We’ve recently added some calculators to the Vytalz website that help you work out how many calories you burn running, and how many calories you burn swimming, but one question we get asked quite a lot is:
How many calories do I need to use to lose 1lb of fat
For reference, 1lb of fat is roughly the equivalent of a standard block of butter. In your body it is spread across your entire frame, and it’s a little less dense, so losing 1lb of fat won’t change your appearance, although it will have an impact on your health in the long term.
It turns out that 1lb of human fat represents about 3,500 calories. In terms of food, that’s about the equivalent of 3 medium sized Big Mac Meals. Given that the recommended daily calorie intake for women is 2,000 and for men is 2,500 per day, it’s clear that how many calories you need to lose 1lb of fat is going to be equivalent to quite a lot of exercise.
On most weight loss programmes, people target a 1lb per week weight loss, although it’s important to recognise that just because you lose 1lb of fat per week, you would not lose 1lb in overall weight. Improving fitness will always increase muscle mass, and this is more dense and heavier than fat.
How Many Calories do I need to use each day to lose 1lb of fat per week
Theoretically, in order to lose 1lb of fat per week, you need to have a difference in intake vs usage of approximately 500 calories per day. The recommended intake of calories for women is 2,000. If you reduce this by 250 (1,750), and add 250 calories of exercise to your daily routine (a 4KM run or a 20 minute workout on Vytalz), you’d be burning enough additional calories to hit your weekly target.
In reality, you’d find that this type of routine would deliver a better result. more exercise means more calories are used for both the work that you are doing, but also in the creation of new muscle tissue, and to power that tissue. You’d actually be burning more calories than you’d expect, and as a result, drop more than 1lb of fat per week – although as noted above, this might not reflect in your overall weight, so it’s important not to get downhearted by weight loss, and to focus more on overall health and wellness during your exercise plan.