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Is A 1000 Calorie Deficit A Day Healthy For Weight Loss?

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What is the optimal calorie deficit to sustainably lose weight?

On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, we answer a viewer question who asked: is a 1000 calorie deficit a day healthy for weight loss?

This is another episode from our #WayBackWednesday series, where we highlight the best questions from previous episodes of our #AskLiveLeanTV Q&A show.

This question is from #AskLiveLeanTV Ep. 004.

Does HIIT burn muscle?

Here’s today’s viewer question:

Ronni.o on Snapchat asks: my goal is 1790 calories a day. But at the end of the day, I am in a calorie deficit of over 1000 calories due to working out. Is a 1000 calorie deficit a day healthy for weight loss? I want to make sure I’m maximizing my effort.

This is a good question.

A daily 1000 calorie deficit is a lot, and way bigger than we typically recommend for sustainable weight loss.


Yes, you may lose weight, including weight from water, but it could also be weight from losing lean muscle tissue.

Being in such a high calorie deficit, could also shock your body into “starvation mode”.

Hello starvation mode

When your body enters starvation mode, it will hold on to stored body fat for survival, while burning lean muscle tissue for energy.

This is not good as burning into muscle tissue will ultimately slow down your metabolism.

So you may see short-term weight loss results with a 1000 calorie deficit, but over the long-term, your body will probably put it back on again.

In addition to slowing down your metabolism, a 1000 calorie deficit is not sustainable because eventually your hunger is going to take over.

At some point, you’re bound to get really hunger, and binge on everything in your house.

How To Reduce Hunger Cravings For Weight Loss

This is another reason why being in a large calorie deficit is not sustainable over the long-term.

What is the optimal calorie deficit for healthy and sustainable weight loss?

We recommend a 300-500 calorie deficit for weight loss per day.

A 500 calorie deficit would typically be the maximum amount, unless you have a lot of weight to lose.

People often overlook the fact that when you are dieting AND working out, you have to eat more.

If you are continuously in a 1000 calorie deficit, you’ll eventually burn yourself out.

Remember, when you workout, your metabolism will go up.

This means you’re going to be burning even more calories throughout the day.

This is another reason why you have to eat more when you are working out, even when you are dieting.

That’s the great thing about working out

Working out allows you to eat more, because you’ve earned those calories.

This means you’ll still be in a healthy and sustainable calorie deficit, without starving yourself of the energy your body needs to operate.

3 Ways To Create A Calorie Deficit For Weight Loss

Hopefully this helps you out.

Remember, don’t be tempted to make an extreme calorie deficit

Many people make the mistake of thinking a bigger calorie deficit will make them lose weight faster.

This will ultimately create a bounce back situation as you’ll burn into your metabolism friendly lean muscle tissue.

Over the long-term, a 1000 calorie daily deficit is not sustainable and not what you want to be doing.

Plan your weight loss over time

If you have 10 lbs to lose, don’t try to lose it in one week.

Think slow and steady by aiming to lose those 10 pounds in a few months.

That is the key to maintaining your weight loss and improving your health over the long-term.

If you need help creating a sustainable and healthy calorie deficit to safely reach your goals faster, we’re here to help.

In all of 6 week workout programs, we teach you step-by-step how to calculate how many calories you need based on your goal.

So go take our quick Live Lean Body Quiz to find the best program for you, based on your goals, fitness level, and access to equipment.


Start by taking our FREE Live Lean Body Quiz to get access to the best program specific to your goals, current fitness level, and access to equipment.

Take the Free Live Lean Body Quiz


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Question For You:

  • When losing weight, what is your daily calorie deficit goal?

Be sure to share your answers in the comment section below.

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