So how much space does a pound of fat take up?

  • I found this and though I'd share.  Basically a pound of fat is about 2 cups full.  Since it usually comes from all over your body as you are losing it, you can't always see it.  (Paper towel theory)

    If you need motivation just think about 2 cups full of fat leaving your body as you see even 1 pound of weight loss.  

    Here are the calculations:


    The density of fat (adipose tissue) is .9 grams/ml (see

    A pound contains 453.59237 grams

    Dividing the weight in grams by .9 gives us 503.991522 ml

    1 US cup is 236.588237 ml

    Dividing the volume in ml by the 236.588237 gives us 2.1302476 cups

    Note that when losing weight it is not purely fat, there is a mix of fat tissue, fluid shifting (dehydration and other effects), and lean muscle loss. This ratio will shift as the caloric restricted diet and exercise program continues. Often large initial losses will be due to fluid shifting, and over time the percentage of long term loss will be 80% fat, 20 % lean muscle for the average program. 




  • OK! I have a visual....EW! Thanks for that JamesK.

  • Interesting information, JamesK

    another perspective/visual

    A gallon of milk has 16 cups....about 8 lbs?

    20 lbs overweight= 40 cups...2.5 gal

    40 lbs overweight= 80 cups...5 gallon bucket o'fat


  • 3500 calories = 1 pound

     1 pound    =   3500 calories

     5 pounds  = 17,500 calories

    10 pounds  = 35,000 calories

    15 pounds  = 52,500 calories

    20 pounds   =70,000 calories

    25 pounds   =87,500 calories

    30 pounds  =105,000 calories

    40 pounds  =140,000 calories

    50 pounds  =175,000 calories

    60 pounds  =210,000 calories

    75 pounds  =262,500 calories

    100pounds =350,000 calories

    I am beginning my 2nd challenge tomorrow and had to do the math on this for myself, I have been thinking about it alot and needed to get it out of my system, on order to visualize the caloric intake I consumed to get myself where I'm at......and to have a better idea of the exercise output I need to do to get the results I desire.(also to have compassion for others)

    I have looked up a few food items on (great website!) that I have eaten the last few days before starting another challenge.......and it got me to thinking how free day food and active rest foods eaten can quickly add up!!

    Ahhhhhh, this is such a learning experience. I have alot to learn.

    Hope this helps others, too.