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How Many Calories Per Day to Lose 1 Pound Per Week?

author image Jessica Martinez
Jessica Martinez is a freelance writer from Clayton, North Carolina. As a homeschooling mom, she enjoys writing about education, child development and family issues. Martinez also enjoys researching and writing about subjects she loves: history, art, interior design, gardening and travel.
How Many Calories Per Day to Lose 1 Pound Per Week?
One pound per week is considered a safe weight loss rate. Photo Credit: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

If you are committed to improving your health and ready to make small changes to your lifestyle and habits, losing 1 pound per week is a very reasonable and attainable goal.

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Calorie needs vary depending on gender, size, age and activity. It may be more effective to focus on how many calories you should omit, rather than how many you consume.


If you take in or burn fewer calories than your body requires, your body will burn fat to make up the difference. Over time, this will cause you to lose weight.


To lose 1 pound of fat you need to burn 3,500 calories more than you take in, or cut 3,500 calories from your diet. This means if you take in 500 fewer calories or burn off 500 more calories each day, you will lose 1 pound per week.

Calorie Significance

Cut down on portion sizes to lose a pound a week. Leaving the cheese off of your burger will save you 115 calories. Skipping the mayonnaise will save you another 100 calories.

Exercise Significance

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that a half-hour jog will burn 295 calories, swimming laps for a half-hour will burn 255 calories, and a half-hour aerobics class will burn 240 calories.

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