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Calorie Deficit... The 'not so secret' secret to fat loss!

Updated: Oct 1, 2023

So ladies, you have probably heard the term, ‘calorie deficit’ thrown about but what does it really mean – and what does it mean to you?

So for those of you who want to change body composition, lose weight, drop a dress size or just feel better or more confident in your clothes – the way to do this is to create a calorie deficit.

By creating a calorie deficit, you will lose body fat, and combined with suitable resistance training, you will also start to ‘tone up’ too – AKA build muscle.

I can give you all the exercises in the world but your nutrition is about 80% of the battle – if you eat a balanced diet with ALL your macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates AND fats, they all have their place contrary to what other ‘diets’ might lead you to believe), enough to fuel and nourish your body so you aren’t running on empty and suffering with low energy levels, and also allowing yourself a bit of ‘what you fancy’ – without going overboard, you can easily achieve your goals.

Lots of things make up an overall fat loss and many people put too much emphasis on the wrong thing... like thinking hours of cardio will work... well it may help, but look at the other things, in order of importance in the triangle, that come first!

The key is being consistent, not beating yourself up if you have a ‘bad’ day – there are no BAD DAYS, only bad diets, that restrict you to the point of wanting to give up or it being unsustainable for lifetime…. And this is what it’s all about, you, building HEALTHY habits for your future, and being an example to your little ones.

This is a marathon, not a sprint – use your time to build heathier habits for life and work out what you can eat to fuel your day, not how little you can survive on by following a fad diet!

I recommend exercise for all manner of things, but for fat loss it comes at the bottom of my list - exercise is SO MUCH MORE than an aid to weight loss... once you realise the amazing benefits of exercise you really enjoy, you'll never stop working out again!

With well balanced meals and a few snacks to keep hunger at bay, you should soon be winning the ‘calorie deficit’ battle – i.e., consuming less calories than your body is burning daily on average.


The ‘average woman’ (based on height of 5”5 and weighing 11 stone who is moderately active) burns around 2,000 calories a day, also known as Total Daily Energy Expenditure.

This means she would need to reduce her calorific intake to LESS than this (eat less than 2,000 calories a day) to notice a difference over time. Everyone's metrics are different, everyone's TDEE is different so therefore everyone needs a plan designed for THEM to find the right balance.

IMPORTANT: If you are breast-feeding or pregnant you will need to follow extra guidelines to keep your body safe – please see info at the end of article.

Here are a few simple changes you can make daily to further tip that deficit in your favour –

· Did you know that you BURN calories all day long?! The more effort you are putting into ANYTHING you do, the more calories you’ll burn… so try taking the stairs instead of the lift, park a little further away in the car park or do an extra bit of movement around the office or home – even doing the tea run will burn more calories than sitting at your desk!

· Increase your daily steps! This leads on from the first tip but getting steps in doesn’t just mean going out walking. It can mean being more active in general – sorting out your child’s wardrobe that you have been putting off or weeding the garden… will all rack up more steps (and calories burned) than just sitting on the sofa!

· Try to eat your food slowly and mindfully… it sounds daft but usually whilst we are eating we are too busy focusing on other things and don’t take the time to savour and enjoy our food. This helps us to actually taste the food we are eating and also encourages us to realise when we reach the point of being full so we actually stop when our body tells us too!

· Just be mindful of the little ‘extras’ we eat daily without realising, the odd chicken nugget from our child’s dinner plate, a sweetie from the drawer when we are making a cuppa, even a bit of our partners tasty looking chocolate bar can easily amount to a lot of extra calories.

· Hydrate! We talk about this often but it’s crucial. Drinking water is so good for you for many reasons and sometimes we mistake thirst for hunger. Make sure you’re getting enough H20 and you won’t feel as hungry in between meals – and hopefully if you’re following all our other tips and eating well-balanced and nutrient-dense meals and snacks, you will never have to feel hungry again!

Ladies, when it comes to losing fat, the simple truth is there is no magic pill, potion or shake that will do it safely or effectively in the long run for you. If something looks too good to be true, it usually is, and this is where fad diets come along and work in the short term- but cause worse side-effects and eating habits in the long term.

Many of the more popular diets and brands all have their own ‘special recipes’ for success but THE TRUTH IS they ALL work on the one and only way the body works to lose fat – CALORIE DEFICIT, they are simply dressed up to look pretty to make it sound more appealing to you.

Eating less overall calories per day than your body is expending (burning) is simply how ANY DIET works.

My advice to you is to seek personalised advice, tailored to YOU, to accurately track calories in Vs calories out – it’s a fine line and one that should always be overseen by a trained professional, which is where I come in...

I run my 6 week 1:1 Tailored Fat Loss and Fitness Programme every few months and have space for 12 ladies to join me.

The programme costs £95. You will get the education, support and knowledge that the diet industry don't want you to have.

You will learn about your own body, your TDEE and much more! See feedback from the last programme below!

The next programme starts soon... you can book on the website NOW

Breast-feeding & Calorie Deficit

For ladies who are breast-feeding, it is important to remember that you may burn around an extra 500 calories a day on average if doing this, so factor this in to your TDEE (add on top) and don’t cut your calorie deficit by too much.

It is recommended not going below 1500-1800 calories a day whilst doing this – you will still be in a deficit remember as your body is naturally burning more calories than someone who isn’t breast-feeding.

Pregnancy & Calorie Deficit

Pregnancy is not the time to try to lose fat and I DO NOT recommend eating in a calorie deficit whilst pregnant. In fact, in trimesters 2 & 3 you should increase your daily calories to between 300 & 500 calories to further support adequate growth and development of your baby.

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