"The most important component for fat loss is being in a caloric deficit," Eric said. "Without a deficit in place, the other [fat-loss tips] will be rendered completely useless." He added that at the end of the day, calories count; in order to lose fat, you need to burn more calories than you consume.
To lose about a pound a week, you need to eat 500 fewer calories a day. Just make sure you don't eat fewer than 1,200 calories a day for women; eating too few calories will slow down your metabolism deprived of essential nutrients!)
To find an approximate daily calorie target to lose weight, use this formula. However, it's not just the quantity of calories that matter but also the quality. You need to focus on nutrient-dense foods that give you more bang for your buck. Think: leafy greens, nonstarchy vegetables, and fruit.
"The calorie deficit is the secret behind any diet. There's no inherent magic about a particular diet for fat loss, just the fact that it creates a negative energy balance," Eric explained. "The best diet is the one you can stick to longest and make the most sustained to get the results you want."