How to Burn a Pound of Fat in a Day

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A pound is equivalent to 3,500 calories. Calories can be burned through physical activity as well as through exercise. To burn an entire pound worth of calories, you must balance calorie restriction with exercise while still eating enough food to nourish your body for the day. Everyone burns calories at a different rate, so it is important to know how many calories your body will burn in a day to calculate the amount of exercise needed to make up the rest of the calories.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Scale
  • Calculator
  • Calculate your body weight in kilograms. One kg equals about 2.2 lbs. A 190-lb. woman weighs 86 kg.

  • Calculate your resting metabolic rate to see how many calories your body will burn simply powering your body for one day. To calculate your resting metabolic rate, use the following quick formula or use an online metabolic rate calculator. Men should multiply their body weight in kg by 24.2, and women should multiply their body weight in kg by 22. The 86-kg woman would have a resting metabolic rate of 1,892.

  • Calculate the number of calories you burn daily during regular activity. Sedentary or inactive men and women should multiply their basal metabolic rate by 15 percent; lightly active men and women such as office workers, homemakers or professionals should multiply by 40 and 35 percent respectively; moderately active men and women such as industry workers or active students should multiply by 50 and 45 percent respectively; very active men and women such as dancers, active military or mine workers should multiply by 85 and 70 percent respectively; and the exceptionally active such as construction workers or athletes should multiply their total calories burned by 110 perce t for men and 100 percent for women. If the 190-lb. woman was sedentary, she would burn an extra 284 lbs. daily above her resting metabolic rate.

  • Add together your resting metabolic rate, taken from Step 1, and the number of calories burned during daily activity, from Step 2. This is the total number of calories your body will burn in one day without changing your routine. The female example burns 2,176 total calories daily.

  • Reduce the number of calories you eat in one day. Women should not consume less than 1,200 and men should not consume less than 1,800. Decide on a calorie limit and subtract that number from the number of calories your body will burn in one day without changing your routine -- the total from Step 3).

  • Subtract the number you calculated in Step 2 from 3,500. This number represents the number of calories you must burn through exercise in one day. If the female example cut her calories to 1,200 daily, she would burn 976 calories daily without trying and would have to burn 2,524 calories through exercise.

  • Calculate the number of calories burned by exercising, and work out for the total number of minutes required to meet your 1-lb. goal. Use an online estimator to calculate calories burned depending on your weight. For the 190-lb. female example, walking burns approximately 400 calories per hour, running about 1000 and aerobics burns about 500 per hour. She would have to work out for approximately three hours per day to burn 1 lb. of fat.

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  • Photo Credit working out 2 image by Leticia Wilson from Fotolia.com
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