How Many Calories You Should Consume To Lose A Pound of Body Weight
Can you imagine your car running without fuel or electricity (if you own an EV)? You may think what sort of a question is this? While it is not possible to keep a vehicle running without adding any form of fuel, similarly you cannot make your body function without adding Calories. They are the most important source of energy for your body but when consumed in quantities more than required, they can also cause health issues. In this blog, we are discussing everything about calories including how many calories you should consume to lose a pound of body weight.
Let’s start from the start!
What are calories?
When you consume food, your body starts breaking it down into smaller, individual components which release into the body. Calories represent the energy released during the food-breaking process. High-calorie food equates to higher energy. However, there is a catch here.
When you consume more energy than what your body needs, the energy is stored in the form of body fat, and we all know what excessive body fat means. It is the leading problem for all issues including obesity, diabetes, and some forms of mental health.
So, while calories are essential for you, excessive calories can be harmful. This is exactly why your nutritionists and doctors recommend you avoid overeating or consuming food products that can be easily broken down in your body.
How many calories should you eat in a day?
The ideal number of calories that one needs in a day depends on several factors including
- Existing weight
- Medical conditions
These are some of the long lists of variables that determine how many calories you should eat in a day to lose a pound.
On average, the National Health Service (NHS) – UK recommends consuming 2500 calories per day for men and 2000 calories per day for women.
To determine your body’s exact calorie requirements, you can either talk to a professional nutritionist or your physician. If you do not have access to professionals, there are multiple online tools that help you calculate your calorie needs.
A highly reliable online application is the one developed by Mayo Clinic, where all you need to do is punch in basic details and you will have your answer.
How many calories should you consume to lose a pound of body weight?
Before getting to the numbers, let’s discuss the basic rules that apply when trying to lose weight.
- If you want to lose weight, you need to burn more calories and consume less
- If you want to gain weight, you must eat more calories than you burn. This does not mean binge eating unhealthy food products. Try and consumes food items that are high in calories and nutrition
Moving on, we need you to remember the number 3500 before reading the next part of the blog.
This number i.e., 3500 is the amount of calories present in 1 pound or 0.45 kilograms of body fat. What does this number indicate?
In simple terms, if you want to lose 1 pound of body weight you need to consume 3500 calories less from your total calorie intake.
You cannot aim to reduce your calorie consumption by 3500 in a day. The safest method is to distribute the number over 7 days or 1 week, meaning that reducing calorie consumption by 500 calories a day for 7 days can help you reduce 1 pound of body weight in that week.
Hang on before you start using that calculator to count your calorie requirements.
This number was first discovered in 1958 and is based on old research. Since then, several other studies have been conducted globally and there are studies that do not complement the above-mentioned numbers. Some studies conclude that one pound of fat may contain somewhere between 3,436 to 3,752 calories. Even these numbers are rough estimates.
Additionally, there are other constraints as well when it comes to cutting down on calories.
Some of them are as follows:
- Everybody may respond differently to reducing calorie intake. Since our bodies become accustomed to a certain form of diet and lifestyle, making sudden changes to confuse the body system
- Losing body weight does not always mean losing fat. If you are not consuming nutritious food in your weight loss journey, it is possible that you may start losing muscle mass
- Weight loss itself is not always progressive. For instance, after heating a peak in terms of weight loss, you may hit a plateau where no matter how intense your workout is or how much fewer calories you consume, your body will not respond as you may expect
- Maintaining this lifestyle of cutting 500 calories per day may not be sustainable for many of us, especially people who may be going through a difficult phase in life where mindful eating takes a back seat
While it is true that on some days you want to eat a full box of pizza, it is essential that on most days, you pay attention to what you are eating and how active you are in a day.
Here are some tips to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle
- Try to avoid food items that do not offer nutrition but are exceptionally high in calories. For example, ice-creams or soda
- Accommodate more food items that are low in calories instead of high-calorie food. Let’s say eating air-fried chips as opposed to deep-fried French fries
- Eat enough protein, carbs, and good fat. This is one of the most common errors we tend to make. We think that by avoiding carbs and fat altogether, we can reduce body weight. It is not true! Your body needs all of these components in adequate amounts. Make sure to eat enough protein, carbs, fiber, and good fat for a sustainable lifestyle
- Last but not least. Start incorporating some form of weights in your exercise routine. Resistance training is known to promote weight loss without impacting your muscle mass. Swimming is another excellent choice of workout that you can try for building stamina
With this, we come to the end of understanding how many calories you should consume to lose a pound of body weight.
1 pound of body fat contains approximately 3500 calories, and it is easy to think that eating 500 calories less can be helpful in losing weight. While it may be true, it is not the ultimate truth. If you want to create a lifestyle for the long run, eat mindfully while enjoying the simple pleasures of life like eating a bar of chocolate once in a while but make sure to burn it in the gym the next day.