Calories to Lose a Pound of Body Fat

By Dietitian, Juliette Kellow BSc RD

Here comes the slimming science bit…

To shift 1lb of body fat, you need to ‘lose’ 3,500 calories.

That might sound a lot, but over a week, it amounts to just 500 calories a day – and that can easily be done by making a few little changes to your diet, being a bit more active, or best of all, doing both.

For example, cutting 500 calories in a day is as simple as swapping a bowl of creamy chicken soup for vegetable soup, topping your jacket potato with cottage cheese rather than Cheddar cheese, switching a can of cola for the diet version and doing 50 minutes of housework!

Make little changes like this every day and in a week you’ll lose 1lb – without having to starve yourself or fill up on an unpleasant milkshake in place of a meal or banning all your favourite foods! And if you want to lose 2lb a week, you simply need to double your calorie saving and ‘lose’ 7,000 calories in a week or 1,000 calories a day!

Understanding the ‘maths’ is crucial to slimming but it’s also essential to set realistic goals, both in terms of the total amount of weight you want to lose – and how long it will take you.

So if your wish list of resolutions includes aims such as losing a stone in a couple of weeks or wearing a size-8 dress in the spring when you have 6 stone to shift, it’s time to cross them out and get real!

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