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How Many Calories In A Pound
Photo by Christian Cable

This is a very common question in the dieting world. People want to know how many calories in a pound for reasons such as how many calories will I have to burn to lose a pound, how many calories can I eat before I gain extra weight, and how many calories must I eat to gain more weight.

The most common response to the question “How many calories in a pound?” would be: 3500 kcals in 1 pound but that is a very general answer which only relates to the amount of calories it takes to burn off 1 pound of body weight. If you are talking about how much you can eat or how much you need to gain it can be different than the normal 3500 kcals answer. For example 1 pound of protein only accounts for 1814.36948 kcals and 1 pound of fat accounts for a whopping 4082.33133 kcals. Below you can see a breakdown of the common food components that make up our daily food consumption.

Food component Energy Density – kcal/g
Fat 9
Ethanol (alcohol) 7
Proteins 4
Carbohydrates 4
Organic acids 3
Polyols (sugar alcohols, sweeteners) 2.4
Salatrims 6
Fibre 2
Erythritol 0

As you can see this is why a lot of diets tell you to stay away from fats and alcohol while you are on your diet. Most people can consume larger than recommended amounts of alcohol and aren’t really concerned with calories while they are partying but 7 kcals per gram is way more than you want if you are trying to maintain your weight or lose weight.

So you are losing weight and you have asked the question:

How many calories are in a pound?

Now what is next? You can use our Body Fat Calculator to find your required calorie intake based on your activity level and your body measurements. This calculator is used by the Navy when requiting and doing standard checkups. Once you have figured out your required calorie intake you will want to reduce your intake by about 500 kcals a day. This will cause you to lose about 1 pound a week.

If you decide that 1 pound a week isn’t good enough and you want to take your calories down more that is fine but you should never decrease your intake lower than 1500 kcals a day. Your body will react to this lack of energy by slowing the metabolism down and storing as much of the food as it can to protect you again starvation. Plus once you start eating normal amounts of food again your body will still be in a state in which it is trying to store as much weight as it can and it could take months for your metabolism to speed back up to normal. This could cause you to gain back the weight you lost and more.

Be sure to check out the great resources on to help you with your weight loss goals, your weight gain goals, or if you are simply looking to be more healthy. We have information on supplements, dieting, and healthy living alternatives. We are constantly expanding our resources to help you be better informed on your journey.

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