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How Many Calories Do I Burn In a Day?


Often this question of how many calories do I burn in a day arises in a lot people’s minds and they are not so sure how to work it out.

Well relax, it’s as easy as slicing a piece of cake. Arriving at an accurate answer to the question though, requires knowing such factors as your age, sex, height, weight and level of physical activity.


First of all, you need to realize that our body uses up calories or energy to perform those tasks we take for granted. I’m referring to tasks like breathing, digestion, keeping the heart pumping, maintaining our core temperature and even sleeping.


Now the calories your body expends performing these functions is what we call the Basal Metabolic Rate or BMR. This is basically the energy you need or your body needs to keep itself alive even if you do nothing at all and in effect the Basal Metabolic Rate represents the basic calories that you burn daily.


It is only after you have calculated this BMR figure that you can work out how many calories you need to burn if you want to lose weight or indeed how many extra calories you need to consume if you want to add on weight.


The most accurate way of calculating your BMR and subsequently getting an answer to the ‘how many calories do I burn in a day’ question is using the Harris-Benedict Principle or formula.

A rough way of doing it is using the calculator below:




This formula takes into account your weight, your sex, age, height and how physically active you are.

The steps are:


Step 1

Calculate the BMR first – this tells you how many calories your body burns per day


Use this formula


BMR For Women

655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) - (4.7 x age in years)


BMR For Men

66 + (6.3 x weight in pounds) + (12.9 x height in inches) - (6.8 x age in years)


Step 2

Then multiply whatever BMR figure you got with the factor that best equates with your level of activity as indicated below:


Sedentary: 1.2 X BMR 

Lightly Active: 1.4 X BMR 

Moderately Active: 1.6 X BMR 

Very Active: 1.7 X BMR 

Athletic: 1.9 X BMR


The final figure you get from this exercise represents the answer to the question; how many calories do I burn per day or how many calories should I burn in a day naturally without exercise.


How many calories should I burn in a day to lose weight?

After you have calculated the figure as above, you then have to ask yourself, how much weight do I want to lose.

The principle is that burning 3500 calories either through diet or exercise or both in a week, you lose a pound of weight.


So let’s say your final figure was 2800 calories daily, you will need to consume 2300 calories per day instead of 2800 calories (i.e 2800 – 500) for 1 week totalling 3500 calories to lose one pound of fat.

A calorie deficit of 500 calories per day over a week will make you drop off one pound of fat or put in another way, you should burn 500 calories  per day for 1 week to enable you lose 1 pound of weight.


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