Think you know how many calories you need to burn to lose a pound? If you answered 3,500 calories, you’re wrong, new research shows.

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New health data indicates that the old dieting equation “one pound of fat = 3,500 calories” is wrong, Lifehacker reports.

It turns out you’ll have to double that number to lose one pound of fat, which might sound like bad news to anyone looking to lose some weight.

Research from the National Institute of Health indicates that you have to burn 7,000 calories for each pound of fat that you want to get rid of. A new Body Weigh Planner calculator based on that research is available at this link.

According to mathematician Kevin Hall, who contributed to the research, the 500-calorie-per-day-rule isn’t valid anymore.

“The biggest flaw with the 500-calorie-rule is that it assumes weight loss will continue in a linear fashion over time,” Hall told Runner’s World Newswire. “That’s not the way the body responds. The body is a very dynamic system, and a change in one part of the system always produces changes in other parts.”

Hall said that, in the first year of a new weight-loss program, most overweight people will lose half the weight that the 3,500-calories rule predicts, which is why the new rule should be “7,000 calories = one pound”.

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