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Calories to Lose a Pound of Body Fat

You hear the word "calories" being thrown around a lot, and you immediately equate it to fat In the mind of the average Joe, a "calorie" is something that you want to avoid in order to lose weight However, the truth is just a bit more complicated than that!

Calories 101

What is a calorie? It's not actually a measurement of fat, but it's a measurement of energy

Your body burns calories for energy, and the average human body burns about 2000 calories in a single day Smaller people burn fewer calories, larger people burn more, athletic people burn even more Everyone has their own unique calorie output, but essentially a calorie is a measurement of how much energy is produced from the food you eat

Let's say you consume a donut containing 400 calories That's a pretty high-calorie food, considering how many calories are in foods like tomatoes or apples However, when you hit the gym, your body burns a lot of energy--say 600 calories All of a sudden, those 400 calories are gone, and your body has to find 200 more calories from somewhere

That "somewhere" is your body fat Your body stores extra calories in order to have access to energy stores in cases just like this You often burn more calories than your body has available, so it has to tap into those fat stores just to provide your muscles and heart with all the energy they need The more calories you burn, the more fat you get rid of

Essentially, weight loss comes down to one simple formula: burn more calories than you consume If you burn 2500 calories but only eat 2000, your body has to burn 500 calories of fat in order to power your musclesThe more calories you burn, the more fat you get rid of. Bye bye fat!

Calories to Lose a Pound of Body Fat

All dieticians, fitness trainers, and nutritionists will tell you that burning calories via exercise is far smarter than eating fewer calories However, if your goal is to burn 3500 calories in a single week, it's smart to combine both exercise and a lower calorie diet

Here are a few tips to help you eat well while still losing those 3500 calories per day:

  • Cut calories by no more than 10 to 15%

  • Consume at least 25% protein, 50% carbs, and 25% fats

  • Lose weight slowly, over the course of weeks and months

  • Push yourself harder at the gym instead of cutting calories drastically

  • Get active in your daily life, not just at the gym