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How Many Calories Should You Burn a Day? Optimize Weight Loss

Our bodies burn calories not just when we exercise or engage in daily activities, but also when we are at rest. So, how many calories does the body burn on its own each day? And if you want to lose weight effectively, how many calories should you burn a day?

In this article, let’s explore with Grove Health Bondi the concept of calories, the number of calories your body burns daily, and how many calories you need to burn to lose 1kg of body fat. Keep reading to find out more!

How Many Calories Should You Burn a Day?
How Many Calories Should You Burn a Day?

1. What Are Calories?

Calories are a unit of energy, which we consume through food and drink. Physically, a calorie is defined as the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree Celsius.

Thus, consuming food provides energy in the form of heat for the body to function and rest. The total number of calories you burn each day is referred to as your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE).

Kilocalories (Kcal) are also units of energy, but one Kcal is equivalent to 1000 calories. Therefore, 1 Kcal equals 1000 calories.

Calories
Calories

2. How Many Calories Does the Body Burn Daily?

According to estimates from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (OASH), an average adult woman burns about 1,600 – 2,400 calories per day, while men burn around 2,000 – 3,000 calories per day.

However, this number varies for each individual based on their diet, activity level, and personal weight goals.

How Many Calories Does the Body Burn Daily
How Many Calories Does the Body Burn Daily

3. How Many Calories Should You Burn a Day to Lose Weight?

First, to determine how many calories you should burn each day to lose weight, you need to know that 1kg of body fat equals approximately 7,000 calories. Therefore, to lose 1kg per week, you need to create a calorie deficit of about 7,000 calories per week, or 1,000 calories per day.

For a healthy body, maintaining daily activities requires about 1,800 – 2,000 calories. To lose 1kg in a week, you need to burn about 7,000 – 7,700 calories in a week. To ensure safe weight loss, spread out the process over 7 – 10 days.

How Many Calories Should You Burn a Day to Lose Weight
How Many Calories Should You Burn a Day to Lose Weight

4. How to Calculate Daily Calorie Burn for Weight Loss

To calculate how many calories you burn each day, you need to know the following metrics:

  • Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) This is the amount of energy your body needs to maintain basic functions. RMR accounts for 60%-75% of the total calories you burn daily. Factors like age, body composition, and gender influence RMR.
  • Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) This is the energy used for daily activities like walking, washing dishes, or sitting at a desk. The more active you are, the higher your NEAT.
  • Thermic Effect of Exercise (TEE) This is the actual number of calories burned during exercise, depending on the intensity and duration of the workout. Physical activity accounts for 15%-30% of your TEE.
  • Thermic Effect of Food (TEF) Calories are burned while chewing, digesting, and storing food. Different macronutrients have different TEFs. Protein burns the most calories, and TEF makes up about 10% of your daily calorie burn.
How to Calculate Daily Calorie Burn for Weight Loss
How to Calculate Daily Calorie Burn for Weight Loss

5. Steps to Calculate How Many Calories You Should Burn Daily

A simple method to estimate the number of calories you need to burn daily is based on the BMR. Follow these steps:

Step 1: Calculate Your BMR Use your age, gender, height, and weight to determine your BMR, which is similar to your RMR. You can use online health tools to quickly find your BMR.

Step 2: Determine Your Daily Physical Activity Level

  • Light activity (light exercise 1-3 days/week): x 1.2
  • Moderate activity (moderate exercise 3-5 days/week): x 1.4
  • Very active (hard exercise 6-7 days/week): x 1.6
  • Extra active (intense exercise daily and physical job): x 1.9

Multiply your BMR by your activity level to estimate your TDEE. For example, if your BMR is 1,800 calories/day and you are moderately active, the calculation is:

1,800 calories/day x 1.4 (moderate activity) = 2,520 calories/day

6. FAQs

6.1 How Can You Burn More Calories During Exercise?

The number of calories you burn to lose weight depends on the duration and intensity of your workout. To increase calorie burn:

  • Incorporate more cardio exercises.
  • Focus on types of foods that boost fat burning.
  • Increase daily activities like walking, climbing stairs, or biking.
  • Plan a diet that promotes fat burning combined with healthy eating and exercise.

6.2 Should You Cut Carbs to Lose Weight Quickly?

Some believe that only eating vegetables, meat, eggs, and fish without rice will lead to quick weight loss. However, eliminating carbs can cause low blood sugar and constant hunger. It’s not healthy to completely cut out carbs. Instead, eat in moderation to avoid exhaustion during the weight loss process.

7. Conclusion

In conclusion, understanding how many calories should you burn a day is essential for effective weight loss. By calculating your BMR and adjusting for your activity level, you can determine your daily calorie needs. Remember, a balanced approach combining proper nutrition and regular physical activity is key to achieving and maintaining your weight loss goals. Don’t resort to extreme diets or completely cutting out food groups; instead, focus on sustainable habits that support long-term health.

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Glenn Salkeld
Glenn Salkeldhttps://grovehealthbondi.com.au/
Professor Glenn Salkeld is a health economist with more than 30 years experience in public health research and a PhD in the economics of preventive health care. Glenn has a particular interest in screening and diagnostic test evaluation based on the implementation of multi-criteria decision analysis.
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