Does 3500 Calories Really Equal 1 Pound?

If you believe everything you read online, you’d know that KFC deep-fries rats, there are hot singles in your neighbourhood waiting to meet you, and 3500 calories is equal to 1 pound. Hang on, that last one actually sounds interesting.

This is actually science; 1 pound of fat is the equivalent of 3500 calories of stored energy.

Our bodies need energy to work, the more work we do, the more the more energy we use. Energy is measured in calories (or kilojoules depending on where you live).  You eat food with a certain energy content, and burn energy every day. If you’re burning more energy than you’re eating, you’ll create a calorie deficit; this is when weight loss occurs.

According to the internet, as stated above, 1 pound is 3500 calories. As an engineer, I’m interested in conducting an experiment to see how accurate this magic number is. I’ve developed a spreadsheet to track my calories in vs calories out, and calculate my theoretical weight loss. I’ll do this for the month of July, and then compare the theoretical numbers to my actual weight.


If anyone would like a copy of my spreadsheet to try this for themselves, just leave your e-mail address in the comments and I’ll send it to you with an explanation of how to use it!

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