How Many Calories in a Pound?

When it comes to weight loss, it's tough to know how much progress you're making. You may be monitoring your food intake VERY closely, doing a lot of exercise, but still not seeing the weight loss you want. But why not? Why isn't it working? The truth is that it may actually be working, just a bit slower than you anticipated.

The Age-Old Myth

There is a rule that says there are 3,500 calories in a pound of weight. If you want to lose a pound, you just have to burn 3,500 calories more than you eat in a week, and you should see the pound disappear. But even if you do manage to do that, you probably WON'T see that pound gone. But why is that?

Calories in a Pound

Calories are a unit used to measure energy. It's not a measurement of weight, but it tells you how much energy your body can produce from a food item. However, there are no "calories in a pound". The 3,500 calories = 1 pound of body fat is simply a general rule, one established back in 1958 (which hasn't been updated since). The truth is that you can't count calories to lose a pound of weight simply because there is no "calorie to pound conversion". This old "rule" isn't quite accurate.

Pounds of What?

The problem with "losing 1 pound" is that you can never be truly certain what that pound was made of. How much of it was water? How much fat? How much muscle? If your goal is simply to lose weight, you're going to be sorely disappointed. You may see your poundage go up and down, but that's not real weight loss. Stepping onto a scale isn't the way to measure your true health.

Burning Calories

Calories are energy, so your goal should be to burn more than you consume. However, if you get so stuck on the "3,500 calories to a pound" rule, you're going to be disappointed when you don't see weight loss results. You need to make sure that you burn more calories than you consume, but that doesn't mean you should cut back on calories. In fact, the secret to serious weight loss is to increase both your caloric intake and expenditure. This will signal to your body that you're getting enough food in your diet, so it won't go into starvation mode.

The Right Way to Measure Weight Loss

The secret to weight loss is fat-burning. You want to be losing body fat, not body weight. Someone who weighs 100 kilograms can be much healthier than someone who weighs 20 pounds less. It's all about the body fat percentage. The higher your body fat percentage, the less healthy you are. Your only way to measure "weight loss" should be to measure your body fat. As long as your body fat percentage is slowly decreasing, you're doing the right thing.

How to Burn Body Fat

There are three keys to burning body fat: 1) eating a healthy diet. This usually means a diet rich in protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Cut back on carbs, and make sure to eat according to your activity levels. 2) a lot of exercise. Focus on resistance (weight) training, with plenty of HIIT and cardio thrown into the mix. This will ensure that your body burns through the calories you're eating, and will increase your metabolism. 3) live a healthy life. Sleep more, as your body burns through a lot of energy overnight. Cut back on alcohol, nicotine, and anything else that slows down your metabolism.

 

How Many Calories in a Pound?

When it comes to weight loss, it's tough to know how much progress you're making. You may be monitoring your food intake VERY closely, doing a lot of exercise, but still not seeing the weight loss you want. But why not? Why isn't it working? The truth is that it may actually be working, just a bit slower than you anticipated.

The Age-Old Myth

There is a rule that says there are 3,500 calories in a pound of weight. If you want to lose a pound, you just have to burn 3,500 calories more than you eat in a week, and you should see the pound disappear. But even if you do manage to do that, you probably WON'T see that pound gone. But why is that?

Calories in a Pound

Calories are a unit used to measure energy. It's not a measurement of weight, but it tells you how much energy your body can produce from a food item. However, there are no "calories in a pound". The 3,500 calories = 1 pound of body fat is simply a general rule, one established back in 1958 (which hasn't been updated since). The truth is that you can't count calories to lose a pound of weight simply because there is no "calorie to pound conversion". This old "rule" isn't quite accurate.

Pounds of What?

The problem with "losing 1 pound" is that you can never be truly certain what that pound was made of. How much of it was water? How much fat? How much muscle? If your goal is simply to lose weight, you're going to be sorely disappointed. You may see your poundage go up and down, but that's not real weight loss. Stepping onto a scale isn't the way to measure your true health.

Burning Calories

Calories are energy, so your goal should be to burn more than you consume. However, if you get so stuck on the "3,500 calories to a pound" rule, you're going to be disappointed when you don't see weight loss results. You need to make sure that you burn more calories than you consume, but that doesn't mean you should cut back on calories. In fact, the secret to serious weight loss is to increase both your caloric intake and expenditure. This will signal to your body that you're getting enough food in your diet, so it won't go into starvation mode.

The Right Way to Measure Weight Loss

The secret to weight loss is fat-burning. You want to be losing body fat, not body weight. Someone who weighs 100 kilograms can be much healthier than someone who weighs 20 pounds less. It's all about the body fat percentage. The higher your body fat percentage, the less healthy you are. Your only way to measure "weight loss" should be to measure your body fat. As long as your body fat percentage is slowly decreasing, you're doing the right thing.

How to Burn Body Fat

There are three keys to burning body fat: 1) eating a healthy diet. This usually means a diet rich in protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Cut back on carbs, and make sure to eat according to your activity levels. 2) a lot of exercise. Focus on resistance (weight) training, with plenty of HIIT and cardio thrown into the mix. This will ensure that your body burns through the calories you're eating, and will increase your metabolism. 3) live a healthy life. Sleep more, as your body burns through a lot of energy overnight. Cut back on alcohol, nicotine, and anything else that slows down your metabolism.

 

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