I know they say there’s no such thing as a stupid question, but I sometimes wish I had £1 for every time someone asks ‘how many calories does it take to burn 1lb of fat?’. Not that it’s a silly question, I would just have lots of £1’s.
It is theorised that it takes 3500kcals to burn 1lb of fat. This is why the ‘healthy range’ of weight loss is 1lb per week and the recommended calorie deficit is 500 cals per day (thus giving 1lb of fat lost). Obviously throwing training in to the mix may yield more calories burned on the days you do the exercise, but as a trade off it is also theorised that this is when people tend to eat more food which can undo all of your hard work.
Annoyingly, people want to lose all of their weight in weeks, when the reality is that it was accumulated over months and even years. Whilst positive changes can occur in good time, you have to be realistic.
I know if I say 1lb a week loss… you’re probably going to sneer at that (most people do lose more if they have it to lose) but if you commit to a program for 14 weeks and lose 1lb, you’ve dropped a stone in weight. 1lb a week is so manageable and will get the job done if you remain consistent and disciplined. A consistent reduction at 1lb per week is more viable than being inconsistent and taking 2lb here, finding 3lb there, losing 4lb somewhere else.
As we know the only way a reduction in body fat and weight can only occur if a calorie deficit is achieved. A good way to work out how many calories you need is by using a fitness tracker such as Fitbit or Polar/ Apple Watch, inputting your weight accurately and taking the average daily calorie burn across 7 days then subtracting 500kcals from that. This will allow a consistent daily deficit of 500kcals and yield a 1lb reduction in weight week by week. Top tips, don’t forget to regularly update the weight in your fitness tracker to ensure the most accurate and up to date calorie burn information is captured. If you are busy, take a quick snap on your phone and track it later it will remind you what you have eaten, so no secret calories get consumed.