Almost everyone understands the relationship between the number of calories consumed and the fact of burning or storing fat. And the question that often comes up is:How many calories to lose 1 kg?“
It is normal to ask this kind of question when you want to find a good physical condition and take control. If you are in this case, you are really wondering how long it will take you to lose weight and see visible results.
If you step on the scale to see where you are after a week of intense exertion, you want to see 2 or 3 pounds disappear.
If you have experienced this situation, you may have felt disappointment. It is this kind of situation that pushes many of you to embark on hyper-restrictive diets or simply to give up.
It is therefore important that you understand the reality of weightloss, or more precisely the elimination of fat. And that necessarily requires some scientific explanations 😉
Table of Contents
- How many calories to lose 1 kg with math
- Don't rely on a simple bathroom scale
- Can dietary supplements help you?
- The fallacy of low-intensity cardio
- How to increase calorie expenditure with sport
- How to lose weight faster?
- How many calories to lose 1 kg – Conclusion
How many calories to lose 1 kg with math
Let's do a simple quick calculation: If you want to lose weight, you are mainly looking to lose fat, Nope ?
We will come back to this point later, but you must understand that on the scale, fat loss may not be noticeable unless you are very overweight. For example, if you have resumed physical activity, your weight may stagnate or even increase because muscle weighs more than fat.
It is therefore rather advisable to look at the result in the mirror or to measure the skin fold.
To answer the basic question, to lose 1 kg of fat, you need to burn approximately 7700 Calories or kilocalories, which may seem like a lot.
Why not 9000 Calories?
This is a question that often comes up on the Internet. Indeed, 1 gram of fat contains 9 calories. This therefore logically means that one kilo of fat represents 9000 Calories. And some therefore write that you have to reduce your food consumption by as much to get rid of a kilo of fat reserves.
The principle seems logical, but the problem probably comes from an abuse of language. I'll explain it to you now...
Why a pound of body fat is only 7700 Calories
In reality, our adipose reserve does not contain 100 % of fat, but it is also composed of approximately 14 % of water as you can read on the site Medical Science (in English). So when we talk about body fat, we are really talking about 9000 X 0.86 = 7740 Calories (more or less).
That's not good news, is it? You can eat 14 % more than expected 😉
Now let's get to the tips and techniques for burning those 7700 Calories on a regular basis to get rid of body fat.
I'll start with a little disclaimer:
Don't rely on a simple bathroom scale
I want to warn you about the habit of weighing yourself every day to measure your progress. You want to know right away how many times you spent those damn Calories to lose 1 kg.
I totally understand you.
If you want losing weight, you want to weigh yourself to observe the daily evolution. It's a bit like going after your efforts for your reward… But it's a bad idea if you don't have the right understanding of what your body weight is.
In reality, your weight fluctuates regularly for various reasons, such as the amount of water in your body. In addition, it takes several days or even weeks to really losing weight. And it's even more complicated if you have resumed sport, because your muscles will strengthen. However, muscle weighs more than fat at equal volume.
Of course, that doesn't mean there's no point in weighing yourself. But if you do, record your results day by day and watch the overall trend week by week. Do not focus on the results of the last 24 hours!
And preferably use an impedance scale quite reliable that will give you your body composition. It's not reliable at 100 %, but it's a lot better than just looking at your body weight. If you associate it with a skinfold caliper or forceps, then you will have a realistic view of your progress. Don't worry, I have a clamp like the ones you see below, and it's very easy to use.
Can dietary supplements help you?
Yes, if you use them correctly. No, if you mess with it.
Indeed, no supplement will work if you consume them without creating a calorie deficit at the arrival.
For me, the most important supplements to promote fat loss are protein powders. Indeed, increasing your protein intake helps to to eat less because this macro-nutrient is more satiating than carbohydrates or fats.
You should aim for a goal of at least 30 % of protein. However, your diet probably does not contain enough of it, especially if you are vegan or vegetarian.
Other dietary supplements can of course be useful. However, beware of excessive promises such as "Buy for gold this root discovered at the top of the Himalayas which allowed Ginette to lose 55 pounds in 2 weeks”.
When a promise seems totally unbelievable and surreal, you shouldn't believe it!
The fallacy of low-intensity cardio
Some think that the ideal way to lose fat is to exercise at low intensity for hours. This is an error that unfortunately still hangs around in people's minds today.
If you are a complete beginner or your physical condition is poor, it is of course wise to return to sport gently. But it will take gradually increase the intensity of your sessions when your health permits.
To understand the importance of intensity for burning fat, you can use my free calorie calculator. For example, you'll find that a 40-year-old woman weighing 150 pounds burns about 181 Calories in an hour's walk. But she will burn as much in 30 minutes of weight training without forcing too much or in 20 minutes of rowing…
And if she uses interval training or HIIT, she burns even more calories. Some people manage to burn more than 800 calories during their session.
You also have to take into account the fat burning that continues for 48 hours after this type of session, which can really make a difference.
This brings us to the next point…
How to increase calorie expenditure with sport
Asking how many calories it takes to lose 1 kg requires taking into account all the parameters of energy expenditure. Diet is the main factor, but we must not forget the enormous impact of exercise.
And a data not to be forgotten for losing weight, is that with practice you will progress. This means that you will put more intensity in your sessions, and therefore that you will destock more fat during and after training.
Acceleration of metabolism after exercise
Indeed, as you have read just before, you should not neglect the caloric expenditure induced by intense physical activity during the rest phase. The basal metabolism is actually accelerated due to hormones and other physiological processes during the next 48 to 72 hours.
The immediate effect of high intensity training comes from what is called oxygen debt. Your body must recharge the oxygen you have consumed during the effort. It's called anaerobic. You know, it's the time when you're exercising, but you're unable to talk at the same time because the effort is too intense.
This effort generates at rest what is called a excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). This phenomenon naturally pushes the body to tap into its fat reserve.
How to take advantage of this phenomenon to burn more calories
Taking all these parameters into account, the calories from those pounds of fat will burn even faster. A real furnace!
If you are still wondering how many calories to lose 1 kg, know that you can eliminate them in a week if you combine a balanced diet with a good workout. But this requires being able to create a deficit of 1100 Calories per day.
It is to help you achieve this that I created the “I learn to eat to lose weight” program. It explains the effects of food on your fat stores and prepares you physically to burn more calories. Try it!
How to lose weight faster?
Here are a few of my recommendations:
- Focus on short, high-intensity sessions of 20 to 30 minutes (HIIT split training, Tabata method, Insanity program, etc.);
- Train 5 times a week (and no more);
- For more dynamic and fun sessions, invest in TRX straps ;
- Reduce your daily caloric intake by 10 to 15 % maximum;
- Do not eat within an hour of your workout;
- Eat healthy and natural foods, and avoid those from industry;
- Promote the consumption of proteins and healthy fats.
How many calories to lose 1 kg – Conclusion
You understood, for a loss of one kilo of body fat, you must burn 7700 Cal. But it's not as easy or fast as you would like.
This is why you must combine several techniques to create a caloric deficit. This requires a more balanced diet and regular physical exercise.
But remember that patience is key, because losing fat is not a quick process. After all, remember you didn't gain weight in a single day 😉
Use our free calculators
Calories per sport
Last updated on 2022-03-03 / Affiliate links / Some images are sourced from the Amazon Product Advertising API