Some calories deserve to be stored together glycogen (carbs), yet the bulk is stored together body fat.

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This article explains how numerous calories are in a pound of human body fat.

It additionally discusses the 500-calorie deficit myth and presents some devices for predicting realistic load loss.


Let’s take it a moment to define what we typical by body fat.

For starters, human body fat is not just pure fat.

Pure fat has actually a an extremely high energy content, or around 9 calories per gram. This quantities to around 4,100 calorie per lb of pure fat.

However, body fat is not just pure fat. Human body fat consists of fat cells, referred to as adipocytes, which additionally contain part fluids and also proteins in addition to fat.

Therefore, the calorie content of human body fat is going to it is in a bit much less than the calorie contents of pure fat (1, 2).

Bottom Line:

body fat is blended with fluid and also protein. Therefore, the composition and also calorie content is not the same as pure fat.


Does One lb of human body Fat save on computer 3,500 Calories?

In 1958, a scientist called Max Wishnofsky concluded that the caloric identical of one pound of human body weight shed or acquired was 3,500 calorie (3).

He based his conclusion top top the clinical evidence available at the time. Decades later, his result has to be cited thousands of times in the media and scientific literature (4, 5, 6, 7).

It’s basically end up being common knowledge that one pound of body fat includes 3,500 calories. But is it really true? stop attempt to find out.

We will certainly be making use of generally welcomed values because that this calculation. However, some study does present slight variations (3).

In general, we have the right to assume that:

One pound amounts to 454 grams.Pure fat has 8.7–9.5 calories per gram.Body fat tissue is 87% fat.

Using those values, we can conclude the a lb of body fat actually includes anywhere indigenous 3,436 to 3,752 calories.

However, it is vital to note that this calculations are based upon old research.

Some of the studies state that body fat tissue includes only 72% fat. Different varieties of body fat may also contain varying quantities of fat.

Bottom Line:

A pound of human body fat might contain anywhere between 3,436 and 3,752 calories, around estimated.


that is a common myth the if girlfriend eat 500 under calories each day, or 3,500 fewer calories a week, girlfriend will lose one pound of fat every week.

This would equal a full of 52 pounds in a year.

However, the truth is an extremely different.

The 500-calorie deficit myth significantly overestimates the potential weight loss that have the right to be achieved over a duration of time (8, 9, 10).

This estimate seems to work relatively well in the quick term, because that moderate weight loss in overweight and obese people. Yet it drops apart in the long term, and sets people up for failure and disappointment.

What this myth fails to account because that is the body’s response to the changes in human body composition and diet (8).

When you alleviate calorie intake, her body responds through making friend burn fewer calories. You start moving around less, and also the human body becomes much more efficient. That does the exact same amount that work, but uses under calories than prior to (11).

You may additionally lose muscle mass together with the fat, which also makes girlfriend burn under calories.

This is often referred to as starvation mode, although the technical term is “adaptive thermogenesis” (12).

Weight lose is no a straight process, and also typically slows down gradually (13).

Bottom Line:

The 500-calorie deficit diet overestimates the potential for weight loss. It does not account for changes in body composition and a reduction in calories burned.


Nowadays, there are apps and online tools that may carry out a better, much more realistic assessment of your predicted weight loss.

The Body weight Planner, emerged by the national Institute of Health, offers calorie levels for both load loss and also maintenance.

It takes into account how diet and exercise add to weight loss, as well as how your body responds to reduced calorie intake. It has an immense amount of mathematical calculations behind that (8).

Another great tool to predict load loss is the single Subject Weight readjust Predictor, arisen by the Pennington Biomedical research Center.

This tool also permits you come calculate weight loss, based upon dietary intake and exercise.

Bottom Line:

The 500-calorie deficit preeminence is no a realistic method to predict load loss. Much better tools exist come predict load loss over a duration of time.


as soon as you’re do the efforts to shed weight, what friend really desire to get rid of is body fat — both under the skin and also around the organs.

Unfortunately, load loss no necessarily same fat loss. One unwelcome side effect of losing weight is the lose of muscle mass (14).

The great news is that there are some ways to minimization the loss of muscle mass.

You can:

Both of these techniques are also useful to prevent a palliation in calories shed as you shed weight.

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Bottom Line:

load lifting and also high protein input may aid prevent muscle ns for civilization who space trying to shed weight. They can also assist prevent a reduction in the lot of calorie you burn.