You have to burn about 3,500 calories to lose 1 pound. This is because 3,500 calories equals about 1 pound of fat. To lose 1 pound a week, you have to eliminate 500 calories from your diet every day. At that pace, you could lose about 4 pounds in a month.

Increasing physical activity will help you burn more calories. Exercise also builds muscle mass. Muscle is heavier than fat, so even though you’re looking and feeling leaner, it might not show on the scale.

Everyone is different. There are many variables in how much physical activity it takes to burn a calorie. The larger you are, the more calories you burn doing anything. Males have more muscle than females of the same size, so that helps males burn more calories.

How to create a caloric deficiency

Calories are units of energy from food. The more energy you use, the more calories you burn. Unused calories are stored as fat. You can burn fat stores by taking in fewer calories and using more energy.

Here are some ways to cut calories that you can start today:

Switch drinks

Drink water instead of soda.

Try black coffee instead of coffee flavored with added cream and sugar.

Cut down on alcohol.

Avoid high-calorie foods

Avoid fast food and ultra process foods

Eat fruit instead of baked goods and packaged sweets.

Choose low-fat dairy foods over high-fat ones.

Eat grilled or broiled foods instead of fried foods.

Reduce portions

Measure oils used for cooking.

Cut down on oil and other salad dressings.

Use a smaller plate or bowl.

Eat slower, and wait 20 minutes after eating to make sure you’re full.

At restaurants, take half your meal home.

Don’t eat in front of the TV, where it’s easy to keep snacking.

Consider food density, too. For example, 1 cup of grapes has around

100 calories trusted source, but a cup of raisins has around 480 trusted source

Fresh vegetables and fruits are full of water and fiber so they’ll help you feel full without a lot of calories.

To retain lean muscle mass, you’ll need plenty of protien

In 2016, researchers performed a meta analysis of 20 randomized control trials involving diet and weight loss. They concluded that adults ages 50 and older lost more fat and kept more lean mass on energy-restricted, higher-protein diets rather than diets with normal protein intakes.

In addition to a regular exercise routine, try these calorie burners:

Park farther away and walk the extra steps.

Better yet, bike or walk rather than drive.

Use the stairs instead of elevators and escalators if you can.

Take a stroll after meals.

If you work at a desk, get up at least once every hour for a short walk or stretch.

Many pleasurable activities help you burn calories, like hiking, dancing, and even golfing. For instance, in 30 minutes of general gardening a 125-pound person can burn 135 calories, and a 185-pound person can burn 200.

The more you move, the more calories you burn. And the more likely it is you’ll lose some belly fat.