How Many Calories Do I Need To Burn To Lose 1 Pound?


question-icon-newMy goal is to lose 20 pounds within the next 3-4 months. I’m starting a new workout program and nutrition plan soon and I would like to know how many calories I must burn to lose 1 pound?

answer-icon-newIn order to lose one pound, you must have a calorie deficit of approximately 3,500 calories. This means if you burn an extra 500 calories per day, it will take one week to drop a pound. Many people want faster results which can be achieved through additional exercise and diet changes. Read on for some suggestions about how to lose two pounds per week.

It is good to evaluate your diet and exercise routine before you begin. Write down all the food and beverages (soda, alcohol) you consume on a typical day. Be honest with yourself. Then calculate how many calories you burn on average. There are calorie calculator tools online you can use to help you with this. If you want to lose 2 pounds per week, you will need to create a deficit of 1,000 calories per day. It’s recommended to keep your total weight loss to around 1-2 pounds per week maximum for the best results in keeping it off long-term.

burn-calories-lose-fatFirst, think about your diet. Looking at your list, you may see some easy changes that can be made. Perhaps you eat a bag of chips every afternoon that add up to 500 calories. Swap that out for a piece of fruit and save hundreds of calories right there! For the best results, eat a diet that is heavily made up of fresh vegetables and fruit with lean protein. Processed foods are often full of fat and sugar so minimize your intake and read labels carefully. Cut sweets and limit carbohydrates such as white bread and pasta. In the grocery store, do most of your shopping in the outer perimeter of the store. Steer clear of the middle aisles where processed foods like chips and candy are stocked. Also, make sure to drink a lot of water. Dehydration often makes us feel hungry.

It is generally not safe or realistic to eat 1,000 fewer calories per day, so you will need to increase the amount you exercise. Cardiovascular exercises are great for burning calories quickly. Running, bicycling, swimming, and aerobics will get your heart pumping and fat burning. It is also very important to include strength training as part of your workout routine. Lift weights or use bodyweight exercises (push-ups, pull-ups) to build muscle which in turn helps your body burn fat even faster.

Of course, when it comes to working out, the most important part is to just get moving. Do not worry if you are not fit enough to go for a long run. Walking is a very good place to start. Pick activities that you enjoy. The more fun you have, the more likely it is you are going to stick with it. The number of calories you burn per session depends on the activity, intensity, and your starting weight. Use an online exercise calculator to figure out how much you will burn. Combine this with your calorie restriction for food and you should reach a deficit of 7,000 total calories per week, which equals a 2 pound loss!

Finally, remember not to overdo it! It is important to lose weight at a healthy pace. Doctors generally recommend no more than two pounds per week. While it may be tempting to crash diet, you will often end up at a higher weight as soon as the diet stops. If you lose weight gradually, not only will you be healthier but you are more likely to keep it off!

I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )
Join over 175,000 ShapeFit subscribers who are receiving our free weekly fitness newsletter and learn how you can build more muscle, burn off body fat and get into the best shape of your life!
We hate spam! Your email address will never be sold or shared with anyone. You can unsubscribe at anytime.

About Author

ShapeFit is dedicated to providing health and fitness information to people so they can live a healthy lifestyle. ShapeFit has thousands of pages of fitness content with fun and interactive tools to help our visitors lose body fat, build lean muscle and increase their energy levels. We wish you great success in reaching your health and fitness goals!


    • shapefit

      Jennifer – Losing 30 pounds in 45 days is not healthy and definitely not recommended for long term weight loss success. If you lose it too fast through severe dieting and exercise, you will gain it back quickly and your metabolism will slow down from the loss in muscle tissue that was burned in the process. Shoot for a 500 calorie deficit per day which will provide a 1 pound loss per week (3,500 calories in 1 pound). Burn the calories through exercise while keeping your calories at a minimum of 1,500 per day if not more. Use our calculator to get the specific calorie requirements for yourself.

Leave A Reply