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I've been reading about various diets, and I keep seeing this language:

XX% caloric restriction

What does that mean, in practical terms?

See this wikipedia article for some examples of the language in use.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

XX% caloric restriction means reducing your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) by the XX% amount. BMR is basically the minimum calories your body needs to maintain all its natural process. So, if you do nothing at all in a day, your body will burn the calories equivalent to your BMR. This article details how you can calculate it.

So if you're using a program that requires 30% calorie reduction and your BMR is 2000, your daily calorie intake has to be 1400. If you're active, the total calories your body uses will increase, which will lead to a higher calorie deficit. That's basically how weight-loss through dieting works.

Hope this works.

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