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Calories Burned for a Pound of Fat

To lose 1 lb of fat how much cal does one need to burn?

Is there an easy answer to this?

3500 is the most commonly accepted amount. But remember that if you just jump on a treadmill and keep moving until you burn 3500 calories, that doesn’t translate into 1 lb of fat loss. Some calories came from glycogen, and some from muscle.

Actually its a tad more like 4,000

1 pound of fat is about 454 grams, and fat has 9 calories per gram. 9 cals x 454 grams = 4086 calories per stored pound of fat.

The most common method to lose 2 pounds a week (the industry standard for the most fat you can lose in a week to my knowledge) is to be in a 750-1000 calorie daily deficit. Scheduled refeeds are not a bad idea on this kind of a deficit once a week or so.

[quote]Lonnie123 wrote:
Actually its a tad more like 4,000

1 pound of fat is about 454 grams, and fat has 9 calories per gram. 9 cals x 454 grams = 4086 calories per stored pound of fat.[/quote]

Just doing the math doesn’t get us where we need to be. It assumes that a pound of fat is nothing but stored energy.

Human adipose tissue also contains cellular water. It’s generally agreed that adipose is comprised of about 10% cellular water. This is how people arrive at the 3500 cals/pound of fat number.

I would give you a cite, but the articles I found noting this are all part of paid subscription services. Any basic anatomy book should verify this.

Likewise, even though 454 * 4 = 1816, a pound of muscle is NOT 1816 calories of stored energy. It’s only 600 calories of stored energy. The rest of the weight is stored water.

This is why muscle conducts electricity better than fat.

[quote]JuicyLucy wrote:
Is there an easy answer to this?[/quote]

Yes. A simple search on Google or any other search engine would provide you an answer in approximately 3 seconds.

I would like to add that there IS a difference between HOW MANY calories there is in a pound of muscle and HOW MUCH calories one must cut (diet) or expend (training) to lose one pound of fat.

While ‘‘technically’’ a pound of fat constitutes around 3500kcals of stored energy it doesn’t mean that you WILL lose one pound of fat for every 3500kcals you spend or cut from your diet.

That doesn’t take into account several factors such as:

  • one’s capacity to mobilize and use fat for fuel

  • your metabolic rate

  • your nutrients partitioning

  • your dietary composition

  • etc.

For example, some people have a harder time holding onto muscle mass when cutting calories down, especially if protein intake is too low. It has been documented that reducing calories too much can lead to as much as 50% of the lost ‘‘weight’’ being from muscle tissue. Some other peoples, who diet more inteligently can lose 90%+ of the lost weight in the form of fat.

So it IS erroneous to think, ‘’ well I have 10lbs to lose, that means 35 000kcals so I’ll simply create a 2500kcals deficit per day for two weeks and I’ll lose 10lbs of fat in 2 weeks’’ … it won’t work … your body will lose too much muscle and MUCH LESS fat when being that drastic.

Furthermore it is IMPOSSIBLE to know the exact rate of fat you can lose. For example you can’t ‘‘assume’’ that you will lose 20lbs of fat in 10 weeks by creating a caloric deficit of 1000kcals per day: the body adapts as it wants to hold on to some fat in the interest of survival. Fat loss, like muscle gain, isn’t a linear process.

How can one make sure that she/he is losing fat not muscle while dieting. Eating enough protein and creating a slight deficit in the biginning is the right way to go, I suppose.

[quote]JuicyLucy wrote:
How can one make sure that she/he is losing fat not muscle while dieting. Eating enough protein and creating a slight deficit is the right way to go, I suppose.[/quote]

  1. Making sure that you are AT LEAST maintaining your strength levels… it’s even better to strive to gain strength. If you are getting stronger, the chances that you are losing muscle are slim to none.

  2. Keeping protein and FATS high enough. I do recommend cutting carbs to very low levels, but protein should NEVER be overwhelming the diet (more than 50% of your caloric intake) otherwise your body will become efficient at burning protein (thus muscle tissue) for fuel. Read my latest ‘‘Body transformation’’ article for more on that subject.

  3. Take it one atep at a time. Fat loss is an emotional issue and most peoples want to lose it all RIGHT AWAY (which is understandable) and they end up throwing every single strategy in the book in at the same time: they cut calories to super-low levels, drastically jack up activity levels and use every single fat loss supplement there is.

The problem is that the body will adapt to anything and at some point all these efforts will not provide any further progress. Where do you go from there? You don’t have much more calories to cut from the diet, you don’t have enough time (or recovery capacity) to do more training and you can’t use supplements that haven’t been created yet!

Eventually you’ll reach a point where all those efforts and privations will become necessary simply to MAINTAIN the body you have!!! It’s smarter to start slowly, doing just enough to lose fat at a satisfactory rate, and as progress slows down, increase activity level or gradually decrease your caloric intake.

THE ONE WHO BUILS THE BETTER BODY IS THE ONE WHO CAN SUSTAIN PROGRESS FOR THE LONGER PERIOD OF TIME.

[quote]CaliforniaLaw wrote:
Lonnie123 wrote:
Actually its a tad more like 4,000

1 pound of fat is about 454 grams, and fat has 9 calories per gram. 9 cals x 454 grams = 4086 calories per stored pound of fat.

Just doing the math doesn’t get us where we need to be. It assumes that a pound of fat is nothing but stored energy.

Human adipose tissue also contains
cellular water. It’s generally agreed that adipose is comprised of about 10% cellular water. This is how people arrive at the 3500 cals/pound of fat
number.

I would give you a cite, but the articles I found noting this are all part of paid subscription services. Any basic anatomy book should verify this.

Likewise, even though 454 * 4 = 1816, a pound of muscle is NOT 1816 calories of stored energy. It’s only 600 calories of stored energy. The rest of the weight is stored water.

This is why muscle conducts electricity better than fat. [/quote]

But what you haven’t taken into account is that 1 pound of fat is not pure fat there for not all 454 grams of its mass is fat. about 80% of a pound of fat is actual adipose tissue, the rest is some water and other intermolecular tissues running around.

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
JuicyLucy wrote:
How can one make sure that she/he is losing fat not muscle while dieting. Eating enough protein and creating a slight deficit is the right way to go, I suppose.

  1. Making sure that you are AT LEAST maintaining your strength levels… it’s even better to strive to gain strength. If you are getting stronger, the chances that you are losing muscle are slim to none.
    [/quote]
    Logical if one is losing body fat one is getting lighter therefore stronger. Here I’m talking body weight exercises.

[quote]
2. Keeping protein and FATS high enough. I do recommend cutting carbs to very low levels, but protein should NEVER be overwhelming the diet (more than 50% of your caloric intake) otherwise your body will become efficient at burning protein (thus muscle tissue) for fuel. Read my latest ‘‘Body transformation’’ article for more on that subject.[/quote]
Congratulation on your transformation!!!Impressive work of yours.

[quote]

  1. Take it one atep at a time. Fat loss is an emotional issue and most peoples want to lose it all RIGHT AWAY (which is understandable) and they end up throwing every single strategy in the book in at the same time: they cut calories to super-low levels, drastically jack up activity levels and use every single fat loss supplement there is.[/quote]I like to think about losing fat as a reverse process. It took me this long to get this fat, it’ll take me this long to lose it. Consistence and perseverance.

Does your body get used to a certain fat levels? Like when you start running 40min at first its hard and then you get used to it and to further improve you need to run more or faster.

Thanks a lot.

Just a couple questions for you to think about, don’t take this as an attack.

Your profile says you are 150 lbs. How fat can you be at 150lbs?

Granted yes I know you can be fat at that weight, but if you are, you probably need to worry much more about building up a decent amount of muscle, which will speed your metabolism up.

What are you goals?

By goals I mean, what kinda body do you want.

this is how I look like. I hope you’ll be able to see something. The quality is not so good.

[quote]SwampThing wrote:
Just a couple questions for you to think about, don’t take this as an attack.

Your profile says you are 150 lbs. How fat can you be at 150lbs?

Granted yes I know you can be fat at that weight, but if you are, you probably need to worry much more about building up a decent amount of muscle, which will speed your metabolism up.

What are you goals?

By goals I mean, what kinda body do you want.[/quote]

I’m 165 lb at the moment. 150lb seems a realistic goal to me.
I’m not really fat fat. I just need to shred about 15 lb off. Maybe I don’t have so much fat on me. I don’t know. Is there a way how to estimate it, other then have the test done? I think I have some muscle to burn the fat of.