Calories in a Pound of Fat: Understanding the Mathematics of Nutrition

calories in a pound of fatThe goal of every diet is to lose weight. However, this is easier said than done. No matter which diet plan you choose to follow, the responsibility of keeping up with the diet and ensuring that it is right for your body is on you. Knowing about the science of nutrition can help you tremendously when dieting. If you’re just starting out and want to learn about nutrition check out Udemy’s course on Nutrition for Beginners.

Calories and Fat

These two words are familiar to anyone on a diet. Regulating your caloric intake and lowering your fat levels are the two end results associated with dieting.

A calorie is simply a unit of energy. More specifically, heat energy. It is the amount of energy that it takes to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram of water 1 degree Celsius. When this is equal to 1000 calories, it is often used to measure the energy value of food. Taking energy from food is how your body remains active.

Fat is a type of tissue in human and animal bodies. It is a naturally oily substance, stored in a layer under the skin or around organs. It is used for insulation as well as protection. Fat is not a bad thing; too much of it is. This is something to consider if you cook at home. If you’re cooking for your infant or toddler and want an idea of what is a better nutrition plan for them check out Udemy’s Course on nutrition for infants and toddlers.

The Relationship Between Them

When we eat food we produce calories. They are produced and burned throughout the day as a source of energy to keep us going. However, when we run out of calories or have a lower caloric level our body turns to other sources for energy. One of those places is fat. Through nutritional decisions that lower the caloric levels of a person’s food they might be able to burn off excess fat and lose weight. This is a common practice for athletes, dieters, and the like. If you’re an athlete looking to gain a better handle on Nutrition check out Udemy’s course on Pregame Meals And Half Time Recovery For Athletes.

Calories in a Pound of Fat

Quite a bit of fuss has been made about this figure. Generally it is held that one pound of fat has 3500 calories within it. Why is this important? Because the theory is that if you want to lose a weight – say a pound of fat a week – you need to have a diet with a deficit of 3500 calories. As many believe, if you remove those calories from your eating habits, and watch the fat fall away.

However, it is not that simple. The number is not exact and can fluctuate based on many variables. Furthermore, extending the caloric deficit over time changes the outcome. Another factor that makes it hard to assess the calorie-pound of fat loss ratio is that dieting and exercise do more than just burn fat. It also burns water and strengthens muscles, which then grow larger. Muscle weighs more than fat. You might lose a little fat but gain a lot of muscle. In the end even though a pound of fat has roughly 3500 calories, the change in your actual weight might not reflect the ratio.

How To Make Calorie to Fat Ratios Work For You

So a pound of fat has 3500 calories, and you have reduced your intake to that deficit but the pound of fat remains. What to do? First adjust your expectations. Dieting takes patience, and though ratios like calories to a pound of fat are important they are hard to measure on a day-to- day basis.

Next, start off with a small overall energy balance. In other words keep the amount of calories you take in a day very low. Do this through restrictive eating or increased exercise. Across the board people underestimate their caloric intake by 20 percent. Figure out how many calories you should burn a day and adjust based on your goals.

If you’re looking to utilize the science of nutrition to help you be health and lose weight you will want to understand healthy eating. Check out Udemy’s course on the Five Elements Way of nutrition eating for a Japanese take on eating right. If you want to burn calories and drop fat you can, but you have to combine that with diet and exercise. Being at your healthiest and feeling your best takes some hard work, but it’s worth it.