Friday Favorites: The 3,500 Calorie per Pound Rule Is Wrong

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

If it were just a matter of your weight settling at the point at which your reduced calorie intake matches your reduced calorie output, it would take years for your weight loss to plateau. Instead, it often happens within six to eight months after starting a new diet. I explain why in my next video, The Reason Weight Loss Plateaus When You Diet ( ).

This is the first of 14 videos that are part of my fasting video series, for which I did two webinars. All these videos are on, or you can get them all in a digital download here: Intermittent Fasting ( ). I also did webinars on Fasting and Disease Reversal ( ) and Fasting and Cancer ( ).

The next several in this series are:
• The New Calories per Pound of Weight Loss Rule? ( )
• The Benefits of Calorie Restriction for Longevity ( )
• Potential Pitfalls of Calorie Restriction ( )
• Benefits of Fasting for Weight Loss Put to the Test ( )
• Is Fasting Beneficial for Weight Loss? ( )
• Is Fasting for Weight Loss Safe? ( )

Some other popular videos on weight loss are:
• Eating More to Weigh Less ( )
• Are There Foods with Negative Calories? ( )
• Nutrient Dense Approach to Weight Management ( )
• How Much Exercise to Sustain Weight Loss ( )
• Keep Your Waist Circumference to Less than Half Your Height ( )
• Does Apple Cider Vinegar Help with Weight Loss? ( )
• Can Morbid Obesity Be Reversed Through Diet? ( )
• The Weight Loss Program that Got Better with Time ( )
• Are Weight Loss Pills Safe? ( )
• Are Weight Loss Pills Effective? ( )
• The Best Time to Exercise for Weight Loss ( )

I also tackled the ketogenic diet, if anyone is interested:
• Keto Diet Theory Put to the Test ( )
• Keto Diet Results for Weight Loss ( )
• Is Weight Loss on Ketosis Sustainable? ( )
• Are Keto Diets Safe? ( )
• Keto Diets: Muscle Growth and Bone Density ( )

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Thanks for watching. I hope you’ll join in the evidence-based nutrition revolution!
-Michael Greger, MD FACLM

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Dave McKinnon

  • Kerri says:

    Ive been binge watching you on chef aj. Absolutely incredible mind. Im in awe. 💚

  • Titiana Rasputin says:

    When you weigh yourself each day, you have to adjust your basal metabolic rate in the calories out portion of the equation. People who use the formula generally tend to do this. The more important factor that almost no one considers tho, is the one I thought you were going to talk about, and which I believe you’ve already made a video on: your body tends to move less with a greater calorie deficit, beyond what the basal metabolic rate calculators account for. E.g. a two hundred calorie deficit will be more effective over the long run than a five hundred calorie deficit, because the 500cal deficit signals your body to conserve energy. So your temp goes down, you twitch less, and you are psychologically less motivated to move your body.

  • Patrick Blouin says:

    So a pound of fat does contain approximately 3500kcal, it’s just that the body has compensation mechanisms that affect real world weight loss, so we can’t use basic arithmetic to estimate weight loss.

  • JnTmarie says:

    Got your book on how not to die and have been a whole food plant based vegan for 5 years. It has changed my life for the better. Have to exercise so I do Pilates everyday and make sure I move You are in constant motion on the treadmill so I got one. Walking and talking become a great way to live happily. Stairstepper also. If I start sitting too much it then becomes the norm. We are the habits we keep so mindfully choose your behaviors wisely. Thank you Dr Gregor! Ever want to speak in nyc or the Jersey Shore area I’d help.

  • Hector Del Muro says:

    Is it not that as the person loses weight then the BMR goes down? Therefore, they are no longer in a 500 calorie deficit. As the person looses weight the deficit gets smaller and smaller. Right?

  • Suzie D. says:

    My name is Suzie D. I want to thank you for your great books & information …. I have been vegan for 3 years…. I have lost 120 lbs…. I FEEL GREAT…. I have never believed the 3500 calorie rule

  • Diane Ladico says:

    In my study (n=1), switching to a WFPB diet, minimizing oil, limiting nuts and getting off my keister regularly resulted in more weight loss than I care to share with zero counting of calories.
    OK, I did add up calories for a week just to see what I was taking in and it turned out to be just what I’d need to maintain my ideal weight.
    Check out his video on the study that fed people the flavorless goop. That was an eye opener. It works with tasty vegan food, too. Listening to your body and not eating SAD CRAP that artificially enhances one’s hunger is a game changer.

  • ccamire says:

    why dont you share your blood results, bio age, your Vo2 max, grip strength so we validate the value of your book on aging

  • Linda Ripp says:


  • Huggy Bear says:

    What you’re describing is the wall people always wonder why the wall stalls there progress you just answered why

  • Gnollageddon says:

    Please can you do a video about gaining weight in a healthy way. There’s so much loose this loose that, but some people struggle to gain any kind of weight and have problems with macros especially when on a high fiber diet. being really skeletal skinny with no energy is not healthy either

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