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How many calories burned in an average day: How to Achieve 1 Pound of Weight Loss

How Many Calories Do You Burn In A Day? – Cleveland Clinic

As your eyes scan this text, you’re burning calories. And if the thought of that “workout” made you chuckle just a little bit — well, you torched even more calories. (That seemingly silly fact is scientifically proven, too.)

The truth is that your body NEVER STOPS burning calories. That calorie blaze might resemble a five-alarm fire at certain times of the day, like when you’re exercising, but the flame is always lit.

Over the course of a day, your body’s natural calorie burn without any activity can range from 1,300 to more than 2,000, depending on your age and sex. (More on that in a bit.)

So, how and why do you burn calories reading, sleeping or logging long hours as a couch potato? Let’s do the math with endocrinologist and weight management specialist Marcio Griebeler, MD.

Why your body burns calories

With so much talk about “calorie burn” focused on weight loss, the true reason behind your body’s calorie needs often gets overlooked. It’s not about the numbers on the scale. It’s about survival.

“To live, you have to burn calories,” says Dr. Griebeler. “Your body burns calories to pump your heart, to breath, to think … to do everything.”

That constant burn to keep your body going is known as your metabolism. To get a little more specific, your basal metabolic rate (BMR) refers to the minimum number of calories your body needs to function.

So, as you’re doing nothing, your body is still busy and burning calories to keep all systems operational.

Calculating your metabolic rate

Now here’s where things get interesting.

While we all have a BMR, we don’t all share the same BMR. It’s not some standard formula like the Pythagorean Theorem. (That’s A² + B² = C², in case you’re rusty on your middle school math lessons.)

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BMR, also known as your resting metabolic rate, varies widely based on factors such as:

  • Age.
  • Height.
  • Weight.
  • Sex.
  • Muscle-to-fat ratio.
  • Genetics.

Numerous online BMR calculators use the Harris-Benedict equation to provide a rough estimate of your body’s base calorie burn. Smartwatches that track fitness use this formula to spit out daily calorie-burn numbers.

“These online tools and watches can give you an idea about your metabolic rate, but they are by no means perfect,” notes Dr. Griebeler.

Calorie-burn estimates

Following those explanations about daily calorie-burn estimates being tough to nail down, let’s try to come up with a few ballpark numbers anyway. (That’s why you started reading this article, right?)

So, let’s look at the BMR of an average-sized adult man and woman in the United States at different ages. The size data comes courtesy of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The average adult male in the U.S. stands 5 feet, 9 inches tall (175 centimeters) and weighs 199.8 pounds (90.5 kilograms). For American women, the average is 5 feet, 2 1/2 inches tall (157 cm) and 170.8 pounds (77.4 kg).

Punch those measurements into a BMR calculator and here is the basic metabolism calorie burn by age if you spend the day lounging:

  • Age 20: 2,020 calories (men)/1,559 calories (women)
  • Age 30: 1,964 calories (men)/1,516 calories (women)
  • Age 40: 1,907 calories (men)/1,473 calories (women)
  • Age 50: 1,850 calories (men)/1,429 calories (women)
  • Age 60: 1,793 calories (men)/1,386 calories (women)
  • Age 70: 1,737 calories (men)/1,343 calories (women)
  • Age 80: 1,680 calories (men)/1,300 calories (women)

Basically, you burn about a calorie a minute just being you. At that rate, it should be noted that you’ve burned about 2 calories reading to this point!

In most people, your BMR accounts for about 60% to 70% of your daily calorie burn. The remaining calories get used when you actually start moving around and doing what people do every day.

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Now if you exercise, that’ll boost your total calorie burn for the day, notes Dr. Griebeler. But it won’t really impact your base metabolic rate.

Can you change your metabolic rate?

Yes, you can — and the way to do it is simple enough: Add muscle, which it turns out is pretty needy when it comes to calories.

Muscle mass requires your body to use more energy even when it’s at rest. Think of it as cranking up the temperature on the calorie burn. “If you build muscle, you increase your basal metabolic rate,” explains Dr. Griebeler.

So, if you’re trying to lose weight, it’s important to preserve muscle while dropping pounds. Losing muscle during the weight loss process can actually slow your metabolic rate and base calorie burn — which is the opposite of what you’re trying to achieve.

Should you focus on your metabolic rate?

Is talking about metabolism and calorie burn interesting? You bet! But it’s not something you should dwell on daily while trying to build a healthy lifestyle, says Dr. Griebeler.

Instead, put your energy toward staying fit and active. Exercise can help you burn off more calories and build calorie-needy muscles. (Learn how many calories you can burn doing certain activities.)

Eating healthy is also essential. “Make sure you’re getting enough protein, which you need to build muscle,” advises Dr. Griebeler. (Get tips for calorie counting for meals.) Don’t overlook the importance of stress and sleep management, either.

Bottom line? Even though your body is ALWAYS burning calories, don’t count on BMR alone to keep you trim and fit.

“Counting calories burned through your metabolic rate is not where we should be aiming,” says Dr. Griebeler. “Instead, focus on physical activity, managing your stress, sleeping well and eating right. Find your balance there.”

What to Know About How Many Calories You Burn in a Day

Written by WebMD Editorial Contributors

In this Article

  • What Is a Calorie?
  • What Is Metabolism?
  • How Many Calories Am I Using?

Anyone who wants to lose weight has probably heard the saying, “You need to burn more calories than you eat. ” Here’s how to get an idea of how many calories you burn in a day.

You can think of calories as fuel for your body. Like a car, your body needs to burn fuel to work. Your body’s calorie needs are like the gas tank in your car. If you let the tank get empty, your car won’t drive. If you don’t give your body enough energy, it can’t work properly. 

A big difference, though, is that your car’s gas tank has limited room for fuel. You can’t overfill it. But you can easily put more calories in your body than you need on a given day. When that happens, the excess energy is stored in fat cells so that you can use it later. Doing that too often leads to weight gain.  

‌When your body processes food into energy, it’s called metabolizing. Your metabolism is the system for turning food into energy that you can use to keep your body working. Your body uses energy all the time, even when you’re asleep. You are constantly metabolizing calories. The energy is used to fuel the general functions in your body.

Here are some key things to know about the process:

Basal metabolic rate. This is the number of calories you need to keep all your basic bodily functions going. This includes breathing, your heartbeat, your nervous system, and all the rest of the automatic things your body does every day. 

Thermogenesis. This is a technical term for the energy it takes to convert food into usable energy. Eating, digesting, transporting, and storing food inside your body takes up to 10% of the energy from the food you eat.  

Physical activity. Moving your body demands more energy. This is in addition to what you’re using to keep all the essential functions going. Every action, no matter how large or small, takes some number of calories. A simple task like unloading a dishwasher uses a small number of calories. Strenuous activities use more calories. 

Every person is slightly different. You can make a rough estimate of your non-exercise calorie needs based on your age, weight, and sex.

For example, a 50-year-old man who’s 5’10” tall and weighs 165 pounds may burn about 1,650 calories a day. A 50-year-old woman who’s 5′ 6″ and 135 pounds may burn about 1,400 calories per day. Younger people tend to burn more calories than older people. 

Exercise burns more. Adding physical activity to your day ups the number of calories your body burns. Different kinds of exercise take different amounts of energy. A 160-pound person doing 1 hour of exercise might use up the following number of calories for these activities: 

  • Elliptical machine: 365 calories
  • Golf (carrying clubs): 314 calories
  • Running (5 mph): 606 calories
  • Walking (3.5 mph): 314 calories
  • Bicycling (under 10mph): 292 calories 
  • Hiking: 435 calories

The most effective way to burn more calories is by adding physical activity into your routine. Your basal metabolic rate remains reasonably steady, though it does get slower as you age. Researchers have found that you can speed it up a little bit by building more muscle. That’s because muscle requires more energy than fat. More muscle tissue means you burn more calories overall. 

Health condition effects. Some health problems lower basal metabolic rate, such as thyroid disorder, polycystic ovarian syndrome, or Cushing Syndrome. These are not very common, though. If you’re concerned that you might have any of these issues, you can ask your doctor to do tests to find out what’s going on with you. 

Most experts suggest that 30 minutes a day of activity is good for overall health and for burning extra calories. Talk to your doctor if you have questions about adding exercise into your daily routine — they can help you get started. 

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Optimal daily ration

On average, a person who spends all day sitting spends about 2000 kilocalories per day. For women, this figure is about 1800 kcal, for men – about 2400 kcal. This amount of nutrients provides enough strength for life and at the same time does not cause the appearance of extra pounds. To maintain harmony, make sure that the daily calorie content does not go beyond these indicators. Food should be taken 3-5 times a day. Intervals between meals should be 3 to 6 hours. To manage to use the calories received with food, you need to have dinner 2-4 hours before bedtime. With an early dinner, it is optimal to drink a glass of yogurt or kefir 1 hour before bedtime. This will help you fall asleep full and sleep well.

If you want to stay slim, sleep

Since the body spends energy not only when awake, but also when sleeping, it is necessary to take care of the correct daily routine. You need to sleep at least 7 hours a day. With a lack of sleep, the body experiences stress and tries to compensate for it with additional energy, which is easiest to get from food. Chronic lack of sleep provokes regular overeating. On average, this is about 400 additional kilocalories daily.

Water around the head

For the normal functioning of the digestive system, do not forget to drink up to two liters of clean drinking water at room temperature: not juices and carbonated drinks, but water. Lack of fluid slows down intestinal motility and reduces metabolism.

Proper breakfast is the key to an active day

To kickstart your metabolism at full capacity, eat breakfast within an hour of waking up. Ideally, if it is a protein product, for example, cottage cheese or cheese with porridge and butter. A whole-grain bread sandwich with egg and fresh vegetables is also allowed. For greater satiety, you can supplement breakfast with a handful of nuts.

Serving Size

When compiling portions, it is recommended to follow the “plate method”. For convenience, a dessert plate is taken, half is filled with a dish of fresh or cooked vegetables. One quarter of the plate is reserved for a side dish of cereals, pasta or potatoes, the second quarter for a protein dish: a piece of lean meat, poultry or fish, beans or lentils. It is advisable to add a little vegetable oil to the side dish, vegetables and soup. The volume of a serving of soup is one ladle. An additional bonus to the plate is a fruit or a fermented milk product.

What should be snacks?

In order to get distracted from the monotonous routine work, the brain very often tries to “deceive” us by sending a signal that it is hungry. A tasty break stimulates an additional release of dopamine, the brain perceives this as a reward for the work done. This trick allows you to relieve stress and replenish energy. Then go to the course – buns, cookies, sweets. But, as a rule, the hunger hormone ghrelin begins to be intensively produced by the end of the 5th hour – then reinforcement is really needed. To agree with the body and increase efficiency, it is better to take a short break. The brain receives 20% of the oxygen that enters the body, light physical activity and fresh air will saturate the blood with oxygen and add energy.

When the intervals between meals are 5-6 hours, 2.5-3 hours after the main meal, you can have a small snack. The ideal option would be – fruit or vegetable salad, nuts, sour-milk products, a sandwich with grain bread.

What is better not to eat at all?

Undesirable foods include muffins, confectionery, sweets, fast food, foods with a high fat content, fried foods. They contain a lot of empty calories and harmful substances. With the use of “fast” carbohydrates, glucose enters the bloodstream sharply and in large quantities. If the muscles are not included in the work and do not process such a volume of carbohydrates completely, part of the glucose turns into fat. The glucose peak is replaced after an hour and a half by a sharp drop in blood sugar and the appearance of a strong appetite. The circle closes and again there is a need to eat sweets.

Little tricks to always be slim

Avoid eating at work. So you run the risk of overeating and disrupting the production of digestive juices.

Try to move more: visit the pool, fitness, exercise at home. Avoid the elevator completely at work. Climbing stairs is a great exercise for muscles and an opportunity to burn calories. During your lunch break, be sure to go outside for a walk.

Write down everything you eat and drink. This will help eliminate “empty” calories and adjust the diet.

Chew food thoroughly. This will increase the pleasure of eating and improve digestion. In addition, you will get full much faster.

Watch your posture: sit straight. This will improve your mood and use more muscles to burn calories.

How many calories does your body burn? – HEALBE Blog

A beautiful slim body is 80% the result of proper eating habits and a healthy diet, the rest depends on your physical activity. To be in shape, you need to eat less and move more. But how do you know how many calories you need to burn to reach your goals? Are you sure that your calculations are correct?

Calorie consumption is boring! So you ate, for example, a cheesecake and you think: “you need to work it out – run 10 kilometers or sweat in the gym for an hour and a half.” You can train for days, but in the end, energy expenditure and calorie burn are just numbers. The main thing is your diet!

Exercise and training is the best way to burn calories, but you’ll be surprised how much energy your body uses even at rest.

How calories are spent:

Basic metabolism

The body requires a lot of resources to maintain life: the work of organs, heartbeat, brain activity and the preservation of muscle mass. Thus, your body burns calories even when you are resting, for example, sitting on a chair or lying on the couch.


The body also needs energy to digest food. Your body spends calories to get new calories.

Physical activity

Movement uses energy: walking, jogging, dancing, housework, exercising, swimming all burn calories. At the same time, your consumption depends not only on the intensity of training, but also on the characteristics of the body.

Thermal effect

This is the energy that the body spends on digesting the product. The higher the thermal effect, the more energy you will need. For example, 30% of the calories in protein go to digestion.


Your body also expends energy on heat exchange (thermoregulation), maintaining body temperature in various conditions. For example, when you are cold, your body uses more energy to keep warm.

Which exercise burns the most calories?

  • Rope
    At a pace of 100-130 jumps per minute, you can burn 14-15 kcal.
  • Squats
    20 sec squat, 10 sec rest, 8 reps. If you do everything right, you will spend 53.6 kcal in 4 minutes.
  • Burpees
    One burpee (bouncing push-up) consumes 1.40 kcal
  • Cindy and Mary
    A set of exercises of 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 sit-ups. With an average pace and short breaks, you can burn about 13 kcal per minute.
  • Kettlebell swing
    Burn about 20 kcal per minute
  • Rowing machine
    Burns 337 kcal or about 12 kcal per minute in 30 minutes.
  • AirDyne Bike
    Progressive trainer. Burns 87 calories per minute!
  • Fat bike – riding bikes with big wheels. For an hour of riding such a bike, 1500 kcal or 25 kcal per minute are burned.
  • Skiing allows you to burn more than 12 calories per minute.

A few facts about burning calories:

  • Singing will burn an additional 10-20 calories per song, depending on the volume and pitch of your voice. If you sing while exercising, you will burn more calories.
  • The error in calculations according to tables and formulas can be 20-30%.
  • During sex, you can burn approximately 200 calories in 30 minutes.
  • If you’re nervous, you can burn about 400 calories a day.
  • On a calorie deficit, people move less, resulting in less consumption and less weight loss.
  • When you eat celery, you burn more calories than you consume.

How do you know the exact number of calories you burn during physical activity?

There are many ways to find out how many calories you burn during physical activity. All these methods come down to statistical tables, calculations and formulas. Unfortunately, this information cannot be accurate, since the calculations do not take into account the individual characteristics of the organism. Without special equipment, it is impossible to calculate the exact calorie consumption. This will become an incredibly boring, monotonous activity for you.

It’s not the burning of calories that brings results, but the control of nutrition!

It is the control of the caloric content of the diet, and not physical exercise, that is the surest way to maintain or reduce weight.

Most fitness trackers lie

In calculating the calories burned, conventional fitness trackers are guided by steps, or heart rate. Unfortunately, this approach leads to inaccurate readings.

For example, the heart may beat faster from stress, but this does not mean that you are burning calories at this moment, as in a shuttle run. As a rule, heart rate measurements make sense at the time of an intense workout, but with less difficult workouts, the accuracy of the calculations decreases.

Step counting works if you are walking or running, but does not reflect the actual calorie consumption during squats and other physical exercises. If you’re not going anywhere, regular fitness trackers may not register activity.

The HEALBE GoBe smart bracelet helps you manage your daily energy balance and 100% automatically calculates the number of calories digested during food and spent during physical activity.

Why is the HEALBE GoBe smart bracelet better than any other fitness tracker?

We use the most advanced technology to provide accurate data to our users.

The HEALBE GoBe uses three sensors to automatically calculate calories burned:

Collecting data from several sensors allows you to more accurately calculate how many calories you burn per day, not only at the time of training. HEALBE GoBe also takes into account basal metabolism, walking, running and routine activities.

When counting calories, the smart bracelet also relies on your individual characteristics: gender, height, weight and age.

How to use HEALBE GoBe to calculate calories burned?

  • The data you enter into the app is important when calculating your basal metabolic rate, so if your weight changes, remember to update your profile.
  • GoBe will motivate you to burn more calories, walk and eat right, but only you can change your habits!
  • If you have a Withings Smart Body Analyzer, you can sync your scale with the HEALBE GoBe app and the data will be updated automatically after each weighing.

HEALBE GoBe provides detailed information on how many calories you burn during various types of physical activity and divides the activity into several types: 2 On the chart “Energy balance » In the application, you can track how much energy is spent day and night during daily activities, sleep, digestion.

The HEALBE GoBe smart bracelet counts steps and distance traveled, calculates the time you spent sitting or standing, knows how many calories you burned in the process, and provides a complete report. With this information, you can easily determine what lifestyle changes you need to make to burn even more calories or gain weight.

Why do you need HEALBE GoBe?

GoBe will help you control your nutrition and physical activity, get the body of your dreams and feel healthy, strong and fit!


The world’s only smart bracelet with a unique automatic calorie counting feature.