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    how many pounds is 3500 calories equivalent to?


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    Farewell to the 3,500

    Today's Dietitian magazine, the leading news source for dietitians and nutritionists, covering topics such as diabetes management, long-term care, new products and technologies, career strategies, nutrition research updates, supplements, culinary arts, food allergies, fitness, sports medicine, and much more.

    November 2014 IssueFarewell to the 3,500-Calorie RuleBy Densie Webb, PhD, RDToday's DietitianVol. 26 No. 11 P. 36

    Researchers have developed new mathematical formulas RDs can use to more accurately predict the rate of weight loss in patients.

    If you've counseled clients and patients for weight loss, you know that even the most diligent of dieters eventually will reach a weight-loss steady state, a plateau, a stumbling block that can be frustrating for them and dietitians alike. And, unfortunately, a large percentage of those who succeed at losing weight will gain it back over time.

    We all know the weight-loss rules: eat more calories than you burn and you'll gain weight; eat fewer calories than you burn and you'll lose weight. However, researchers say it's not that simple. In an effort to better understand the weight-loss process, researchers have devised an ingenious way to more accurately predict the trajectory of weight loss for individuals via a mathematical formula. The hope is that using it will result in more realistic expectations for weight loss with fewer disappointments along the way, and help explain when and why weight-loss plateaus occur, even among seemingly dedicated dieters.

    Also in development is a personalized dynamic feedback control mechanism that clients can wear to monitor their progress and determine when it's time for reassessment with a dietitian. It's also a method for RDs to predict in advance who's most likely to succeed at losing those excess pounds longterm.

    Conventional Weight-Loss Wisdom

    Ask any dietitian and he or she likely will say that cutting food intake by 3,500 calories results in a 1-lb loss. Cut 500 calories per day and that's 1 lb per week. Over the course of one year, that would equal 52 lbs. That's what RDs have been and continue to be taught, and it's promulgated by the US Surgeon General and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and it's repeated in several nutrition textbooks.

    It's been estimated that the 3,500-calorie rule is cited in more than 35,000 educational weight-loss sites.1 In September, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a patient handout titled Healthy Weight Loss, in which the first sentence states, "A total of 3,500 calories equals 1 pound of body fat. This means if you decrease (or increase) your intake by 500 calories daily, you will lose (or gain) 1 pound per week."2 Undoubtedly, the 3,500-calorie dogma still is being taught even though it's been shown that it simply doesn't work this way. So where did the 3,500-calorie weight-loss wisdom come from? It originated from researcher Max Wishnofsky, MD, in 1958, who calculated that 1 lb of fat stores approximately 3,500 kcal of energy.3 It was appealingly simple, and it stuck.

    "I think this happens often when there is a simple rule of thumb," says Diana Thomas, PhD, director of the Center for Quantitative Obesity Research at Montclair State University, and one of the researchers involved in developing the new approaches. "It's easy to propagate, and there's resistance to adopting something that's more complex."

    The 3,500-calories-per-pound rule seemed to make sense at the time, but much has occurred in the area of human nutrition in the last 55 years, including the sharing of expertise among fields. The breakthrough in the understanding of how and why weight loss occurs and predicting the rate at which it does, is the result of experts in nutrition and mathematics putting their collective heads together, coming up with complex formulas and then simplifying them.

    Elusive Weight-Loss Success

    The experts Today's Dietitian spoke with agree that while the 3,500-calories-per-pound rule does seem to work fairly well in the short term and for those who want to lose only a few pounds, the logic begins to fall apart over the long term, especially for those trying to lose a significant amount of weight. Dietitians know that as an individual loses weight, the body's energy requirements decrease, but the dynamic physiological adaptations that occur never have been quantified or figured into the 3,500-calorie rule.4 The most serious error of the 3,500-calorie rule is its failure to account for dynamic changes in energy balance that occur during a dieting intervention.5 Also not taken into account: gender, the fact that eating and exercise habits may change over time, and poor compliance, all of which can affect weight loss. Because of this, the experts say, the 3,500-calorie-per-pound approach significantly overestimates how much weight people will lose over time, setting them up for disappointment when weight loss slows or stops altogether.1 In other words, the body adapts and lifestyles change in myriad ways that minimize or even eradicate the impact of reduced calorie intake and, until recently, there has been no way to predict how consuming fewer calories may affect the rate of weight loss among individuals trying to lose weight, especially when the goal is to lose more than just a few pounds.

    The new complex weight-loss formulas factor in the drop in metabolic rate that occurs over time as body mass decreases. After applying the formulas to individuals, a main conclusion Thomas and other researchers have drawn isn't a popular one—that people generally plateau early in the weight-loss process, not because of a metabolic slowdown, although that does occur, but because they don't adhere to calorie-reduced diet plans consistently long term.4,6

    Source : www.todaysdietitian.com

    Is it true that 3,500 calories are equivalent to a lb?

    Answer (1 of 9): Of fat … because the energy released by the biological breakdown of substances can be measured in the laboratory. Fat breaks down and energy is released. That has been measured as ~9 calories per gram of fat. One pound is about 0.45kg or 450grams. 450 X 9 = 4050 calories. Afte...

    Is it true that 3,500 calories are equivalent to a lb?

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    9 Answers Stephen Bliss

    , Ebay store owner since December 2018 (2017-present)

    Answered 2 years ago · Author has 3.9K answers and 3.9M answer views

    Yes. All things being equal, f you countcalories and you reduce your caloric intake by 3,500 calories you shoulds lose a pound a week. There are some very simple ways to reduce your caloric intake. Do you drink a REAL sugar soda every day? Stop drinking the soda. Do you eat some sweets, candy or desserts everyday? Stop eating sweets. Do you eat three small meals a day? If not start eating three meals a day. Weigh yourself once a week and you should lose a pound a week. Good Luck.

    122 viewsView upvotesAnswer requested by

    Lynn Mungo Related questions More answers below

    I’ve been eating 500-700 calories for 3 weeks and has been on a 500 calories streak. Will this make me lose weight?

    Why am I gaining weight after going from eating 500-700 calories to 700-800 calories?

    If I am on a diet where I eat 500 to 800 calories per day, and I’m active when I reach my weight loss goal, will I gain weight if I eat 1000 calories per day?

    Do you need to eat 3,500 calories on top of your maintenance calories to gain a pound?

    What does 500 calories really look like?

    Martin Roy

    , Fighting for a leaner and healthier body since 2002

    Answered 2 years ago · Author has 6.9K answers and 3.9M answer views

    If you eat 3500 calories less in a week than you need, you would be safe to assume you will show the loss of 1 pound. Go in the other direction and you will see more you on the scale by 1 pound. But understand this is not exact. There are many factors at play outside of food. Whether your medications cause a problem, whether your thyroid is a problem, or diabetes, lack of sufficient sleep, etc., all can mess with the equation.

    Bit for general purposes you can say 3500 calories is the equivalent of a pound.

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    Walter Adamson

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    Answered 2 years ago · Author has 288 answers and 794.2K answer views

    Originally Answered: How do we really know that 3,500 calories equals a pound?

    Of fat … because the energy released by the biological breakdown of substances can be measured in the laboratory.

    Fat breaks down and energy is released.

    That has been measured as ~9 calories per gram of fat.

    One pound is about 0.45kg or 450grams. 450 X 9 = 4050 calories. After accounting for the fact that 9 is rounded up for ease of conversation we get the figure of 3,500 calories.

    Our body is very cleverly designed to use three key sources of energy - for some overlapping purposed and for some very specific purposes. fat is the most energy dense compared to protein and carbohydrate.

    Trust that he Courtnay Power

    , former Researcher of Medicine

    Answered 2 years ago · Author has 4.9K answers and 609.7K answer views

    I know for me if I eat a piece of bread , even if it

    is 100 calories, I will gain 5 pounds

    This is because I am allergic to wheat

    so for me I don’t really believe in the calorie thing

    but I don’t try to eat too many calories

    46 viewsView upvotesAnswer requested by

    Lynn Mungo Related questions More answers below

    I was eating 1200 calories, now I’m eating 1350 and seem to be losing much more weight. Can someone explain?

    I eat less than 1000 calories per day. Why do I still seem to be gaining weight?

    How much weight will I lose in 3 months eating 1,200 calories a day?

    Why am I gaining weight when I eat less than 1500 calories a day? I'm 18 years old, female, and work out 30-60 min a day.?

    If a pound of fat is 3,500 calories, if I eat 3,500 calories in one day, will I gain one pound after that day?

    Monica Savasta

    , Lost 100 pounds. Maintained weight loss for nine years.

    Answered 2 years ago · Author has 298 answers and 545.4K answer views

    Yes. That is how many calories equal a pound. So you have to eat 3500 calories OVER the calories you burn every day to gain a pound.

    59 viewsView upvotesAnswer requested by

    Lynn Mungo Bob Smurdly

    , former Electrical Engineer

    Answered 2 years ago · Author has 12K answers and 4.1M answer views

    It will vary slightly from person to person but yes.

    21 viewsView upvotesAnswer requested by

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    Ekeopara Kizito Padrepio

    , former Machine Operator at Gincol Extrusion Company (2013-2014)

    Answered 2 years ago

    Because 3,500 calories equals about 1pound (0.45 kilogram) of fat, it's estimated that you need to burn about3,500 calories to lose 1 pound. So, in general, if you cut about 500 to 1,000calories a day from your typical diet, you'd lose about 1 to 2 pounds a week. It sounds simple.

    Source : www.quora.com

    Types of Body Fat: Benefits, Risks, Diet, Body Fat Percentage & More

    It is a myth that a pound of body fat contains exactly 3,500 calories. This article explains the actual amount and what that means for weight loss.

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    Despite the broad use of the word “fat” to describe all body fat, there are actually several different types of fat in your body.

    Some types of fat can have a negative effect on your health and contribute to disease. Others are beneficial and necessary for your health.

    The main types of fat cells are white, brown, and beige cells. They can be stored as essential, subcutaneous, or visceral fat.

    Each type of fat serves a different role. Some promote healthy metabolism and hormone levels, while others contribute to life-threatening diseases, including:

    type 2 diabetes heart disease high blood pressure cancer

    Read on to learn more about the different types of body fat.


    White fat is the type of fat that most people immediately think of.

    It’s made up of large, white cells that are stored under the skin or around the organs in the belly, arms, buttocks, and thighs. These fat cells are the body’s way of storing energy for later use.

    This type of fat also plays a large role in the function of hormones such as:


    leptin (one of the hormones that stimulates hunger)


    cortisol (a stress hormone)

    growth hormone

    While some white fat is necessary for good health, too much white fat is very harmful. Healthy body fat percentages range depending on your level of fitness or physical activity.

    According to the American Council on Exercise, men who are non-athletes should have a total body fat percentage in the 14 to 24 percent range, while women who are non-athletes should be in the 21 to 31 percent range.

    A body fat percentage higher than recommended can put you at risk for the following health issues:

    type 2 diabetes

    coronary artery disease

    high blood pressure stroke hormone imbalances

    pregnancy complications

    kidney disease liver disease cancer Brown

    Brown fat is a type of fat primarily found in babies, although adults do still retain a very small amount of brown fat, typically in the neck and shoulders.

    This type of fat burns fatty acids

    Trusted Source Trusted Source

    to keep you warm. Researchers are interested in finding ways to stimulate the activity of brown fat to help prevent obesity.

    Beige (brite)

    Beige (or brite) fat is a relatively new area of research. These fat cells function somewhere between brown and white fat cells. Similarly to brown fat, beige cells can help burn fat rather than store it.

    It’s believed that certain hormones and enzymes

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    released when you’re stressed, cold, or when you exercise can help convert white fat into beige fat.

    This is an exciting area of research to possibly help prevent obesity and maximize healthy body fat levels.

    Essential fat

    Essential fat is exactly that — essential for your life and a healthy body. This fat is found in your:

    brain bone marrow nerves

    membranes that protect your organs

    Essential fat plays a major role in hormone regulation, including the hormones that control fertility, vitamin absorption, and temperature regulation.

    According to the American Council on Exercise, women need at least 10 to 13 percent of their body composition to come from essential fat to be in good health, while men require at least 2 to 5 percent.


    Subcutaneous fat refers to the fat stored under the skin. It’s a combination of brown, beige, and white fat cells.

    The majority of our body fat is subcutaneous. It’s the fat that you can squeeze or pinch on your arms, belly, thighs, and buttocks.

    Fitness professionals use calipers to measure subcutaneous fat as a way of estimating total body fat percentage.

    A certain amount of subcutaneous fat is normal and healthy, but too much can lead to imbalanced hormone levels and sensitivity.


    Visceral fat, also known as “belly fat,” is the white fat that’s stored in your abdomen and around all of your major organs, such as the liver, kidneys, pancreas, intestines, and heart.

    High visceral fat levels can increase your risk for diabetes, heart disease, stroke, artery disease, and some cancers.


    Body composition is very important. Your body will function best with an appropriate overall fat percentage. Having a healthy body fat percentage provides many benefits, such as:

    temperature regulation

    balanced hormone levels

    better reproductive health

    adequate vitamin storage

    good neurological function

    healthy metabolism

    balanced blood sugar


    Having too much white fat, particularly visceral fat, can be harmful to your health. Visceral fat can increase your risk for the following health conditions:

    heart disease stroke

    coronary artery disease


    pregnancy complications

    type 2 diabetes

    hormone disturbances

    some cancers Body fat percentage

    Body composition can be measured using several methods.

    One common method of estimating body fat percentage is skinfold measurements. A trained technician can use calipers, a tong-like instrument, to pinch and measure folds of skin on your arms, waist, and thighs to estimate total body fat percentage.

    Source : www.healthline.com

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