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Weight Loss
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Deficit Question ( Help!!!)

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Hello All,

How much of a deficit do most of you have daily? I have anywhere from 800 to 1500! In my opinion, I believe the deficit is too much. I am aiming for 3 pounds a week but no luck.

I am 5'5 245 female any suggestions greatly appreciated.

My BMI tells me I should eat 1859, but according to an online calculator---to lose 3 pounds a week with my stats, I should eat 1500 a day therefore I am confused.
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Hi, I'm 5'6" and was 265. I ate 1200 a day on the days I did not exercise, and 1500 on the days I did. I lost 90 pounds in a year while doing that. ;)
Thanks for the reply. I feel good with what I am eating. My only concern was the (800 -1500) deficit. Wow 90 pounds! That's awesome! Were you eating low carbs? Well being that you had great results and your stats were similar to mine, hopefully I will see progress. Any exercise tips? I need all the help I can get. Thanks again

1) Carb intake has no significant correlation to weight loss OR weight gain

2) A deficit of anything higher than 500 calories is most likely going to set you up for failure

3) More than 95% of people who "diet" and lose weight gain it back within a couple of years

4) Even more than that gain it back when they have such high caloric deficits such as yourself or the other poster


You want to risk that?

Read around the forums and you will see no one here advocates for big deficits. They don't work long-term.

And it's about calories, not where the calories come from (i.e. carbs aren't going to make you lose less or more weight)

How big your deficit can be is in part related to how much weight you have to lose.  I started at 5'6 , 248, and 5 months later, i'm 203.  I started at 1500 calories a day, and that worked pretty well for me.  At first, I was losing 3lbs a week, but that's tapered off to more like 1.5lbs per week.  As you get lighter, your BMR will decrease and so will your deficit.  

The other factor is exercise.  If you lift weights, you will be able to retain more muscle mass as you lose fat.  Lift heavy.  It's awesome. 

thanks...I definitely will incorporate heavier weights.  Currently I am using 5 to 10 pound dumbbells.  How heavy??  thanks 

Ideally, you would use a barbell.  Standard ones are 45lbs, but lots of gyms have lighter bars too.  You want the weight to be heavy enough that 12 reps is either really hard or not doable, 8-12 is a good range to start in.  

Barbells are better than dumbbells for beginners because beginners aren't as stable (in terms of core strength and stabilizing muscles), so they have to use a lot less weight with a dumbbell than they would use with a barbell.  Everyone has to go down in weight somewhat with dumbbells, but beginners take much more of a loss, and they don't need them yet.  Also, beginners need to develop their central nervous system for lifting, and that's easier with a bar.  

I would start with New Rules of Lifting for Women or Female Body Breakthrough.  I haven't done them myself, but a lot of women on the forums like them and have had good results, particularly the former.


@armandounc...thanks for your reply.  I am not deliberately trying to create such high caloric deficits. When I workout burning ( 600 or more calories a day) and eat 1500, this creates a high deficit.  I am only following the guidelines posted from a"website chart"...which suggests that in order for me to lose 3 pounds a week with my stats, the recommended caloric intake would be 1500 a day.  I am a little confused because my BMR suggests that I should consume around 1800 calories a day (sedentary), or around 2500 ( moderate activity).  Shed light if you will.  Anyone feel free to chime in if you agree with @armandounc.

BTW...I am trying to lose at least 3 pounds a week if possible.  I know this will decrease overtime, but in my early stages, hopefully I can achieve this goal.

 thanks again   



I will definitely incorporate heavier weights in my workout regime.  I was afraid of the barbells.  I know it sounds pretty cliche, but I was afraid of bulking up and gaining.  I most certainly will give it a try.  The key is being patient.   I plan on hiding my scale once I start the heavier weights!! 


In addition, I will look into your recommendations ( New Rules of Lifting for Women and Body Breakthrough).


You can tell a website calculator you want to lose 20 pounds in one week and it will tell you that to achieve that goal you need to consume 1 calorie a day.........


You should never, ever eat below your BMR. Ever. For any reason. If your BMR is (I am making these numbers up for illustration purposes) 3,000 calories and you burn 500 at the gym, that's a total of 3,500 calories. If you eat 3,000 calories, then that's a deficit of 500 a day. Your deficit should never be large enough that it goes below your BMR.


This makes sense.  The lightbulb is on!  Thank you.  :)

10 Replies