400 Calorie Deficit: Is It Healthy & how much can you lose?


If you looking for weight loss, you may wonder whether a 400-calorie deficit is healthy and enough for weight loss.

Is a 400 calorie deficit healthy? Eating at a deficit of 400 calories is considered a healthy and suitable deficit for weight loss goals. If you’re agreeing with a 400-calorie deficit, you can hope to lose around 0.5-1 lb per week. Creating a 400-calorie deficit can be as simple as lower your portion at each main meal. 


In this Article, Health Sectors will discuss,

  • What does 400 calorie deficit means?
  • Is  400 calorie deficit healthy?
  • Would it be a good idea for you to utilize a 400-calorie deficit? 
  • What can you look from 400 calorie deficit?
  • How to achieve 400 calorie deficit?

What Does a 400-Calorie Deficit Mean?

400 calories mean you must eat 400 calories fewer than your maintenance calories. Eating lower than your maintenance calories is essential for weight loss. 

Your maintenance calories are the figure of calories that allow you to maintain weight. 

A 400-calorie deficit means that I am 400 calories lower than my maintenance, which means that I would take in 1900 calories per day. 

Achieving a 400-calorie deficit can be gifted by lower your daily calorie intake(-400cal of food), increasing your daily activity (+400cal of activity), or the combination of two ( -200cal of food + 200cal of activity). 

Making a deficit of 400 calories can be pretty easy and may only require you to balance the portion sizes of certain foods you usually eat throughout your day. 

Is  400 calorie deficit healthy?

Eating at a deficit of 400 calories is healthy as long as you are not already underweight because it is not utmost enough to result in any adverse side effects that would affect your overall health.

That being said, even though a 400-calorie deficit is considered a healthy deficit, you shouldn’t be in a deficit for an extended time. The suggested amount of time spent in 400 calories deficit is around 8-12 weeks to achieve the best result of weight loss.

If you decide to remain in a calorie deficit for too long, you could exposure to negative side effects such as a reduction in your metabolism (your body’s ability to burn calories), nutrient deficiencies, low energy, reduced immunity, and a potential loss of muscle mass.

If you observe some of these side effects before the 12-week mark, it is important to pay attention to your body and start reverse dieting out of your calorie deficit back to your maintenance calories.

Would it be a good idea for you to utilize a 400-calorie deficit? 

A 400-calorie deficit can be a good tool for anyone who is presently eating at their maintenance calories or in a surplus (more calories than you need to maintain weight),

and want to lose weight in a feasible and healthy way. If you are considering entering a calorie deficit period, it is compulsory to ensure that you are eating sufficiently before reducing your calories.

Let’s take an example, a 25-year-old male who is 5’11”, weighs 195 pounds, and takes part in average exercise 4-5 times a week would need to eat around 2750 calories a day to maintain his weight.

If he wanted to lose weight, he could lower his intake to 2350 calories per day. This would result in him losing between 5-10 pounds in around 10 weeks.

However, if this male should be eating around 2750 calories to maintain his weight, but in actuality, he’s only able to maintain his weight at 2200 calories, then he should not reduce his calories more distant.

If you are already eating fewer calories than your body burns in a day, then you should not generate a further deficit but fairly focus on building your calorie intake back up to preservation by reverse dieting.

Related Article: 200 Calorie Deficit: Is It Healthy And How Much Can You Lose?

What can you look at from 400 calorie deficit?

If you choose to eat 400 calorie deficit and it’s healthy for weight loss, then there will be more benefits than drawbacks. However, if you apply a 400-calorie deficit while already undereating, there will be more drawbacks than benefits. 

400 Calorie Deficit Pros

1. Fat Loss:

The main advantage of a 400-calorie deficit is that it will help you to lose weight by forcing your body to use its own resources (preferably fat) for fuel because lower calories are coming in. 

As long as you are agreeing with your 400-calorie deficit, you should lose weight at a healthy and supportable rate. If you set your calorie deficit with weight training, you will also grow your potential to maintain or even build lean muscle mass.

2. Lowers Cholesterol Levels:

Another advantage of a 400-calorie deficit is that it can help you lower your cholesterol levels, and lower your risk of heart disease.

While not everybody fights high cholesterol levels, eating at a calorie deficit can help to keep already healthy cholesterol levels. 

3. Reduced Inflammation In The Body:

A 400-calorie deficit can also be helpful for reducing inflammation in the body, which is mainly because high levels of inflammation in the body often contribute to chronic diseases.

Combining a healthy caloric deficit with a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids is the perfect recipe for lower inflammation.

400 Calorie Deficit Cons

1. Potential Muscle Loss:

While the terminal goal of a calorie deficit is to lose fat, it is prime to remember that whenever you’re in a calorie deficit, there is also the potential to lose muscle as well.

Although you are not so much likely to lose a notable amount of muscle on a modest 400 calorie deficit, there are a few things you should be doing to help lower your risk of losing lean mass, such as eating enough protein (1g of protein per pound of bodyweight) and strength training.

2. Reduced Energy:

When your body gains less fuel than it normally burns in a day, over time, a small reduction in energy is unavoidable. While this is examined a little bit normal in a deficit, you don’t want your energy to dip too low.

If you do happen an utmost dip in energy, you may have generated a deficit that is too critical, or you have been in a deficit for too long. If this is the case, consider enlarging your calories back to maintenance for some time to allow your body to recover.

3. Increased Hunger:

When you lower your calories, a little bit of hunger is almost unavoidable. While some hunger throughout a calorie deficit is normal, hunger levels should not become inconvenient. 

Increased hunger can often be managed by eating more high-fiber, high-volume foods and drinking plenty of water.

4. Slower Metabolism:

Unluckily, when calories are reduced, the body will frequently answer by reducing the rate at which you burn calories to conserve energy for basic bodily functions. This means that your body modifies to maintain its weight with lower calories by reducing its energy output.

Related Article: 300 Calorie Deficit: Is It Healthy And How Much Can You Lose?

How to Achieve a 400-Calorie Deficit:

400 calorie deficit

  • Determine your TDEE
  • Subtract 400 calories from TDEE
  • Choose the best ways to eliminate 400 calories
  • Make sure you are tracking calories accurately

Determine Your TDEE:

If you want to generate a correct calorie deficit, you must first know your Total Daily Energy Expenditure of calories (TDEE).

Your TDEE represents the number of calories you burn per day, which would be equal to your maintenance calories. If you burn 1900 calories a day, then your maintenance calories should also be 1900 calories so that your energy balance is equivalent out and you maintain your weight.

The simplest way to find your TDEE is using an online TDEE calculator like this one.

Subtract 400 Calories From TDEE:

Once you have set your TDEE, you can subtract 400 calories from this number to determine your new calorie deficit.

An example, the woman above would subtract 400 calories from her regular maintenance calories of 1900, creating a new deficit of around 1500 calories.

Choose the Best Ways to Eliminate 400 Calories:

The next step after you have set your calorie deficit is to determine which foods you will lower or remove to create your 400-calorie deficit. This will vary much hanging on what you eat in a day and what you would favor removing from your diet.

Health Sectors recommend trying to remove calories from food sources that do not provide a lot of volume, nutrients, or fiber since these do not supply as much to you feeling full.

Make Sure You Are Tracking Calories Accurately:

While the steps above are condemnatory to generate a 400-calorie deficit, none will matter except you are properly tracking your calories throughout the day because if you don’t know how much you are eating, you won’t be able to be compatible with your deficit.


How Much Weight Can You Lose on a 400 Calorie Deficit?

If you eat at a 400-calorie deficit accordant, you will lose all-over from 0.5 to 1 pounds of bodyweight per week.

Is a 400 Calorie Deficit Safe?

As long as you have been eating maintenance calories prior to your dieting phase, eating at a 400-calorie deficit is contemplate safe to achieve your weight loss goal.

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