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  • Writer's pictureDennis Romatz


Updated: 2 days ago

As a nutrition coach at Dennis Romatz Fitness I can play a valuable role in helping you create a caloric deficit for weight loss. Here in this blog, I discuss how to lose weight with a caloric deficit and the steps to take to get yourself in a caloric deficit to achieve your weight loss goals.

Let's dive in and learn how to lose weight with a caloric deficit

Assess current intake and goals

Assessing your current intake and goals is an important step in creating a caloric deficit for weight loss. Here are the key factors to consider:

  1. Calculate Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR): BMR is the number of calories your body needs to maintain basic bodily functions at rest. Several formulas, such as the Harris-Benedict equation, can estimate your BMR based on factors like age, gender, weight, and height.

  2. Determine Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE): TDEE represents the total number of calories your body needs to maintain its current weight, taking into account your activity level. Multiply your BMR by an activity factor (sedentary, lightly active, moderately active, very active) to estimate your TDEE.

  3. Set a realistic weight loss goal: During your free trial session where I perform comprehensive evaluations & assessments, we'll discuss your goals at length and determine a healthy and realistic weight loss goal. A safe and sustainable rate of weight loss is typically around 1-2 pounds per week, however, with my Romatz Weight Loss Method, we can rapidly burn body fat and reduce your weight by as much as a half pound or more per day.

  4. Create a caloric deficit: To lose weight, you need to create a deficit between the calories you consume and the calories you expend. A general rule of thumb is to aim for a daily deficit of 500-1000 calories, which would result in a weekly weight loss of 1-2 pounds. However, it's essential to ensure that your calorie intake remains within a healthy range (typically not below 1200 calories per day for women and 1500 calories per day for men).

  5. Adjust calorie intake: Subtract the desired caloric deficit from your TDEE to determine your target daily calorie intake for weight loss. Keep in mind that larger deficits may lead to faster weight loss initially but can be harder to sustain long-term. Gradual and sustainable weight loss is generally recommended.

  6. Monitor and adjust: Regularly track your food intake and monitor your progress. If you're not losing weight as expected, you may need to reassess and adjust your calorie intake or physical activity level. Remember, everyone's metabolism is different, and individual responses to calorie deficits may vary.

  7. Consider macronutrient balance: While a calorie deficit is crucial for weight loss, it's also important to focus on a balanced macronutrient intake. Aim for an appropriate distribution of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats that supports your overall health and well-being. Myself and my team at Dennis Romatz Fitness can help you with this.

  8. Monitor overall health: Weight loss should be approached with consideration for your overall health. If you have any underlying health conditions or specific dietary requirements, we'll work closely with you to ensure your weight loss approach aligns with your unique needs.

Calculate caloric needs

To calculate your caloric needs for a caloric deficit, you'll need to determine your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) and Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE). Here's how you can estimate these values:

1. Calculate your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR):

  • For men: BMR = 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) - 5 x age (years) + 5

  • For women: BMR = 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) - 5 x age (years) - 161

2. Determine your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE):

  • Sedentary (little to no exercise): TDEE = BMR x 1.2

  • Lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days per week): TDEE = BMR x 1.375

  • Moderately active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days per week): TDEE = BMR x 1.55

  • Very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days per week): TDEE = BMR x 1.725

3. Set your desired caloric deficit:

  • Determine how many calories you want to reduce from your daily intake. A safe and sustainable caloric deficit for weight loss is typically around 500-1000 calories per day, which leads to a weekly weight loss of 1-2 pounds.

4. Calculate your target daily calorie intake:

  • Subtract the desired caloric deficit from your TDEE. For example, if your TDEE is 2000 calories and you aim for a 500-calorie deficit, your target daily calorie intake for weight loss would be 1500 calories.

Develop a balanced meal plan

Developing a balanced meal plan for a caloric deficit and weight loss involves careful consideration of nutritional needs, portion control, and food choices. To create such a plan, I would typically start by determining your daily calorie target based on your specific goals and recommended deficit. I would then focus on incorporating a variety of nutrient-dense foods from different food groups, including lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats into a meal plan prescription. The meal plan would be designed to provide adequate protein to support muscle maintenance, fiber for satiety and digestive health, and essential vitamins and minerals. Portion sizes would be controlled to ensure a suitable calorie intake, and attention would be given to minimizing added sugars, processed foods, and unhealthy fats. We might might even consider spacing out meals and snacks throughout the day to maintain stable energy levels and prevent excessive hunger. Overall, our goal would be to create a sustainable and enjoyable meal plan that supports weight loss while meeting your body's nutritional requirements.

Portion control and calorie tracking

Portion control and calorie tracking are essential strategies for achieving a caloric deficit and supporting weight loss. Here's how they can be implemented:

  1. Portion control:

  • Use smaller plates and bowls to visually trick yourself into perceiving larger portions.

  • Learn to estimate portion sizes using common household objects as references. For example, a serving of meat should be about the size of a deck of cards.

  • Fill half of your plate with non-starchy vegetables like leafy greens, broccoli, or bell peppers. This helps increase the volume of your meals while keeping calories low.

  • Be mindful of high-calorie foods and ingredients, such as oils, dressings, sauces, and sweets. Use them sparingly or opt for lower-calorie alternatives.

  • Slow down your eating pace, chew thoroughly, and savor each bite. This allows your brain to register feelings of fullness more accurately.

  1. Calorie tracking:

  • Use a food diary or a mobile app to record everything you eat and drink throughout the day. Be diligent and include portion sizes as accurately as possible.

  • Consult food labels or use online databases to find the calorie content of different foods. Keep in mind that some whole, unprocessed foods may not have labels, so additional research may be needed.

  • Pay attention to hidden calories, such as those in beverages, condiments, and cooking oils. These can add up quickly and impact your overall calorie intake.

  • Track your progress over time, noting any patterns or trends. This can help you identify problem areas or areas of success and make adjustments accordingly.

  • Be honest and consistent with your tracking. Even small bites or tastes should be recorded to get an accurate picture of your overall calorie intake.

Nutritional education

Nutritional education plays a vital role in achieving a caloric deficit for weight loss. Here are some key areas of focus for gaining knowledge and making informed choices:

  1. Understanding macronutrients: As your nutrition coach, we would teach you about the three macronutrients: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Understand their role in the body, their calorie content per gram (carbohydrates and proteins have 4 calories per gram, while fats have 9 calories per gram), and their impact on satiety and energy levels.

  2. Caloric density: Familiarize yourself with the concept of caloric density, which refers to the number of calories in a specific volume or weight of food. Foods with high caloric density, such as processed snacks and desserts, tend to be calorie-dense and can hinder weight loss efforts. It's important to focus on incorporating more foods with low caloric density, such as fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins, which provide volume and satisfaction while being lower in calories.

  3. Portion control: I will stress appropriate portion sizes and how to estimate them because this s where people would stray and end up consuming too many calories er meal or sitting. Understanding serving sizes can help you control your calorie intake and make mindful choices. Tools such as measuring cups, food scales, and visual references can assist in portion control.

  4. Nutrient density: Emphasizing nutrient-dense foods that provide a high amount of essential nutrients relative to their calorie content is vital. Whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and healthy fats should be prioritized to meet your nutritional needs while keeping calorie intake in check.

  5. Reading food labels: You'll learn to read and understand food labels, including information on serving sizes, calories per serving, and the nutrient content because being educated, informed and making smart, sensible label-based purchases is essential. We'll pay special attention to added sugars, unhealthy fats, and sodium content, as these can impact both weight loss and overall health. In fact, these are the killers of weight loss

  6. Cooking and meal preparation: Gaining knowledge about healthy cooking techniques, such as baking, grilling, steaming, and sautéing, to reduce the need for excessive added fats is also essential. Experiment with flavoring meals using herbs, spices, and other low-calorie ingredients instead of relying on high-calorie sauces or dressings which may contain harmful chemical preservatives.

  7. Mindful eating: Developing an awareness of your eating habits and practice mindful eating plays a crucial role as it help a person dial into being in the moment and if they are really hungry or just eating out of a habit. Pay attention to hunger and fullness cues, eat slowly, and savor your meals. This can help prevent overeating and foster a healthier relationship with food.

  8. Hydration: Understand the importance of staying hydrated and how water can help support weight loss efforts. Replace sugary beverages with water or unsweetened drinks to reduce calorie intake.

  9. Seeking professional guidance: Consider consulting myself or one of my team at Dennis Romatz Fitness for personalized guidance. We are available for nutrition coaching, weight loss and related services online. We can provide you with specific recommendations tailored to your individual needs and goals.

Behavior modification

Behavior modifications are crucial for creating a caloric deficit and achieving sustainable weight loss. Here are some key behavior modifications that can support your efforts:

  1. Self-monitoring: Keep track of your food intake, physical activity, and progress towards your goals. This can be done through food journals, mobile apps, or online trackers. Self-monitoring enhances awareness and accountability, making it easier to identify patterns, triggers, and areas for improvement.

  2. Goal setting: Set realistic, specific, and measurable goals that align with your weight loss aspirations. Break them down into smaller milestones to stay motivated and track progress. Goals can include achieving a certain caloric deficit per day, incorporating more physical activity, or reducing portion sizes.

  3. Mindful eating: Practice mindful eating by paying attention to physical hunger and fullness cues. Slow down, savor each bite, and engage all your senses while eating. This helps prevent overeating and promotes a healthier relationship with food.

  4. Portion control: Learn appropriate portion sizes and practice portion control. Use smaller plates, bowls, and utensils to visually trick yourself into perceiving larger portions. Be mindful of portion sizes when eating out and consider splitting meals or saving leftovers for later.

  5. Meal planning and preparation: Plan your meals and snacks in advance to reduce impulsive food choices and ensure balanced nutrition. Prepare meals at home using whole, unprocessed ingredients whenever possible. This allows you to have better control over ingredients and portion sizes.

  6. Environment modification: Create an environment that supports healthy choices. Stock your pantry and refrigerator with nutritious foods, and make unhealthy snacks less accessible. Keep fresh fruits, vegetables, and healthy snacks readily available for quick and convenient options.

  7. Behavior substitution: Identify unhealthy habits and find healthier alternatives. For example, replace sugary beverages with water or herbal tea, swap fried foods for grilled or baked options, or satisfy a craving for sweets with fresh fruit.

  8. Stress management: Find healthy ways to manage stress, as stress can often lead to emotional eating or poor food choices. Engage in activities such as exercise, meditation, deep breathing, or hobbies that help alleviate stress and promote overall well-being.

  9. Support and accountability: Seek support from friends, family, or a support group to stay motivated and accountable. If you are one of my nutrition coaching clients, you can certainly contact me via phone or sms and receive the support you need at the very moment you need it, instead of perhaps making a spontaneous bad food decision. Share your goals and progress, and consider involving others in your healthy lifestyle changes.

  10. Celebrate non-food victories: Reward yourself for reaching milestones that are not related to food. Treat yourself to a massage, buy new workout gear, or engage in a favorite hobby as a way to celebrate progress.

Regular check-ins and adjustments

Regular check-ins and adjustments are essential when pursuing a caloric deficit for weight loss. Here's how you can incorporate them into your routine:

  1. Assess progress: Schedule regular check-ins with yourself to evaluate your progress towards your weight loss goals. At Dennis Romatz Fitness, we regularly monitor our nutrition client's progress to assess current needs and make adjustments. This can be done weekly or biweekly, depending on your preference. We usually do this once a week or more frequently if needed. Reflect on your achievements, challenges faced, and any adjustments that may be necessary.

  2. Track food intake and activity: Continue monitoring your food intake and physical activity levels. Be consistent with recording your meals, snacks, and beverages, as well as the duration and intensity of your workouts. This data will help you identify patterns and make informed adjustments.

  3. Monitor weight changes: Weigh yourself regularly to track changes in body weight. Not everyone likes to step on the scale, however what can be measure, can then be managed. Track your weight just as you would track your bank account. Keep in mind that weight fluctuates naturally due to factors like water retention, so focus on overall trends rather than daily fluctuations. If weight loss stalls or progresses slower than expected, it may be time to reevaluate your caloric deficit and make adjustments.

  4. Adjust calorie intake: As you progress, your body may adapt to the caloric deficit, and weight loss may slow down. In such cases, you may need to reduce your calorie intake further to maintain a consistent caloric deficit. However, it's important not to excessively restrict calories, as it can be counterproductive and potentially harmful to your health. Aim for a moderate adjustment of 100-200 calories per day if necessary.

  5. Reassess portion sizes: Take a closer look at your portion sizes to ensure you're accurately estimating and controlling your calorie intake. Use measuring cups, food scales, or visual references to maintain portion control and avoid unintentional overeating.

  6. Evaluate nutrient balance: Check the balance of macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats) in your diet. Ensure you're consuming adequate protein to support muscle maintenance and feeling satisfied. Adjust the distribution of macronutrients if needed, while still maintaining a balanced and varied diet.

  7. Make sustainable lifestyle changes: Focus on developing sustainable lifestyle habits rather than relying solely on short-term strategies. Incorporate physical activity you enjoy, choose nutrient-dense foods, and find a balance between food satisfaction and calorie control.

  8. Seek professional guidance: Consider consulting with our pros at Dennis Romatz Fitness. We can help you evaluate progress, make appropriate adjustments, and ensure your nutritional needs are being met.


being in a caloric deficit is a evidence based, proven method of weight loss. While it's not the only factor for losing weight, it is, however, one of the most vital steps to take. I've listed in great detail, all of the facets of the various steps to take to be in a caloric deficit to win the game of losing weight. Now, go ahead and put all of these tips into action as you have several key tools for guaranteed weight loss.

Interested to learn even more? You can visit my weight loss page to find more invaluable weight loss information.

About the Author:

Dennis Romatz is the Owner and Head Personal Trainer at Dennis Romatz Fitness representing the pinnacle of excellence in personal training with locations in Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Phnom Penh, Cambodia and Chicago, IL. You can contact Dennis to train with him in person or live online or connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

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