When you’re doing workouts such as running, walking or weightlifting, there are a lot of excess calories burned. More than that, when you’re resting, your calories are also burned off naturally. You may wonder “how many calories do I burn a day?”
Using Harris-Benedict equation, you can calculate the approximate number of calories burned naturally by your body per day. Yet, you should modify the number lower or higher by taking into consideration many variables. Those include the type of your body, lifestyle, activity level, habits and any medical conditions you undergo as well.
How Can You Derive These Numbers?
BMR – Basal Metabolic Rate
Your basal metabolic rate, as known as BMR, is the necessary number of calories for your body to perform its fundamental physiological functions when you’re at rest.
According to Judy Learn, a nutrition professor at North Seattle Community College, this purpose constitutes around 60-70% of your body’s energy, while digestion and food metabolism takes up another 5-10%. So, those with slow natural calorie burn usually find it difficult to keep your weight at a healthy level.
You can calculate your own BMR by inserting your height (in inches), weight (in pounds) and your age into the formula below:
Although this formula is quite useful, you should also consider other variables to adjust your BMR lower or higher.
You should also determine your level of activity. The level of activity would be as followed:
90: extra active (very strenuous exercise or training or labor-demanding job)
73: very active (strenuous exercise of 6 to 7 days a week)
50: moderately active (exercise of 3 to 5 days a week)
38: lightly active (light exercise of 1 to 3 days a week)
20: sedentary (no to little exercise)
Take the woman who works for the post office and has to walk all day long for example. The activity level of this woman will be 1.90. Now regarding a man whose job is sedentary and he has walking exercise a few times per week, 1.50 would be the activity level of the man.
After you put together everything, the Harris Benedict full formula is:
Daily calorie needs to maintain weight = BMR x activity level
Are There Any Differences of Burned Calories Between Men and Women?
The answer is Yes, the amount of burned calories does differ between two genders. There are 3 factors contributing to your individual BMR, including gender, age, and your body/weight composition.
In general, there is a smaller amount of body fat in men than in women. That is to say, men are usually more muscular compared to their counterparts, even to those at their same weight and age group. Greater muscle mass means greater amount of burned calories during resting time. All in all, men burn off more calories compared to women.
If the muscle-to-fat ratio in your body is greater than 1, it means you require more calories per day. Men, who generally have greater muscle mass than women, have more calories burned off.
Moreover, when getting older, most people become less muscular. So, those aged younger are likely to burn a greater amount of calories than the older. Weight training is a very effective way to accelerate your basal metabolic rate. Also, you should use muscle building supplements to achieve the best result.
As Prof. Judy points out, not only family or culture practices contribute to forming the weight of a child, but the rate of basal metabolism can also be passed on from parents’ genes.
If the parents of a child don’t suffer obesity, that child runs only a 10% risk of getting obese. If one of the parents is obese, the child’ risk rises up to 4 times (40%), and a staggering rise of 8 times (80%) if both are obese.
That is because of a genetic inclination for lesser or greater muscle mass or other factors as well. However, the fact is that a slow basal metabolic rate is partly hereditary.
Demands of Your System
When your body is fighting back an illness or in extra demands, it needs more calories, thus giving rise to your rate of basal metabolism. Those with a fever tend to burn calories at a faster rate. This also occurs to people regularly undertake activities that do harm to the body, for example, drinking coffee or smoking cigarettes.
Also, when women are in pregnancy, and breastfeeding period, their body generally must work harder, whereby burning extra calories. Moreover, people who are undergoing a recovery from illness or injuries are likely to burn calories more quickly while resting.
Weight training is not at all the only way to raise your BMR. You can also engage in aerobic activities to strengthen your cardiac muscle, thus bettering your heart in pumping blood and burning more calories all day long.
Those who are active tend to burn off calories at a faster rate. This is due to their lifestyles and also because they are fitter in general, with a healthier heart to pump blood through the whole body, thus burning excess calories throughout the day.
How Many Calories Should I Burn a Day?
Once you get the idea of the calorie amount your body burns each day, you can set a calorie goal for a weight loss, gain or maintenance. If you eat an excess amount of 3,500 calories, you get one extra pound. In contrast, eating 3,500 calories fewer means you lose one pound.
However, counting calories or calculating your burn rate each day is not a precise science. According to Marion Nestle, regarding the daily number of calories they take in, people often underestimate by 30% on average. They usually don’t remember precisely what they have had for meals and think their intake is much smaller than its actual value.
Even if you get the accurate estimation, the problem here is food packing doesn’t always have a 100% accuracy. Also, dairy, meats, and vegetables are not uniform at all. Since they have organic nature, some may contain more fiber or fat, which can make a difference to your calorie count.
You should keep track of your calorie intake as best as possible. If that scale begins to climb, you may be exceeding your body demands. So, what you should do is to slightly trim down the size of your portions and do more exercise.
How to Burn More Calories
There are 3 different ways in which your body burns off calories:
Your body requires energy daily for survival – even during sleep! Your body is working all the time: pumping blood, maintaining a normal temperature for the body, repairing damage as well as growing.
All such things need the energy to perform! It may seem unbelievable to you, but approximately 60 to 70 percent of the burned calories each day don’t come from exercise.
Indeed, they come from maintaining the functions of the systems in your body. You can use the fat burner as an additional way to burn off more calories. It helps speed up your metabolism, thus making you burn off more fat in a direct way.
Your engaging in physical activities is the 2nd way for your body to burn calories. Whatever types of movement, whether you walk around while working or do exercise of a more formal type, will lead to a calorie burn. The calorie burn through physical activity takes up 25 to 40 percent of the daily calorie burn in total.
You can watch the video below to refer Best Exercises For Burning Calories that you can exercise at home:
Besides exercise, your body requires energy for food digestion. A meal rich in protein needs a greater amount of energy to digest compared to a meal rich in carb or fat. Yet, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should only eat protein!
Instead, a balanced diet will do you better in the long term. Food digestion only constitutes 5 to 10 percent of the number of calories burned.
Keeping out of your reach processed foods that are high in calories but low in nutrition such as cookies, candies, chips, etc.
Keeping a diary in order to record the foods you eat every day then figure out what’s wrong with your diet
Going for lower calorie food choices to replace your favored high-calorie food items such as popcorn to replace chips, skim milk rather than whole milk, or pizza with thin crust in replacement of thick one
Trimming the sizes of your portions to make sure you are having only one portion of any food on your plate
Having food served on a plate instead of taking it in right from its package
Reading food labels to know the compositions you are taking in
Creating small but sustainable changes rather than going for some crash diet
After you know “how many calories do I burn a day?” I’m sure you can make a daily eating plan to achieve a calorie deficit. What do I mean by a calorie deficit? That is, the number of calories you take in is fewer than what’s burned off by your body. So, to bridge the calorie gap, your body must resort to the extra body fat. And that is when you attain your goal: burn off all that excess fat.