It Really Is This Simple: Calorie Deficits

It doesn’t take rocket science to understand when you eat fewer calories than you burn, you’ll lose weight. This phenomenon is known as creating a calorie deficit. As you can see, every popular (and unpopular) diet actually works due to this key component: eat less + burn more = lose weight.

I covered the basic facts of calories last month, but since I spent yesterday talking about my nutritional goal to hit a calorie deficit in order to lose weight throughout the next few months, I thought it might be helpful to learn what exactly that means.

Calories are the units of energy our bodies use to function. Simple concept, right? So our bodies require calorie intake to provide fuel for that energy, and our bodies also burn calories throughout the day. This total number of calories burnt each day is called the total daily energy expenditure, or TDEE. TDEE can include:

  • Calories burned during exercise

  • Calories burned through basic bodily functions

  • Calories burned during digestion

Consider that your body is always burning calories, even while sleeping, in order to maintain your breathing, heart beating, and blood circulation. Meaning your body requires quite a few calories simply to perform its basic functions. This is called your resting metabolic rate (RMR).

Everyone’s RMR is unique to their body weight, height, age, gender, climate, and genetics. There are a lot of calculators out there (I like this one) which can give you your approximate RMR, or you can find out a more concise RMR through medical lab work.

My RMR, according to the OmniCalculator, is 1,964. My body burns 1,964 calories on a daily basis to simply function properly.

When you eat more calories than your body needs, those extra calories are stored in the body for later use — and usually that storage is in the form of fat. In order to get rid of that extra fat and lose weight, a calorie deficit must be created. If you eat less calories than your body needs to perform, then it has to get that energy from storage instead. Bibbity bobbity, you just figured out how to create a calorie deficit!

The common practice for calorie deficits and weight loss is reaching a deficit of 3,500 calories per week to lose 1 pound of fat. That seems like a lot, but when broken down, the average is 500 calories a day within one week. This is way more manageable!

For me: If my RMR is 1,964 calories and I plan to eat 1400-1500 calories a day, then I will have a 500+ calorie deficit already. If I add in a 30 minute walk every day and burn an additional 150 calories, that’s 650+ calories. I’ll reach 3,500 weekly easily.

Refer back to my opening image of popular diets. I’ve been there, friends, and I know… the testimonies will make you want to starve and/or deprive yourself in order to lose weight and become more fit. But guess what? Every single diet has the same end goal: a calorie deficit. This is the only tried and true, scientifically proven method to lose body fat — and it won’t cost you a single cent more than your usual grocery budget (actually, buying less food will ultimately save you a bit, right? Woot!)

Instead of jumping on the bandwagon for another fad diet, try one of the following ways to create a calorie deficit for your weight loss journey:

  1. Consume less. Watch your portions, limit your snacks, and reduce your caloric intake each day with a goal of eating less than 500 calories than your RMR.

  2. Move more. Not willing or unable to eat less? That is 100% okay as long as you start moving more. Burn those 3,500 calories weekly by exercising or simply moving more at work and in your day-to-day activities.

  3. Do them both! Unsurprisingly, eating less and moving more is going to get you to that calorie deficit fastest. Eat 250 fewer calories and burn 250 calories by walking every day, and you’ll be at your 500 calories.

Caution is needed if you’re eating too few calories and continuing to burn a bunch as well. I’m not going to go into this gray area, but highly recommend you reading Fit Folk’s post on this topic here. I want to lose weight, but I want to do it in the healthiest way possible — and I hope that is your wish for yourself too.

In the end, my main message is this: you don’t need a sparkly, overly-marketed diet plan to slim down. All you need is to create a calorie deficit in order to effectively lose weight. You don’t have to be a calorie tracker to do this, simply eat smaller meals and start moving more.

We’re looking to form better lifestyles to stick to long term, right? In the end, the calorie deficit mindset is the simple recipe for success, friends.

Backyard Transformation: DIY Paver Patio

Our house continues to become a home, one project at a time. Since buying the Apple House in October 2018, we have demolished walls, refloored the entire upstairs, gutted the bathroom, changed windows, and painted every wall and ceiling. With warmer weather and COVID keeping us home, Spring 2020 was the perfect excuse to complete another project as well: designing and constructing our own backyard paver patio.

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Coping With COVID, Murder Hornets, and Closed Wineries

Coronavirus, murder hornets, economic instability — oh my! What an odd time in which we are living. 2020 has not been the start to a new decade that anyone expected. In the United States, the majority of the country has entered into some sort of “quarantine mode” with many businesses closing their doors/offices and forcing employees to work remotely. Restaurants have shut down, stores have limited access, and (gulp) all the wineries have closed in an effort to force the population to stay home and stay safe.

In my state of Michigan, quarantine has been implemented since March 16th. There is unrest among Michiganders as the weeks move forward with no change in circumstances; restaurants are struggling as delivery and curb-side are their only options to continue service, lay-offs and furloughs are being carried out by numerous corporations, and unemployment numbers nearing those of the Great Depression. Many of G’s and my favorite local stops may not be reopening as the economic stability of our home state teeters on the edge.

Though I fully understand the government’s urge to keep residents safe, my heart hurts for those who will be effected by this pandemic for years to come. Everyone’s safety is important — health-wise, financially, emotionally, and mentally. As every week passes, it is amazing to me how divided my state grows… and how desperate people seem to be becoming. You could not pay me enough to be in our governor’s shoes right now.

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[Super Simple] Overnight Oats

Servings: 1

Time: 5 min (prep), 8+ hours (refrigerate)


  • 1 Chobani Greek yogurt cup (any flavor)

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats

  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds


  1. Mix all ingredients in a seal-able bowl. Mix well so oats and seeds are covered in yogurt.

  2. Seal and refrigerate overnight.

  3. Enjoy a quick, nutritious meal! Keeps in the fridge up to four days.

My “Why” For Walking Up To The Starting Line

Everyone has a starting point. They are different for everyone, but we all have one.

My current “starting point” began in December 2019 and took several months to inch my way to that actual starting line.

After attending several get-togethers where my sole focus should have been the festivities of the holiday, I was having a difficult time being unselfish. Unselfish in the sense that my mind was always recirculating to myself. My body. My weight.

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