You don’t have to crash diet to lose fat. Period. There are ways to achieve your fat-loss goals without sacrificing your health, hormones and state of being.

Let’s start with the basics. In order to burn fat, there must be a deficit between caloric intake and caloric expenditure. This can be implemented slowly or quickly, depending on your goal and how much body fat you hope to lose. 

There are two ways to create a deficit: exercise and diet. You also can combine them. For example, if you need to create a 500-calorie daily deficit, you can potentially cut 500 calories from your meals or burn 500 calories from exercise or combine the two, in which case you may cut 250 calories worth of food and increase your exercise output by 250 calories.

Important note: You don’t necessarily need to create a calorie deficit through concentrated exercise. You can simply increase your daily activity and burn calories during the course of your day-to-day life. This is called non-exercise activity thermogenesis. By increasing your activity throughout the day, every day, you may end up burning more calories compared to hitting the gym for an extra hour.