Caloric deficit

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A caloric deficit is any shortage in the amount of calories consumed relative to the amount of calories required for maintenance of current body weight (energy homeostasis).

A deficit can be created by reducing input/calories consumed (lower food intake, aka dieting).[1] A deficit can also be created by increasing output without a corresponding increase in input. Increased output is created by increasing physical activity,[2] from increased caloric requirements necessary to heal an injury,[citation needed] or from growth.[3] There are also some substances, including Caffeine, which can create a small (3-5%)[4] increase in caloric expenditure, via a variety of pathways that include increasing physical activity levels and increasing Thermogenesis (heat output), and/or by reducing caloric input via appetite suppression.[5][6] Drugs and herbal treatments creating a more extreme metabolic effect exist; however, they cause extreme increases of heart rate and thermogenesis that can cause death in even very healthy and athletic individuals, and these drugs are not widely sold.[6][7]

As the calories required for energy homeostasis decreases as the organisms's mass decreases, if a moderate deficit is maintained eventually a new (lower) weight will be reached and maintained, and the organism will no longer be at caloric deficit.[2] A permanent severe deficit, on the other hand, which contains too few calories to maintain a healthy weight level, will eventually result in starvation and death.[citation needed]

To reduce 1 kg of weight, about 7000 kcal deficit is required.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Counting calories: Get back to weight-loss basics". Mayo Clinic. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
  2. ^ a b Redman, LM; Heilbronn, LK; Martin, CK; de Jonge, L; Williamson, DA; Delany, JP; Ravussin, E (February 9, 2009). "Metabolic and Behavioral Compensations in Response to Caloric Restriction: Implications for the Maintenance of Weight Loss". PLOS ONE. 4. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0004377. PMC 2634841. PMID 19198647.
  3. ^ "CALORIC NEEDS". Archived from the original on 31 May 2016. Retrieved 2015-07-09.
  4. ^ Dulloo, A. G.; Geissler, C. A.; Horton, T.; Collins, A.; Miller, D. S. (1989-01-01). "Normal caffeine consumption: influence on thermogenesis and daily energy expenditure in lean and postobese human volunteers". The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 49 (1): 44–50. doi:10.1093/ajcn/49.1.44. ISSN 0002-9165. PMID 2912010.
  5. ^ Schrader, Patrick; Panek, Leah M.; Temple, Jennifer L. (2013). "Acute and chronic caffeine administration increases physical activity in sedentary adults". Nutrition Research. Elsevier BV. 33 (6): 457–463. doi:10.1016/j.nutres.2013.04.003. ISSN 0271-5317.
  6. ^ a b "Dietary Supplements for Weight Loss — Health Professional Fact Sheet". Retrieved 2015-07-09.
  7. ^ Lu, Yuan-qiang; Jiang, Jiu-kun; Huang, Wei-dong (March 2011). "Clinical features and treatment in patients with acute 2,4-dinitrophenol poisoning". Journal of Zhejiang University. Science. B. 12 (3): 189–192. doi:10.1631/jzus.B1000265. ISSN 1673-1581. PMC 3048933. PMID 21370503.
  8. ^ Joslin, Elliott Proctor; Kahn, C. Ronald (2005-01-01). Joslin's Diabetes Mellitus: Edited by C. Ronald Kahn ... [et Al.]. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. ISBN 9780781727969.