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"To lose 1lb you must burn at least 3500pw/500pd calories"

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Old 07-04-2012, 07:51 PM   #1
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Default "To lose 1lb you must burn at least 3500pw/500pd calories"

I'm not sure I quite understand this statement.

For example; According to MFP my daily intake is 1200. So is this saying I need to burn 1700 (+500) calories per day in order to lose weight successfully? This really doesn't make a lot of sense to me. This would mean many hours of exercise to burn them, right?

If I was walking 4 miles per hour, it burns approximately 320 calories. So I would need to walk somewhere between 5 and 6 hours to burn the 1700.

And I'm definitely not burning that much. At the moment for the month of July, I'm taking it easy exercise wise and each month moving it up a scale.

So confused about this. Anybody able to explain this to me?
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Old 07-04-2012, 07:56 PM   #2
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You need to create a deficit of 3500 calories over a period of time to lose a pound.

You burn calories just being alive: it's called your BMR. If you were to lay in bed and do nothing but exist you would still burn calories. Most of us do not just lie in bed all day, so even if we're very sedentary we burn above our BMR. If you exercise you burn even more calories.

My BMR according to calculators is around 1300 calories a day. Since I'm a pretty active person, I estimate I burn around 2000 calories a day between existing and exercising.

This means if I eat 2000 calories a day, I will maintain my weight. If I eat 1500 calories a day—creating that deficit of 500 calories—I will lose a pound a week.

If you figure out your BMR, you then figure out approximately how many calories you burn a day. When you find your maintenance level you then subtract 500 calories to find out how much you would need to eat to lose weight.
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Old 07-04-2012, 08:01 PM   #3
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To lose a pound, you must burn at least 3500 calories more than you eat, yes, but it doesn't all need to be from purposeful exercise.

First, just existing (breathing, heart beating, making/repairing cells, digesting, etc.) takes up a significant number of calories. Then, any activity you do (sitting upright vs. lying down, walking across the room, showering, doing your hair, etc.) uses more calories. Purposeful exercise is like the icing on the calorie burning cake. If you eat under the total calories that you burn from all 3 things, you will lose weight eventually. Fat loss can sometimes be masked by water retention, so weight loss is not always as nice and linear as we would like.
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Old 07-04-2012, 08:05 PM   #4
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My BMR is calculated at 1700. (I calculated it at 2200 and subtracted the 500). I mentioned it in another topic about the 1,200 being to low compared to that number.

So basically, I don't need to burn 1700 (based on MFP 1200 + 500) or 2200 (based on BMR 1700 + 500) per day in order to lose weight? Once I clock up 3,500 burned calories I should lose weight. Would this work even if it was over say two weeks?
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Old 07-04-2012, 08:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamer2012 View Post
My BMR is calculated at 1700. (I calculated it at 2200 and subtracted the 500). I mentioned it in another topic about the 1,200 being to low compared to that number.

So basically, I don't need to burn 1700 (based on MFP 1200 + 500) or 2200 (based on BMR 1700 + 500) per day in order to lose weight? Once I clock up 3,500 burned calories I should lose weight. Would this work even if it was over say two weeks?
If you burn 2200 calories a day between existing and exercising then you would need to eat 1700 to lose a pound a week. If you eat 1200 you'll lose 2 pounds a week HOWEVER even over two weeks you may not see those pounds come off. Sometimes it may show up weeks later, you just have to be patient.

You don't need to go crazy and try to burn 1700 calories in one workout!

If you check out my goal post and scroll to the bottom of my post you can view my weight loss chart. My losses weren't linear at all and there were times where I was stuck for a couple of weeks and then lost the weight. Frustrating at times because you KNOW you're doing it right, but patience certainly pays off in the end!

Last edited by sontaikle : 07-04-2012 at 08:16 PM.
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Old 07-04-2012, 08:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamer2012 View Post
I'm not sure I quite understand this statement.

For example; According to MFP my daily intake is 1200. So is this saying I need to burn 1700 (+500) calories per day in order to lose weight successfully? This really doesn't make a lot of sense to me. This would mean many hours of exercise to burn them, right?
The hypothetical burn figure of 1,700 includes not just your formal exercise, but all your activities of daily living, including breathing, heartbeat, digestion, dressing, etc. It's the "calories out" part of the equation. The "calories in" is what you eat.

The formula you posted is basically right: in order to lose a pound per week, you need to eat 500 calories less than your current maintenance requirements every day. You can calculate your maintenance requirements on any number of online calculators, such as this one: www.freedieting.com/tools/calorie_calculator.htm

HTH Freelance

Last edited by freelancemomma : 07-04-2012 at 10:40 PM.
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Old 07-04-2012, 08:29 PM   #7
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Thanks so much for clearing that up guys! Makes so much more sense knowing I don't have to do that. I've used that calculator freelancemomma. It gives me calories of 1522 for fat loss while another calculator gives me 1700. Can't win with them. At least I have an idea now.

I realised when I got to your pictures I read your goal story before, sontaikle. Well done on how far you have come. I look forward to writing my goal story at some point!
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