How To Lose Or Gain One Pound

Have you ever wondered what one pound actually is? How does a person manage to lose or gain one pound anyway? The answer to this question is really quite simple, despite a person’s ability to accomplish it being rather difficult at times.

One pound is equal to 3500 calories. It’s really that simple. But here is the trick. Your body needs a certain number of calories per day to maintain your current weight. That is your baseline or sometimes called your weight maintenance calories. If you have been at the same weight for a long time you are already hitting this target, on average, every day. If you are gaining weight it means you are exceeding this calorie level, and if you are losing weight it means you are not consuming enough calories to maintain your current weight.

To lose or gain one pound all that you need to do is mind your calories. Yes, that most likely means you need to count them with a calorie calculator or diary or at least be a good estimator. If, by burning additional calories during exercise and/or reducing calories consumed from your normal amount, you drop your daily net calories by 500 calories per day, you will end up short 3,500 calories per week. That is equal to one pound. All other things being equal, you will lose one pound in that week.

Here is an example. Suppose that the calories needed for you to maintain your current weight is 2,500 per day. If you cut 250 calories per day from your diet by replacing a few high calorie items with low calorie options and you start working out and burning another 250 calories per day, you will now end each day with 2,000 net calories. In this case you will lose one pound per week because 500 fewer calories per day for 7 days is 3,500 calories for the week. Just reverse it if you are trying to gain one pound in a week and get extra calories from nutritious food sources.

Calculating your food calories is achievable with the online calculators that are available or even with a smart phone app. To get a good count of excess calories burned from exercise, consider a heart rate monitor to track your calories burned. Since it calculates calories based on your age, weight, and actual heart rate, it is an accurate option, though not perfect.

Now that you know that 3,500 calories is equal to one pound and changing your net calories by 500 per day will equal that 3,500 calories each week, you know how to lose or gain one pound.

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