How many calories to burn a pound of fat?

One pound of fat contains roughly 3,500 calories. This leads many people to believe that if they want to lose 1 lb of body weight, you just need a reduction of 3,500 calories. This means you would need to cut 500 calories each day to lose 1 lb of body fat in a week.

In this article, we’ll be looking closer at how many calories you need to burn for a pound of fat. This plus areas such as how many calories you should burn a day exercising, and how many calories you would need to burn to lose 1kg (one kilogram).

Here’s what you need to know:

How many calories to lose a pound of fat?

If you cut 500 calories to 1,000 calories a day from your diet, you'll lose about 1 pound of fat (0.5 kilogram) a week.

This goes back to our findings that one pound of fat is roughly 3,500 calories. So, what is the best way to cut 500 calories or so out of your diet?

A good way to start is to make a food diary of what you eat for the week. Ideally you should be logging absolutely everything, along with each food’s caloric value.

This method teaches you two things:

  1. The general caloric values of the foods you eat.
  2. How many calories you typically consume in a week.

With this information you can begin to plan your meals throughout the week in a similar way to how you would plan a budget.

Look for snacks, or unhealthy parts of your meal that you can cut from your diet so your overall deficit works out to 3,500 calories a week. It sounds intimidating at first, but it can be done with the right planning.

It’s also worth noting that this is the angle you should take if you aren’t increasing your overall exercise activity - as that will burn more calories. You can burn too much too fast, and risk losing lean muscle mass.

How many calories should I burn a day exercising for fat loss?

Experts recommend you must be burning 2,000 calories per week by exercising. Then cut 1,500 calories a week from your diet. This combination of workouts and dieting makes you burn 400 to 500 calories a day or 3,500 calories a week.

As we’ve mentioned 3,500 calories a week should help you to drop one pound of fat every seven days. However, when you’re putting exercise into the mix you need to tweak your diet to meet those goals, as your exercise is going to add to those overall calories burned.

A good way to track the calories you burn while exercising can be on cardio machines at the gym. Although they aren’t always completely accurate, they can at least give you a rough estimate of how many calories you have burned so far in a workout.

How many calories do I need to burn to lose 1kg of fat?

There are 7,700 calories in 1kg of fat. To burn 1kg of fat, you should have a calorie deficit of 7,700. The average person consumes between 1,800 - 2400 calories a day. To burn 1kg of fat would take long-term planning of your diet.

If you aim to burn a pound of fat a week as mentioned above, you could potentially burn this fat in under a month. It all depends on how focused and dedicated you are - and of course how much fat you actually have to burn.

You don’t want to burn too much, too fast, or you may be risking lean muscle tissue.

How many calories do I burn a day to lose a pound of fat?

To burn one pound of fat, you should be looking to burn approximately 500 calories a day. This totals to 3,500 calories in a week in deficit.

A pound of body fat is the equivalent of 3,500 calories. If you are burning 3,500 calories a week you should be losing the equivalent of a pound of body fat every seven days.