creating a calorie deficit is a cornerstone of many fad diets. If you’ve ever Googled “how to lose weight,” you’ve probably stumbled across some interpretation of the concept.

According to Medical News Today, a deficit occurs when the amount of calories consumed in a day is fewer than the amount burned. This can be achieved through diet, exercise, or a combination of the two.

It’s basic math, right?

However, while that math holds true in many scenarios, healthy weight loss is a bit more complicated than simply counting and eliminating calories.

The good news: You don’t have to figure out healthy weight loss on your own. At Profile by Sanford, we take the guesswork out of long-term, sustainable weight loss with our custom nutrition plans and one-on-one health coaching.

Keep reading to unpack some of the myths and truths about calorie deficits. Also, read to learn more about how Profile by Sanford can help you make weight loss simple.

Myth: A simple calorie deficit is the only way to lose weight.

Truth: In general, the very basics of weight loss do come down to reducing your calorie count and increasing your activity level. Healthline reports that for many people, a deficit of around 500 calories is healthy, effective, and sustainable.

However, everyone has a unique basal metabolic rate (BMR) that indicates the number of calories needed to perform basic functions. Functions such as sitting, walking, and breathing. An individual’s BMR varies based on multiple factors including age, gender, height, and weight. This makes it difficult to calculate healthy calorie deficits without guidance from an expert.

While calorie deficits are an important aspect of a weight loss program, tailoring a plan to your individual BMR and lifestyle is essential. Profile’s protocols—which are designed by physicians—are customized by our weight loss coaches to meet your specific needs and goals.

Myth: Reducing calories is always healthy.

Truth: When it comes to healthy weight loss, it’s not just a numbers game. Many fad diets encourage calorie deficits without providing education on the nutrients your body needs to function effectively.

For instance, a straightforward interpretation of a calorie deficit might indicate that you could eat an entire package of cookies in one sitting. This is as long as you remained under your daily calorie count or engaged in a high-intensity exercise regimen to burn them off. Unfortunately, the cookie diet won’t provide all that your body needs.

There are numerous components to a healthy diet, including macronutrients, micronutrients, proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals. Eliminating any of these elements just to create a deficit will end up doing more harm than good.

Feeling overwhelmed about eating for healthy weight loss?

A Profile health coach can work with your specific dietary needs and lifestyle to fill in the nutrients you’re missing and reduce the foods that aren’t serving you. With all of this in mind, your coach will create a step-by-step meal plan to make eating for healthy weight loss easy for you.

Myth: Anyone can safely implement a calorie deficit.

Truth: Making a sudden change to your diet and activity can have immediate and long-lasting effects. so it’s important to understand your body’s needs before diving into a new plan.

In many circumstances, creating a calorie deficit can feel like a quick fix to see results fast. Unfortunately, without the support of a dietitian and an understanding of your BMR and other individual nutritional needs, the results aren’t likely to stick.

Even if you’re seeing progress, it’s possible that the weight loss is unhealthy in relation to your body composition and nutrient needs. Without consultation or knowledge, it’s difficult to create a healthy, sustainable path forward.

Our Profile health coaches take the guesswork out of creating your healthy weight loss plan and develop a customized strategy unique to your body.

The Bottom Line

Before jumping into any diet, it’s important to understand the “how” and “why” behind it, the long-term effects, and the sustainability. Profile’s approach to healthy weight loss sets us apart from other programs or fad diets.

While many diet plans offer a one-size-fits-all regimen focused on calorie deficits, Profile weight loss coaches teach members about nutrition and healthy behavior, providing the support necessary to achieve long-term success.

Our three-phased approach is called Reduce, Adapt, and Sustain. In the Reduce phase, our members follow a simple and structured nutrition plan. The plan is composed of one grocery store meal per day and five small meals that feature Profile’s meal replacement options. This gives members a chance to focus on one change at a time and build a foundation of nutrition while losing weight.

After members have learned about nutrition and sustaining their lasting weight loss, our coaches guide members during the Adapt phase to work more grocery store foods back into the meal plan and transition the meal replacements out. In the Sustain phase, members learn how to sustain their new weight and self-monitor their nutrition and activity.

Profile by Sanford is a nutrition program that pairs a science-based approach to weight loss with compassionate, one-on-one health coaching. If you have any questions about calorie deficits or would like to learn more about our program, please schedule a free consultation with us!