The Calorie Deficit – Yes it’s This Again!


Most of us do need to take a bit of corrective action after the holidays.  Usually that means administering a calorie deficit.  For some it also means getting back to the gym workouts.

Some seasons in your life require you to accept that staying at maintenance is a win

2013 was a very rough year for me.  I’m about to coin it my worst menopause hormone year ever.  I won’t go into all the gory details; most of us already know what this season of life includes.   But I will say that one of the biggest hindrances to your diet and fitness goals is lack of quality sleep.  Not to mention that the stress from that alone pretty much makes everything in your life fall apart.

If you have insomnia problems it’s best to put all else aside and work on getting the issue resolved, or at least down to a reasonable level that you can work around.  Having a semi-flexible work schedule helps.  But you must have that sleep.

Also it can be one of those seasons where fat loss is going to happen even slower than ever, if at all.  It can be a season where you should call staying at maintenance a win, or the best option.

After you have worked hard to achieve your fitness goal it doesn’t seem like you should ever have to go on another calorie deficit again

Not long ago I was chatting on the phone with John and catching up on projects we were working on when I mentioned some of my recent solutions to my year of struggles.  I had mentioned that one thing that is hard when you’ve adjusted to your newly transformed life is that the calorie deficit seems mentally harder.

Since you’ve already spent the hard years of losing the majority of the fat, and it sometimes seems like a nightmare you never want to repeat, it doesn’t seem fair that you should have to do it again – ever!

But alas, it’s still part of your ongoing seasons in life.  You still have to take the corrective action for short periods now and then.  Those short periods can take anywhere from 3-12 weeks and at the time it seems so long and unbearable – and unfair!  But a few weeks is not long compared to the years you spent earlier.  If you just get started it finally passes.

Sometimes you have to take the calorie deficit in a stair step approach

The time it takes to get where you want to be depends on the stress in your life and what the particular season is.  Sometimes you have to be patient and take the deficit in stair steps.  I learned the stair step approach from Leigh Peele.  I learned the Undulating Metabolic Override Protocol from the Venus Factor.  Each method has it’s place in my life.

It’s different for each person and it’s different for you depending on all of your life circumstances. You can’t always have what you want exactly when you want it, but if you are patient and do not give up; you can usually have what you want in time.

The hardest part is getting started

The hardest part is just accepting and then getting started.  The first week is the hardest, the subsequent weeks get easier, then you usually find your groove and it’s not so bad.  It’s just like John and Brad talk about in the “Getting Started” podcast and also Brad talked about it in his “Seven week experiment part 2”.

Much of what we learn in the long fat loss phase is the basic principles that we keep coming back to.  None of your prior efforts were wasted because they give you the lessons learned.  It gave you the confidence that the process works.

I told John a bit about the mind games and finally getting to the realization that it really comes back down to the knuckle down, roll up the sleeves, and do the calorie deficit.  I just sometimes feel like saying “No, not this again!  I already did that!”   John went right into his coach mode and said “Yes, it is this again!”  Can you just hear John’s voice? It was priceless to me. He is my favorite coach ever.

I nearly busted up laughing.  Yes I’d already figured that out.  But it didn’t make it any easier.  For me the alternative just is not acceptable.

It is so easy to fall into the trap of listening to the various health and fitness theories regarding hormones, menopause, and reasons for gaining weight, or having fat loss plateaus.  It’s easy to fall into panic and go down the path of thinking that your metabolism is broken or your thyroid stopped working.

Take out the emotions, face the facts, and get back to the basics

It’s so easy to play mental accounting games.  You remember the deficit days because they are so hard, but you forget the how often you ate extra or a little too much.  Mainly you just have to take the emotion out of it and look at the true facts, and possibly dig in to find your errors in tracking.

It always comes back to the basics.  It takes a calorie deficit to lose fat. Yes there are some very rare cases where lean athletes push too hard and eat too little so they have some unique issues.  But if you are not super lean you don’t fall into that category.

Let’s face it; most of us are not lean enough to have those problems.  For most of us if we need to lose some fat, we need to just roll up our sleeves and get it done.  It is not always fun, it requires some sacrifice; it’s the only thing that works.  The process never changes.  Either you are in a season where you can take the stress of applying the calorie deficit or not.

If you think you are eating 800 calories for a prolonged period of time yet are not losing any body mass at all – well the math just doesn’t match up.  You can’t change the laws of thermodynamics.

If you want to see what happens when that is true look at populations who have experienced true famine or the stories of those who have had anorexia.  Search on the internet for “North Korea Famine” and see what happens to people who don’t get enough to eat – they shrink.  That is what happens.  Sometimes it’s just a matter of facing the truth that you are actually consuming more food than you think you are.  For most of us that is a reality that is hard to face.

John helps our immersion customers in the bi-monthly coaching calls and I’ve found an additional helpful resource in fat loss troubleshooting that is quite good.

Andrea, one of the wise ladies in our forum wrote it out fairly clearly in her recent Venus online community blog post. Yes, it’s that pesky calorie deficit once again!  It’s this again!  It was the first lesson on her list of lessons learned.

It’s no big deal once you get started.  If fat loss is something you want this year, go and get it!


About Roberta Saum

Roberta is a 56 year young Elite Trainer at 1st Phorm. She achieved her fitness dream at age 50 here at The Venus Factor. She is a Fitness Consultant/Motivator for Hopelessly Romantic Media Productions, Venus Factor Coach, Product Developer, Brand Ambassador, Contest Administrator, Author, Editor in Chief for the Venus Factor, and 1st Phorm Ambassador.

More about Coach Roberta

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