In simply theoretical terms, you need to lose 3500 calories in order to lose a pound. That means, after you have eaten 3500 calories lesser over a period of time, you will burn just 1 pound. However, what happens in the real world isn’t exactly the same. The simple fact of the matter is that as you constantly eat less, your metabolism also decreases. You might think that if you usually eat 4000 calories every day and you cut down 3500 calories from that and manage to consume just 500 calories in a day, you should be able to reduce 1 pound immediately, right? No, that’s absolutely wrong! As you create this huge calorie deficit, your metabolism falls down drastically, creating what scientists call ‘Diet Induced Adaptive Thermogenesis’ and you will ultimately lose no weight while also face the many harmful side effects of crash dieting.
While the equation might ask you to eat 3500 calories lesser every day to lose a pound, in reality this doesn’t really work so easily. It may be a wiser idea to cut down 500 calories per day, creating a caloric deficit of 3500 calories over a whole week. This will ascertain you eat a balanced diet every day, and the reduction in caloric intake will guarantee you weight loss in the long run.
How many calories to lose a pound – Calorie Deficit:
To lose 1 pound of fat, you need to create a 3500 calorie deficit. Now this can be done in 2 ways – with your diet as well as regular exercise. For best results, it is best to first get your diet in control before you look at exercising. That will mean that losing calories through exercising works only as an additional bonus. Don’t try and lose more than 1 pound in a week. Anything more than that cannot be permanent in nature and the minute you go back to you old diet, you will gain the weight back. When you create a 3500 calorie deficit over a whole week and also add in 1 hour of exercise every day, you are taking a slower and healthier route to losing weight. Your body will get well conditioned to the changes and respond accordingly. Over a period of time, these changes will become a lifestyle change, ensuring you lose weight continuously. Don’t be fooled by diet fads – losing more than 2 pound of fat in a week is almost impossible.
How many calories to lose a pound of Fat?
In the end, we all want to lose fat and not muscle mass. Being in shape means building up your muscle and this process in itself will help you shed the fat. Building muscle requires strenuous exercises and during the process your body burns fat cells to generate energy to keep up with the exercise. But when you create a 3500 calorie deficit through balanced diet and exercise, you will notice that over a period of time you lose more than 1 pound! If you wonder why that will happen, the answer is that along with fat you will also lose water weight from your body. You will see that after sticking to the routine of creating a 3500 calorie deficit through diet every week substituted with exercise for a month, you will start to lose 2-3 pounds per week. To keep a close check on your progress, weight yourself once every Monday morning.
Losing 1 pound: The right way
The only thing to concentrate on is to reduce your weekly intake of calories by 3500 and to exercise regularly, doing both cardio exercises and weight training. While cardio will increase your heart beat to shed calories, the weight training will build more muscle to ensure fat cells are burnt off. For this, you only need to create a deficit of 500 calories per day. While you could do away with 500 calories per day in your diet and add exercise as bonus, you could also try a combo. For a healthier result, you can create a 250 calorie deficit through diet, which will be gradual and never result in spikes in blood sugar levels. Create a deficit of another 250 calories by running on the treadmill for 30 minutes every day. This way, you will achieve the 500 calorie daily deficit without any glitches.
But don’t be too obsessed if you see no weight loss on the weighing scale immediately. Our weight fluctuates through the day too, which is why we recommend you weight yourself early morning once a week. Through the day, your weight will change based on what you ate, what time you ate and whether you exercised that day or not. Don’t weight yourself at the gym; you will have eaten something before your workout to fuel energy. Do it on an empty stomach.
Easy tips to lose a pound:
Now that you know 3500 calories makes for 1 pound, let us move on to how you can cut 3500 calories from your diet every week. We already discussed that you only need to create a 500 calorie deficit every day, and that really is much easier than it looks! A single candy bar has 260 calories or so, and just cutting that out from your diet every day makes for half the number of calories! We have some other simple tips for you too, so read on.
If you want to maintain your weight, you just need 12 calories/pound of your weight to maintain your weight. So, if you are say 150 pounds, you need 1800 calories to stay the same weight. And to lose a pound, you need 1300 calories per week. However, make sure your daily caloric intake doesn’t dip below 1200, that is neither healthy nor a long term weight loss process.
- Get a balanced diet. You need
– 1 good source of protein – like lean cuts of meat, eggs or soya
– 1 serving of complex carbs – like whole grain bread or oats
– 2 to 3 servings of vegetables & fruits – like Spinach, broccoli, oranges and tomatoes
– 1 serving of dairy – like double toned milk or low fat yogurt
- Eat 5- 6 smaller meals a day. This works in 2 ways – your metabolism stays active through the day and you end up practicing portion control. Both are essential for permanent weight loss.
- You do need to eat healthy fats every day. If the fat reserves in your cells are not replenished, the cells will not give up the fats stored. So replace bad fats with healthy fats, which are found in olive oil, oily fish and nuts.
- A regular soda contains about a 100-260 calories. Do away with these aerated drinks and substitute them with water! That is a perfectly simple way to achieve half your daily calorie deficit.
- Replace one of the smaller meals with a large salad. These are very low in calories, about 50 calories tops considering you don’t use high calorie salad dressings. You will feel just as full, when you would have eaten 50 calories only, instead of a 300 calorie meal ( an ideal meal is between 300-400 calories)
- Instead of getting a snack bar in between meals (which contains around 250 calories), try a banana. It contains just 116 calories and is much healthier in comparison.
- Eating out? Don’t worry, just cut out all carbs, unless you are sure the restaurant will serve you good multigrain bread. When eating out, your best choice is to order lean grilled meats, salads and unsweetened iced teas.
- Love your lattes and cappuccino? Sadly, a small cup has 120 calories! If you want coffee, drink regular coffee which has just 5 calories per normal cup! Even if you add a little low fat milk or cream, you add just 20 calories more.
- Always read labels of the food you buy. Low fat doesn’t necessarily mean low calorie too!
With these simple tips, you can now lose a pound with ease. Creating a 500 calorie deficit a day is not difficult at all, provided you go about it in a healthy way. We hope this article all your questions regarding, “How many calories to lose a pound?” We wish you all the luck in shedding those unnecessary pounds!