Many of you start back into the diet at the beginning of the year and want to reduce body fat. For this to happen, we need a calorie deficit, and then the question often arises: How high should the calorie deficit be?

Unfortunately, there is – as so often in fitness & nutrition – no general answer to this question. Because each body is individual, everybody responds individually to a calorie deficit.

However, there are scientific studies that can be considered when choosing your own calorie deficit.

Persons with a high body fat content

Persons with a high body fat content have a higher basic turnover than those with an already relatively low body fat content. In addition, of course, they also have more reserves in the form of body fat. A high-calorie deficit (500 – 1000 calories) is, therefore, less a problem here and can be quite beneficial. It is important, however, that such drastic calorie reductions are carried out for a maximum of 3-4 weeks since the body can be seriously damaged. Any supply of calories means stress for the body, which should not be neglected.

Persons with an already low body fat content

People whose body fat content is already quite low and who only want to lose the last kilos or strive for the fine grinding are generally much better with a low-calorie deficit (300 – 500 calories). Too big deficits are usually not “possible” because these people with a calorie deficit of eg 1000 calories are already under the basic turnover and this should never be the case. With a low-calorie deficit, you also have hardly any performance losses in the training and you do not feel so limp and drained. The disadvantage here is, firstly, that such diets must then be carried out correspondingly longer (up to 12 weeks are not a rarity here) and the leptin level can be adversely affected here. So, that this does not happen or one under the holding, one can work with refeeds.


One cannot say on a general basis whether a high or a rather low-calorie deficit is better. Some slender people, for example, are also clearer with a high deficit – this is individual. What works for YOU, you must find yourself. Personally, I would always prefer the second variant, as it is, in my opinion, healthier, more long-lasting and more effective in the removal of body fat.

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In addition, the risk of hot showering is significantly reduced.

Have you already had experiences with a high or low-calorie deficit?

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