How Many Calories Are in a Pound of Beef? A Detailed Breakdown

Beef is a nutrient-rich food that provides high-quality protein, important vitamins and minerals, and other health benefits. But it’s also a calorie-dense food. So how many calories are actually in a pound of beef? Here, we’ll take an in-depth look at the calorie counts for different cuts and types of beef per pound.

Total Calories in 1 Pound of Raw Lean Beef

For most raw untrimmed cuts of lean beef with minimal marbling, a general estimate is:

1 pound of raw lean beef = around 1,000 calories

This applies to cuts like eye of round, 95% lean ground beef, sirloin tip, and other very lean options. These calories come from approximately

  • Protein: 110g
  • Fat: 105g
  • Carbs: 0g

So lean beef is high in protein with around 450 calories coming from protein and 550 calories from fat per pound.

Calories by Specific Beef Cut

Calories can vary somewhat depending on the specific cut of beef. Here is the calorie count per pound for some common cuts of lightly trimmed, raw beef:

  • Ground beef, 95% lean – 860 calories
  • Top sirloin – 1,070 calories
  • Eye of round roast – 950 calories
  • Top loin steak – 1,000 calories
  • Bottom round roast – 1,100 calories
  • Brisket – 1,050 calories
  • Flank steak – 1,020 calories

Fattier cuts with more marbling like prime rib and ribeye steak contain around 1200 calories per pound. Very lean cuts like beef shank come in around 950 calories per pound.

Grass-Fed vs Grain-Fed Beef Calories

On average, grass-fed beef tends to have a slightly higher calorie count than grain-fed beef. This is because grass-fed meat has a higher percentage of fat.

Typical calories per pound:

  • Grass-fed ground beef: 1,040 calories
  • Grain-fed ground beef: 1,000 calories

However, the difference is modest. Ultimately, calories depend more on the specific cut and fat content rather than whether the cattle was grass or grain finished.

Raw vs Cooked Beef Calories

It’s important to note that the calorie counts given above are for raw beef before cooking. When meat is cooked, some fat drips away, lowering the calories per pound.

On average, cooked beef loses about 15% of its initial raw weight during cooking. Taking this into account:

  • 1 pound raw beef = 1,000 calories
  • After 15% weight loss from cooking = 850 calories per pound

This cooked calorie amount may be slightly lower or higher depending on cooking method. For example, grilling leads to more fat drippings than pan-frying.

Daily Calorie Recommendations

To put the calorie counts into context, here are some general daily calorie intake recommendations for adults:

  • Women

    • Sedentary (little exercise): 1,600 – 2,000 calories
    • Moderately Active: 2,000 – 2,200 calories
    • Active (frequent exercise): 2,400 calories
  • Men

    • Sedentary: 2,000 – 2,600 calories
    • Moderately Active: 2,600 – 2,800 calories
    • Active: 3,000 calories

These are estimated averages – your needs may be higher or lower based on your age, body size, and activity levels.

So a pound of cooked beef contains about 850 calories, which would make up 35-50% of the average person’s daily needs. When eating beef as part of a balanced diet, portion size is an important factor.

Ways to Reduce Calories in Beef

If you’re looking to lower the calories in beef, here are some helpful tips:

  • Choose leaner cuts like round or loin instead of higher fat options like ribeye or brisket.

  • Trim off any visible fat before cooking to reduce calories.

  • Opt for ground beef with a 90% lean or higher ratio.

  • Drain off any melted fat after cooking ground beef.

  • Portion beef into sensible serving sizes around 3-4 ounces cooked.

  • Pair beef with non-starchy vegetables for nutritious, lower calorie sides.

  • Choose healthy cooking methods like roasting, grilling or broiling instead of frying.

The Bottom Line

To summarize, a pound of raw lean beef contains approximately 1,000 calories, which reduces to around 850 calories per pound after cooking. Calorie counts vary by specific cut, with fattier beef having more calories per pound. When incorporated into a healthy diet in reasonable portions, beef provides great nutrition. Just be mindful of serving sizes and preparation methods to keep calories in check.

Wait… Ground Beef for Weight Loss?


How many calories in a lb of cooked beef?

1 lb of grain finished hamburger meat (70% lean) contains about 1250 calories. On the other hand 1 lb of 95% lean ground beef contains about 800 calories. A 16oz rib eye would have about 1220 calories (112g of protein and 85g of fat). 16oz worth of filet mignon has about 1200 calories (120g of protein and 80g of fat).

Is a pound of meat a day healthy?

There isn’t consensus on this question. Some experts maintain that if you keep portions to three ounces or less, even a daily dose of meat (21 ounces a week) is fine for most people. Others advise equally small portions but only a few times a week.

How many calories are in a pound of 80/20 beef?

Protein (g)
Energy (kcal)
Sugars, total (g)
Fiber, total dietary (g)
Calcium, Ca (mg)

How much beef for 2000 calories?

A 3-ounce serving of lean beef contributes less than 10 percent of calories to a 2,000-calorie diet, yet it supplies more than 10 percent of the Daily Value for ten essential nutrients. Eating a protein-rich meal or snack like beef also makes you feel full longer, and satisfies cravings faster.

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