• In the last several weeks I have paid close attention your posted questions.  Many have been asking questions related to calorie expenditure and weight loss.   


    To clear up any confusion, I will give you the basics of the weight loss equation.  Understanding this equation will help you develop healthy and permanent weight loss expectations.


    The first fact to understand is that there are 3500 calories in 1 pound of fat.  Therefore if you were trying to lose 1 pound of fat you would have to burn 3500 more calories than what you consue in one day.  


    The next important item to understand is the term "daily calorie deficit".  Simply put "daily calorie deficit" means that an individual would be burning (expending) more calories than what they are eating (consuming) in a day.

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    A simple sample will help.  If you burn 2500 calories in a day and you consumed 1500 calories in the same day, your Daily Calorie Deficit would equal 1000 calories.


    Keep these things in mind in developing your weight loss equation. Since we know that there are 3500 calories in 1 pound of fat, and our sample showed that it realistic to achieve a 1000 calorie deficit let's extend the example.


    To do this let's assume that our average daily caloric deficit is 1000 calories for 1 week.  We can now take the 3500 calories in 1 pound of fat and divide it by our 1000 daily calorie deficit to equal 1 pound of fat loss every 3.5 days, or 2 pounds of fat loss per week.


    At this point the next question we must answer is:  What is a safe daily calorie deficit?


    Most medical and fitness professionals agree that a deficit between 500-1000 calories is generally safe.   I, and most professionals in these fields, also agree that a daily calorie deficit greater than 1000 calories will lead to a nutrient deficit.  In most cases when a person tries to maintain a deficit at this level, a person will initially lose weight, but they will ultimately gain the weight back, and many times gain more weight than they originally lost.


    Understanding these equations naturally leads to the following questions:


    How can I calculate my daily calorie intake?


    How can I calculate my daily calorie burn?


    I will answer these questions and provide you with resources for you to complete your equations and determine your weight loss expectations in an upcoming post.  Make sure you come back to view those posts and others related to weight loss.


    If you would like more weight loss help immediately you can visit my weight loss site at:




    I hope this helps.


    Yours in health,


    Jason Chiero, CPT

Published On: November 02, 2009

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