Creating a calorie deficit boils down to a simple math equation: Are you burning more calories than you’re consuming on a daily basis? If you are, you’re at a calorie deficit.
Burning 3,500 calories more than you consume is equal to 1 pound of fat, according to the Mayo Clinic.
By having a 500-calorie deficit — through a combination of diet and exercise — you’ll lose about 1 pound of fat per week.
For most people, losing more than 2.5 pounds of fat per week involves extreme calorie restriction and isn’t recommended.