It’s one of umpteen buzzwords that seems to dominate the health and fitness industry nowadays, but in truth there’s plenty of reasons why calorie deficits are so popular.
In short, it’s one of the very few methods out there that will scientifically work, every time. It doesn’t matter who you are, if you focus on having a calorie deficit, you will lose weight.
So, what exactly is a calorie deficit? Every day we consume ‘x’ amount of calories in terms of food, while we also spend ‘x’ amount of calories through everyday activities and exercise. The problem is, most of us have a calorie surplus as we consume more than we burn. The result of this is that these additional calories are stored as fat. A deficit, on the other hand, is when you are burning more than you are consuming. In turn, your body needs more fuel, and gets it from any fat you have on your body.
In terms of some hard and fast numbers, it can make for tricky reading. After all, to lose just one pound of fat in a week, you’ll need to cut around 3,500 calories.
On its own, that figure is of course very high. However, split it into the course of a week and it’s just 500 calories per day.
So, this is all well and good and in an ideal world, we would all be targeting this calorie deficit. Of course, it’s yet another one of those healthy techniques that is easier said than done and to add another level of complexity into the situation, it gets even tougher to maintain if you are training!
Bearing this in mind, we have penned today’s article. Let’s now take a look at some of the ways you can maintain a calorie deficit whilst maintaining your normal life.
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You may have to alter your training choices
If you are the type of person who trains at super-high intensities, with very few rests, now might be the time to reconsider your options. This is for the simple reason that your energy reserves are unlikely to last long, and your overall training benefits will decline.
Instead, there should be a greater emphasis on quality. Try and opt for a lower number of sets, and ensure that you schedule as many rest periods as possible. This will at least allow you to conserve energy, so that your next set can be performed with as much energy expenditure as possible.
It might all relate to meal timing
One of the best ways to help you “cope” through a calorie deficit is about timing your meals appropriately.
As we all know, one of the best fuels for the gym and your exercise regime is carbohydrates (ones of the complex variety, to be precise). It means that you should do your upmost to put together a pre-workout meal that contains them, with the result of this being that your muscles are provided with plenty of glycogen to give them help when they need it the most.
One of the big problems about calorie deficits is that it’s much more likely for your muscles to lack glycogen. The consequence is that your performance will suffer, so consuming a pre-workout meal as above is one of the best ways to mitigate this problem.
However, your meal timing isn’t just about before you work out. In addition, you need to be considering what to eat after your work out. This is all because muscles take time to recover, and when they don’t have much energy this recovery phase takes even longer.
So, what should you turn to? This time, carbs are off the menu, and in their place comes whey protein. If you can turn to this alongside digestive enzymes it will be absorbed into your muscles at a much quicker pace, and your body can reap the rewards.
The power of supplementation
We have almost touched upon the idea of supplements in the previous section, when we started to talk about whey protein. In truth, this is only the tip of the iceberg, and to get the most from your calorie deficit period you should be looking to stock up on supplements.
Before your workout, make sure you turn to taurine and Creatine HCI, both of which can stimulate you mentally.
Another option comes in the form of Beta-alanine, which performs the job of keeping your muscle carnosine levels stable during training. Some athletes can also favor L-citrulline as this has been found to boost the flow of oxygen, and again make your muscles work that little bit harder when they are without the energy that they are perhaps used to.
As you can see, supplements are something of a minefield, and if we were to hone in on specific ones we would choose Track and Trail. Both are brought to the market by Black Wolf Workout, with the former being the male version and Trail is for females. To break the product down specifically:
- The products are able to increase your energy levels, make you work harder during workouts and even boost your focus.
- They are designed to be taken before working out, meaning that you get a lot more out of your subsequent session.
- Unlike some products, there are no fillers here, and the product takes advantage of all the proven ingredients such as L-leucine, L-isoleucine and BCAAs. It even contains protein to help you recover afterwards!
- Both products retail for $44.95, which is a $10 discount from the standard price.
Click the images below to enlarge and see the ingredients:
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Have we mentioned the H-word yet?
We’ve spoken about your food and supplement intake, so hydration is next on the list.
The fact that hydration is a crucial component of any person’s basic health means that during training, especially during a calorie deficit, it’s also really important to get right.
Even if you are slightly dehydrated, the amount of blood that is distributed through your money immediately drops. This can have a monumental effect on your exercise, as you’ll be without that elusive oxygen required for your performance.
It’s worth mentioning that the most important period of the day when it comes to hydration is when you wake up. Your body has been without water for as long as eight hours, so making sure you drink at least half a gallon of water at this point is paramount for your training success.
It can all come down to shut-eye
Something else that is regularly covered in the media nowadays is sleep (or the country’s lack of it).
As soon as your calorie intake decreases, sleep becomes an even more important factor in your life. This is because anabolic hormones tend to be at their highest as you sleep, meaning that you recover better. Ultimately, the longer you sleep, the greater chance you give this of happening.
Something else which occurs during your sleep is the recovery of the central nervous system. This is crucial to your training, as it’s effectively what powers your performance when you start to work out.
As such, make it your priority to supercharge your sleep schedule. Perform the classic tips, like stopping coffee in the afternoon, avoiding blue light and blacking out the bedroom, and watch the performance of your workouts soar.