People try to lose fat, but it usually happens that they lose their lean muscle mass instead of losing the stored fats. This usually happens due to the reason that people do not burn calories from the fats store house in the body.

First of all, let’s talk about calories. Calorie is a measuremento or way to measure the amount of energy in food we eat. Calories are the basic foundation on which our diet is designed. Relation between calories and fat loss is that we need to consume less calories than you burn each day. Body requires certain amount of calories to operate or full fill the energy requirement for different daily activities like breathing, blood circulation, digestion and other additional activities or physical work you perform throughout the day.

By consuming fewer calories than what your body actually needs to perform all the functions, you just force your body to tap into the fat source to obtain the required energy. This is called calorie deficit. As long as you keep your body in this state over time, it will continue to extract energy from the body fat source which can vary. So body will continue to burn the excess fat at a rate of approximately 1 – 2 pounds/ week.

How to find the proper calorie deficit?

This part is very important and you should not start cutting any amount of calories from your diet. Too large of calorie deficit will led to waste away lot of lean muscle tissue. A muscle is metabolically active tissue and it usually burns calories on its own without you have to perform any activity at all. The more muscle mass you lose, the slow your metabolism actually becomes.

Also, too large of calorie deficit can trigger your body starvation mechanism. Since your calories intake is lot less from you’re than required, your body will go into a self survival mode and body does everything to restore the body fats rather than burning the stored energy in the fats.

The point here is to set a calorie deficient that is large enough to encourage body to burn body fats energy but small enough so that your lean muscles stay intact unharmed and the body stays out of the auto survival mode.

What should be your calorie deficit?

It varies from body to body but most widely used calorie deficient is for people to consume 15 -20% to fewer calories than your maintenance level. Maintenance level is the number of calories you need to consume every day to maintain your current weight. A person who do hard work like labor job burns more calories than a person doing the desk job. So the maintenance level is different for every individual.

So in order to figure out your calories maintenance level, find out your muscle metabolism rate and then take note of your activity level or calories that you burn daily on an average. Once you get your calories maintenance level, just reduce it.

15 – 20% less calories. This will help you reduce body fat without losing the lean muscle mass.

Formula to calculate your body metabolism rate :

Formula 1:

For male:

BMR(basal metabolic rate) = 66 + (13.7 x weight in kg) + (5 x height in cm) – (6.8 x age in years)

For female:

BMR = 655 + (9.6 x weight in kg) + (1.8 x height in cm) – (4.7 x age in years).

Formula 2:

Sedentary = BMR x 1.2 (Little or no exercise)

Lightly active = BMR x 1.375 (Light exercise 1 – 3 days/week)

Moderately Active = BMR x 1.55 (Moderate exercise 3 – 5 days/week)

Very active = BMR x 1.725 (Hard exercise 6 – 7 days/week)

Extra active = BMR x 1.9 (Hard daily exercise 2x day)

Once you find your body BMR, you will be able to calculate your calories maintenance level. Now just reduce that number by 15 – 20% and you will get your daily caloric range for fat loss.

Remember, if done seriously, it may be the quickest way to lose your extra fats in the body.