Debunking the 3,500-Calorie-per-Pound Rule 

How many fewer calories do you have to eat each day to lose a pound of body fat?

The first surgical attempt at body sculpting. was in 1921 about a dancer “who wanted to improve the shape of her ankles and knees.” The surgeon apparently scraped off too much tissue and tied the stitches too tightly, leading to necrosis, amputation, and the first recorded malpractice lawsuit in the history of plastic surgery. Liposuction is much safer today, murder only about 1 in 5,000 patients, mostly from unknown causes, such as throwing a clot into the lung or perforating internal organs. You can see a “Causes of Death” chart below and at 0:37 of my video. The 3,500 calories per pound rule is incorrect..

Liposuction currently queen as the most popular cosmetic surgery in the world, and its effects are, in fact, only cosmetic. A study published in it New England Journal of Medicine They tested obese women before and after they had about 20 pounds of fat removed from their bodies, resulting in a nearly 20 percent drop in their total body fat. Normally, if you lose Even just 5 to 10 percent of your body weight in fat results in significant improvements in blood pressure, blood sugar, inflammation, cholesterol, and triglycerides. But liposuction sucks. None of those benefits materialized even after massive liposuction, suggesting that the problem is not subcutaneous Fat, the fat under our skin. The metabolic damages of obesity arise from the visceral Fat, the fat that surrounds or even infiltrates our internal organs, such as the fat that marbling our muscles and our liver. The way to lose that fat, dangerous fat, is by eating fewer calories than you burn.

anyone who has seen The big loser TV shows knows that with enough calorie restriction and exercise you can lose hundreds of pounds. Similarly, there are cases in the medical literature of what some refer to what is known as “super obesity.” In one case, a man lost a huge amount of weight “largely without professional help and without surgery” and did not gain it back for years. He lost 374 pounds, lost about 20 pounds a month by biking two hours a day and reducing his daily intake to 800 calories, which is about what some prisoners got in the concentration camps in World War II.

Perhaps “America’s most famous weight loss” seen on television was Oprah’s. She pulled out a cart full of fat, which represented the 67 kilos she had lost on a very low-calorie diet. How many calories did she have to reduce to achieve that weight loss in four months? If you Consult Check out leading nutrition textbooks or consult trusted authorities like the Mayo Clinic, you’ll learn the simple rule of weight loss: 1 pound of fat equals 3,500 calories. Quoting from Journal of the American Medical Association“A total of 3500 calories It does not matter 1 pound body weight. This means that if you decrease (or increase) your intake by 500 calories daily, you will lose (or gain) 1 pound per week. (500 calories per day × 7 days = 3500 calories).”

It’s the simple rule of losing weight that simply isn’t true.

The 3,500 calorie rule dates back to an article published in 1958. The author noted That since the fatty tissue of the human body is made up of 87 percent fat, one pound of body fat would have about 395 grams of pure fat. Multiplying that by nine calories per gram of fat gives you that approximation of “3,500 calories per pound.” The fatal mistake that directs to the “dramatically exaggerated” weight loss predictions is that the 3,500-calorie rule fails to take into account the fact that changes on the calories-in side of the energy balance equation automatically lead to changes on the calories-in side. of the calories that come out; , metabolic adaptation, the slowing of metabolic rate that accompanies weight loss. That’s one of the reasons weight loss stalls.

Imagine a sedentary 30-year-old woman of average height weighing 150 pounds. According to the 3,500 calorie rule, if she eliminated 500 calories from her daily diet, she would lose a pound a week or 52 pounds a year. In three years, she would disappear. She would go from 150 pounds to -6. Obviously, that doesn’t happen. Instead, as you can see in the chart below and at 4:33 in my videoin the first year, probably lose He weighed 32 pounds, not 52. Then, after a total of three years, he would probably stabilize at about 100 pounds. This is because it takes fewer calories to exist as a thin person.

Part of this is “simple mechanics”: more energy is needed. required to move a heavier mass, in the same way that a Hummer requires more fuel than a compact car. Think about how much more effort it would take to simply get out of a chair, cross the room, or climb some stairs if you were carrying a 50-pound backpack. Even when you are at rest, fast asleep, there is simply less of your body to maintain as you lose weight. Every kilo of fat tissue lost can mean one kilometer less blood vessels through which the body has to pump blood every minute. Therefore, basic maintenance and movement of leaner bodies consumes fewer calories. As you lose weight by eating less, you end up needing less. That’s what the 3,500 calorie rule doesn’t take into account.

Imagine it another way: A 200-pound man starts consuming 500 more calories a day, perhaps by drinking a large soda or eating two donuts. According to the 3,500 calorie rule, in ten years he would weigh more than 700 pounds. That doesn’t happen because, the heavier he is, the more calories he burns just by existing. If you’re 100 pounds overweight, it’s like there’s a skinny person inside you trying to walk around swinging 13 gallons of oil or dragging a sack filled with 400 sticks of butter. As you can see in the graph below and at 6:13 in my videohe you accept about two donuts of extra energy just to live at 250 pounds, so that’s where you’d plateau if you kept up that pace. Given a certain calorie excess or deficit, weight gain or loss is a curve that flattens over time, rather than a straight line up or down.

However, the 3,500 calorie rule keep going arise, even in obesity magazines. Public health researchers used it to calculate how many pounds children could lose each year if, for example, fast-food children’s meals swapped apple slices for French fries. You can see the “Counting Calories in Kids’ Meals” chart below and at 6:39 in my video.

They figurative that two meals a week could add up to about four pounds a year. Researchers funded by the National Restaurant Association were no doubt happy to point out that the real difference probably add less than half a pound, ten times less than the 3,500 calorie rule predicts, as you can see below and at 7:06 in my video. That original article was later withdrawn.


The 3,500 calories per pound rule is incorrect. is the first of 14 videos that are part of my fasting series, on which I conducted two webinars. the videos are on NutritionFacts.orgor you can get them all now in a digital download at intermittent fasting. You may also be interested in my webinars on Fasting and disease reversal and Fasting and cancer.

Other videos in this series are included in related videos below.

Watch other popular videos on weightloss.

I also recently addressed the ketogenic diet.

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