As I discussed the other day, the basic rule of fat loss is based on energy balance. Yes, calories in vs. calories out.
Now, as I stated the other day, calories DO matter especially when you are first starting out and if you are looking at fat loss as your goal, a calorie deficit is imperative.
So if a calorie deficit is the best way to achieve fat loss, how do I go about doing that?
a) chose a specific daily deficit (i.e. 200 calories less daily) and stick with that 7 days a week until I hit my goal
b) chose a specific weekly deficit where each day,instead of having the same calorie deficit, you change things up a bit. For instance on Monday you might have a 500 calorie deficit, Tuesday you might have 200 calorie surplus, and then on Wednesday you have a 300 calorie deficit.
Which one is better?
With option “a” you are eating at the same deficit daily. This might work well for you at first BUT there might be point when your body adjusts to this deficit in calories and your deficit becomes what your body is used to and weight loss stalls.
With option “b” you are sometimes eating at a deficit, sometimes at a surplus, and sometimes at maintenance level, BUT your average for the week is always at a deficit. Like I explained above, you could go 7 days a week with a 200 calorie deficit daily (1400 cal deficit weekly) but your body would adjust to this as “normal” and it would learn to run on fewer calories.
If you, however, start with a 500 calorie deficit on Monday, a 200 calorie surplus on Tuesday, 300 deficit, and then repeat this with maintenance on Sunday, you will end the week with a 1200 cal deficit for the week.
Option “b” does not have as big of an overall deficit as option “a” but because you are mixing it up daily, your body is less likely to adjust to a certain amount of calories, therefore, the deficit is likely to be more beneficial in the long run.