The Magic Number: How Many Calories to Burn Fat
The most common rule of thumb is that 3500 Calories will burn fat, one pound anyway. Do a little research and you’ll find no shortage of people suggesting that cutting just 500 Calories a day, about one less bagel with cream cheese and you will lose a pound in a week. Nice and easy. Problem with that is substantial, lasting weight loss is never that easy.
If you like, you go kiss those bagels goodbye and toss that cream cheese, subtracting that 3500 Cal/week. Chances are it’s not going to work in week two. That sudden shift in Calorie intake? The body adjusts, the metabolism realigns and that magic formula goes “poof”. The reason for that is the body being a dynamic system that’s built to survive. Not all food is equal, not all activity is equal and the underlying genetics of every individual affect your potential to gain and lose.
I know, I know. You just want to shed some fat, not study up on metabolic rates or the fun of the digestive process. If the body is built to survive, why won’t it just let those extra pounds float away? Why can’t it be easy?
I feel for you. Weight loss can be explained simply and it’s by no means the hardest thing you can do in life but it’s still damned difficult to pull off. This week we’re going to explain how many Calories are required to burn fat and try and make it easier to pull off that weight loss.
Calories: What are they again?
You probably know the basics of what a Calorie is by now, if not, check it out here. Calories are the body’s energy. We get them from what we eat. The body metabolizes our food converting it into useful bits, passing the non-digestible pieces. Some Calories, like whole grains are slower to metabolize and absorb into the bloodstream whereas processed foods like white flours are absorbed quickly leaving less time to use them before they convert into fat cells.
How long the body is working over what you ate is a first consideration, the longer a food takes to process the more chance you have to use it before it settles in as fat. The process of metabolizing is burning Calories, not enough to offset what’s eaten but right off, that Caloric math is muddled by conversion.
If you’re looking at how many Calories to burn fat, you need to consider the 3 ways the body burns Calories. Starting with..