What Does 5 Pounds of Fat Look Like? The Surprising Answer

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When it comes to losing weight, rare few people understand exactly what a pound, five pounds, or twenty pounds actually looks like.

And we’re not referring to the actual yellow, greasy stuff, but in terms of everyday items that can give you an idea of how big a deal losing the weight is.

Five pounds of body fat looks very much like half of a large watermelon, half a load of laundry in a basket, and half a bucket of paint. It also looks like a bag of potatoes, sugar, or flour, with the corresponding weight. It may not seem like much, but five pounds is a lot of weight to shift.

If you’re committing to a weight loss program, it’s always nice to have some perspective and understand what you’re working to burn off your body.

While most of us have – unfortunately – seen pictures of what body fat actually looks like in all of its yellow, greasy glory, not many of us have seen it in person or held it (and wouldn’t want to).

So what’s an easy way to tell what five pounds of fat would feel like?

Well, that’s what we’re here to tell you.

Whether you’re just sat at home pondering if five pounds of fat is significant, or you’re about to head to the grocery store and want to know what groceries weigh five pounds, here’s what to look for:

At Home

At home, there are several things you can turn to for a good idea of what five pounds feels like.

Laundry Basket

If you have a laundry basket at home that’s empty, chuck some clothes in it until it’s half-full. If it’s full, tip out half of its contents.

Now you should have a basket that weighs roughly five pounds.

Coffee Maker

If you have an American-style 12 cup coffee maker, such as the Mr. Coffee model, this should weigh around five pounds.

Of course, you should be able to find out exactly what your coffee maker weighs by reading the specifications in the instructions or online.

2L Soda Bottle

Perhaps the item that most people will be able to imagine the weight of without even picking up is the two-liter soda bottle.

Remember the last time you went to pick up the two-liter bottle of lemonade or cola out of the fridge – it wasn’t light, right?

This will give you a good indication of how impressive it is to lose five pounds.

A Bag Full of Books

If there’s a student in your family, have them stuff all of their textbooks into their backpack, then pick it up.

This should weigh in around five pounds, and if you wear it on your back all day, makes you wonder how losing five pounds of body weight could make you feel.


This one should be obvious if you train with dumbbells at all or have some sitting around the house.

Often times you will see neoprene five-pound dumbbells in gyms, fitness stores, or in your storage cupboard if you enjoy weight training from time to time.

At the Grocery Store

While you’re at the grocery store, you can play a fun guessing game in which you imagine what produce might weigh five pounds, then place them on the scales and find out if you’re right.

We’ll give you a headstart if you’re playing with someone else by telling you the first food item to head for.

Half a Watermelon

Yes, that’s right, grab one of those hefty halves of watermelon and you’ll be holding five pounds of weight in your hand.

Five Banana Bunches

Staying in the fresh produce section, you should find that five bunches of bananas add up to five pounds in total.

Five Bacon Packs

Much less healthy than bananas and watermelon, bacon should give you a better idea of what fat looks like as well as giving you a feel for what it weighs.

If your supermarket does one-pound packs of bacon, then five of those will of course add up to the magic five pounds you’re looking for.

Bag of Potatoes

Go to any grocery store, and you should find that they have a bag of potatoes or two on the shelves.

More often than not, there’ll be a bag that’s clearly labeled as five pounds’ worth of potatoes, so pick that one up, and you’ll have a good idea of what five pounds of fat might feel like.

Bag of Sugar

Your next stop in the grocery store should be the cake-making aisle – if there is one.

Here is where you’ll find bags of sugar and flour, both of which are perfect for this little weight experiment.

Find a five-pound bag, which should be clearly labeled as such on the packaging, and you have your five pounds of fat comparison.

How To Lose Five Pounds of Body Fat

If you want to lose five pounds of body fat, you need to be at a caloric deficit; otherwise, you simply won’t shed the weight.

But how many calories are in a single pound of fat?

Experts estimate that a single pound of fat is the equivalent to around 3,400-3,700 calories. 

With that in mind, five pounds of fat is around 17,000-18,500 calories calories.

What this means is that you need to be at a caloric deficit that brings you down to your new desired weight.

For example, if you consume 500 calories less than you do right now, it would take you around seven days to hit the 3,500 calorie deficit mark which means you will lose a pound of fat in a week.

Continue in this way, and you can expect to lose five pounds of body fat in five weeks, which isn’t bad at all.

Of course, there are ways to accelerate your weight loss, such as weight training, cardio exercise, and taking certain supplements, or experimenting with fasting.

But generally, you shouldn’t expect to lose five pounds of body fat within a month, but rather set the bar low so you can stick to the weight loss program easily.

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Frequently Asked Questions About 5 Pounds of Fat

Does losing 5 pounds make a difference?

Losing five pounds is an excellent goal to start out with if you’re planning to embark on a weightloss program, and it can lead to significant changes in how you feel.

Depending on how much you weigh in the beginning, losing five pounds could ease the pressure on your joints, lower your risk of developing cancer, and boost your level of good cholesterol.

Any weight lost is a gain in terms of health, unless you’re at a perfectly healthy weight to begin with. That alone should make it worth your while to lose that five pounds, even if it doesn’t get you the body of your dreams.

What is something that weighs 5lbs?

Considering that the average watermelon weighs in at around 10lbs, half of a watermelon should weigh around 5lbs.

Likewise, a half-full bucket of paint, or half-empty laundry basket will also weigh in at 5lbs using the same logic.

You can also go to your nearest grocery store and find packaged goods that weigh 5lbs, for example, bags of sugar, flour or even potatoes can come in 5lb bags.

How many calories is 5 lbs of fat?

Typically, a pound of body fat is worth anywhere between 3,400 and 3,700 calories.

So if you do the math, you’re looking at a range of between 17,000 and 18,500 calories for five pounds of body fat.

It isn’t as simple as shooting for this number of calories to lose five pounds of fat, though, since you will be consuming a lot of calories and there are other factors to take into account.

A Final Word From Energetic Lifestyle

Five pounds of body fat might not sound like a big deal, but the potential health implications of losing that much weight are significant.

To give you some perspective, five pounds of body fat is comparable to half of a large watermelon.

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Article by:

Energetic Lifestyle Team

Our detailed review has been contributed to by multiple members of the Energetic Lifestyle Review Team to ensure the best research and highest standard of quality. Have a good or a bad experience with one of the products? Please let us know, we love the feedback!

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