How Many Calories Is A Pound Of Fat?

March 19, 2011

This question is one every person starting a diet thinks about.
Because if you start a diet the first thing that pops into your mind is: “How long will it take me to drop those extra pounds off?"
The simple answer to how many calories must be burned to lose a pound of weight is essentially the number of calories in a pound of fat.

Fat is the primary source of undesirable stored calories in the body, when people talk about burning weight, they are almost always referring to body fat.
In short, there are approximately 3,500 calories in a pound of fat.
This means that if you were to increase your calorie burning by 3,500 a week, and held your diet unchanged, you would potentially end up about 1 pound (that is more or less ½ kilo) lighter at the end of the week, than you would have otherwise.
The flaw with treating a certain amount of calorie burning as equaling a certain amount of weight loss, is that you don't derive all of your energy from body fat stores, most of it comes from the calories you eat.
So calorie intake becomes a vital component of how many calories you have to burn to shed a pound of fat in your body.

Say you consume 2,000 calories daily (to know the exact amount of calories you burn you have to determine your resting metabolic rate), and on top of that you burn extra 1,500 calories for a grand total of 3,500, but you would not burn a pound of body fat.
Truth is, over half of the calories you burned would have come from the food you ate, so only 1,500 of the calories burned would come from your body fat. They key to losing a pound of fat is burning 3,500 calories more than you consume. Therefore, the true amount of calories that must be burned to lose a pound of weight is invariably much higher than 3,500.
But the body needs to consume food to maintain itself, so it is not viable to attempt to burn large quantities of body fat through intense workouts.
When you work out, your body demands energy. Carbs can be broken down and provide that energy faster than pure body fat. If the body is forced to rely only on body fat, energy levels will drop and the level of intensity of a workout will fall, which can ultimately hamper calorie burning. So the key to losing weight is sustaining a net calorie loss every day for a long period of time.
This means that if you start dieting you need to keep in mind that that change in your eating habits should be kept for a long time.
Say you eat 2,000 calories a day, but between exercise and normal bodily energy expenditure you burn 2,500. After a week's time, you will have shed a total of 3,500 calories above what you've eaten, which will be about equivalent to 1 lb. of fat weight. The problem is that when the body is facing a shortfall of calories and is being forced to exercise more, you may feel hungry more often or feel like you need to eat more to replenish your energy.

For many people, the daily recommended amount of calories are exceeded each and every day because of unhealthy diets consisting of foods that have high caloric and fat levels.
But do not lose hope there is a positive note: the average person can burn 1,000 to 3,000 calories through just their daily tasks and during sleep.
But, to be able to burn the amount of calories and lose the amount of pounds it takes to drop a dress size, a long-term program of consistent exercise and a healthy diet needs to be followed.
You just need to be consistent in your diet regimen and you’ll be one step closer to TheIronYou!


  1. this post really show that how much calories we eat in our daily life. i am glad to know about such facts

  2. Good luck ,Great post,y love you!Thanks for the info it had cleared out too many things in my mind. Your recommendations are really good,

  3. Finally something good to read! Thank you!!!