How many calories do I need to burn to lose weight?

Yes you need to burn 3500 calories to lose a pound of fat or be in a 500 calorie deficit but the key is to figure out as a baseline how many calories you are burning on a daily basis.  If you know how many calories you burn then you can easily adjust calories consumed to be 500 calories below what you burn to lose 1 lb of fat per week.  Of course the more calories your body burns the more food you can take in.  All calories burned calculators are estimates and should not be taken hook, line and sinker. 

The best method to figuring out calories burned is by testing.  If you average 2000 calories consumed per day but do not lose a lb of fat then chances are you are not burning 2500 calories per day.  However if you consume 2000 calories per day and burn more than a lb of fat per week then that means you burn more than 2500 calories per day.  It takes some testing but once you figure out how many calories approximately you burn per day you can accurately gauge your intake.

Below are two links:

  1. Is a calculator for figuring out basic metabolic rate and resting metabolic rate
  2. Is a link to the Exerspy by dotFIT which is a device which accurately gauges the amount of calories burned in a daily basis.

Kate Myerson
Nutrition & Dietetics

A deficit of 3500 calories is equal to 1 pound of weight lost. That is about 500 calories a day you would need to burn to lose 1 pound in 1 week. You can split that up by eating 250 less calories a day and burning off 250 calories a day. Check out the links below for 100 ways to burn 100 calories and 100 ways to eat 100 less calories from America On The Move: 

Continue Learning about Calorie Restriction and Weight Loss

Calorie Restriction and Weight Loss

Calorie Restriction and Weight Loss

It's important to recognize the role calories play in your ability to lose weight. Varying your caloric intake on a daily basis forces the body to use more energy, thus jump-starting weight loss. Calorie needs also vary from perso...

n to person, so it's hard to pinpoint a specific number of calories to cut while on a diet. The key is not to kick your body into starvation mode by making a drastic cut to calories. Be mindful of nutrition and make small changes instead, like choosing light beer, thin crust on your pizza and fruit over candy on top of frozen yogurt. It's all about healthy eating, not starvation.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.