Calculating How Many Calories Are Burned in a Day

Jenna Fletcher wrote . . . . .

What is a calorie?

Close up of nutritional information on the back of a food label, showing calorie energy, protein, carbohydrate, sugar, and fat content.

The three main food groups — proteins, carbohydrates, and fats — have different calorie contents. Most food products will display the nutritional content, including calories.

Most people think of calories as only having to do with food and weight loss. However, a calorie is a unit of heat energy. A calorie is the amount of energy that is needed to raise 1 gram (g) of water by 1°C.

This measurement can be applied to lots of different energy releasing mechanisms outside of the human body. For the human body, calories are a measure of how much energy the body needs to function.

Food contains calories. Different food has different calorie counts, meaning that each food has a different amount of potential energy.

There are three basic types of foods that make up all the food that humans eat: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. These three different types of food have varying amounts of potential energy per g.

The calorie breakdowns per g for each food type are as follows:

Carbohydrates: 4 calories per g
Proteins: 4 calories per g
Fats: 9 calories per g

Calculating how many calories are burned

Calculating calories consumed and burned up may help with weight management. Various apps and websites are available to aid this process.

Being able to work out how many calories are burned each day is essential to any person looking to maintain, lose, or gain weight.

Knowing what factors contribute to calorie burning can help a person alter their diet or exercise program to accommodate the goal.

An accepted method to calculate how many calories a person burns each day is the Harris-Benedict Formula.

Originally developed in the early 20th century, it was revamped in 1984 and again in 1990 to help improve its accuracy.

The Harris-Benedict formula is a relatively simple process in which a person multiplies their basal metabolic rate (BMR) by their average daily activity level.

BMR is the number of calories a person burns by simply existing. BMR varies based on age, sex, size, and genetics. To calculate BMR, a person uses inches for height, pounds for weight, and years for age in the following formulas:

For men: 66 + (6.2 x weight) + (12.7 x height) – (6.76 x age)

For women: 655.1 + (4.35 x weight) + (4.7 x height) – (4.7 x age)

The results of the BMR calculation are then used to multiply against the average daily activity of the person. Points are awarded based on how active a person is.

Points for activity levels are as follows:

  • 1.2 points for a person who does little to no exercise
  • 1.37 points for a slightly active person who does light exercise 1–3 days a week
  • 1.55 points for a moderately active person who performs moderate exercise 3–5 days a week
  • 1.725 points for a very active person who exercises hard 6–7 days a week
  • 1.9 points for an extra active person who either has a physically demanding job or has a particularly challenging exercise routine

When the BMR is calculated and the activities points are determined, the two scores are multiplied. The total is the number of calories burned on an average day.

For example, to calculate how many calories a 37-year-old, 6-foot-tall, and 170-pound man who is moderately active burns, the formula would look like:

(66 + (6.2 x 170) + (12.7 x 72) – (6.76 x 37)) x 1.55 = 2,663 calories/day

This figure shows that a man of this age, height, weight, and activity level can consume 2,663 calories and maintain his current weight. He could increase or decrease weight by consuming more or less than this amount over the course of several days.

For those who do not wish to make the calculations themselves, there are a range of calorie calculators available online. Most use a similar formula to work out calories burned.

A doctor or nutritionist should also be able to help people work out how many calories they burn each day.

Factors influencing daily calorie burn

Many factors affect how many calories a person burns each day. Some of the factors that influence daily calorie burn are not in a person’s control while others can be changed.

These factors include:

  • Age: the older a person is, the fewer calories burned per day.
  • Sex: men burn more calories than women.
  • Amount of daily activity: those who move more, burn more calories.
  • Body composition: those with more muscle burn more calories than those who have less muscle.
  • Body size: larger people burn more calories than smaller people, even at rest.
  • Thermogenesis: this is the amount of energy the body uses to break down food.
  • Pregnancy: pregnant women burn more calories than non-pregnant women.
  • Breast-feeding: women who are breast-feeding also burn extra calories.

Calories burned by exercise or activities

All activities use up calories, even housework such as vacuuming. More intense physical activity such as aerobics will burn more calories.

Calorie counts for exercise and activity will vary from person to person. Age, sex, body type, and size influence how many calories an individual will burn doing a physical activity.

In general, more intense or strenuous activity will burn more calories than lighter effort exercise.

The following calorie counts are based on a 155-pound person doing the following exercise or activity for 30 minutes:

  • aerobics: 211
  • stationary bike (light effort): 176
  • stationary bike (moderate effort): 247
  • dusting: 70
  • gardening: 176
  • grocery shopping: 106
  • hiking: 211
  • house cleaning: 106
  • jogging: 247
  • running 12-minute miles: 282
  • running 10-minute miles: 352
  • running 7.5-minute miles: 428
  • laundry, including folding clothes: 70
  • mowing the lawn (no riding mowers): 141
  • playing with kids at the playground: 141
  • cooking: 70
  • raking: 141
  • shoveling snow: 211
  • tennis (singles): 282
  • vacuuming: 70
  • brisk walking: 141
  • walking while pushing a stroller: 70
  • weightlifting: 106
  • yoga: 141

Anyone that wants to figure out how many calories they burn can input their statistics into a calorie calculator and find personalized results.

Source: Medical News Today

Read also:

New simple method determines rate at which we burn calories walking up, down, flat . . . . .


Shortbread Crust with Pecan and Maple Syrup Topping


1-1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups all-purpose flour


2 sticks (1 cup) butter
2/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon dark corn syrup
1/3 cup good-quality maple syrup
1/4 heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups pecan halves and/or pieces
2 teaspoons vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF and heavily grease a 9-by-13-inch pan.
  2. To make the crust, cream butter and sugar in a big bowl until light and fluffy. Mix in salt and gradually mix in flour until incorporated.
  3. Crumble mixture into the bottom of the pan, then press it firmly into pan with your fingers.
  4. Bake crust for 12 to 15 minutes, or until it is very pale gold. Set aside.
  5. To make topping, in medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter with brown sugar, corn syrup, maple syrup, cream and salt. Bring to boil and cook, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved, 1 minute or so. Remove from heat and stir in nuts and vanilla.
  6. While topping is still hot, pour over crust. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until top is just starting to bubble, then set aside to let cool completely.
  7. Run a knife around the edges and invert entire baking pan to remove the block instead of trying to pry the squares out of the pan. Flip the block so it’s right-side up and cut the squares as you will.

Makes nine bars.

Source: Winnipeg Free Press

McDonald’s Tested “Phone Off. Fun On” Campaign in One of Its Restaurant in Singapore

Nothing ruins lunchtime conversations more than a smartphone.

And McDonald’s thinks it has a way to combat our modern addiction.

The fast food chain has recently introduced mobile phone lockers in one of its branches in Singapore, encouraging diners to take a break from the virtual world and have real conversations over meals.

Named the “Phone off. Fun On.” campaign, the first 100 transparent lockers are installed in the McDonald’s Marine Cove outlet.

Vitamin D Supplements Linked to Lower Risk of Asthma Attacks

Lisa Rapaport wrote . . . . . .

Asthma attacks serious enough to require steroid treatment or hospitalization may be less likely when people take vitamin D supplements, a recent analysis suggests.

Researchers examined data combined from seven previously published studies with a total of 955 asthma patients who were randomly selected to take vitamin D or a placebo pill, in addition to any other medicines prescribed to manage their symptoms.

When asthma patients took vitamin D supplements, they were 54 percent less likely to have an attack severe enough to require an emergency room visit or hospital admission, the study found. They were also 31 percent less likely to have frequent asthma attacks requiring treatment with corticosteroids.

The apparent benefits of taking vitamin D were significant only in people who started out with a deficiency, however.

“The take-home message is that asthma patients who suffer with attacks (exacerbations) should get their vitamin D level checked, and if it is low, they should take a vitamin D supplement – there is negligible risk associated with doing this, and there is pretty good evidence to suggest that this could reduce their risk of having an attack,” said senior study author Dr. Adrian Martineau of Queen Mary University of London in the UK.

“It’s very important to emphasize that asthma patients should not stop taking their usual asthma therapy,” Martineau said by email. “All of the studies included in our review looked at the effects of giving vitamin D on top of usual therapy.”

Worldwide, more than 300 million people have asthma, and the disease is responsible for an estimated 400,000 deaths each year, researchers note in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

In the study, participants lived in six countries on three continents and ranged in age from 1 to 85 years.

Vitamin D supplement doses varied across all the studies in the analysis. One study tested a 100,000 IU (international units) dose every two months; four studies examined daily doses ranging from 500 IU to 2,000 IU; and two studies explored giving patients vitamin D both daily and once every two months.

Supplements appeared to have the biggest impact on reducing the risk of asthma attacks in people who started out with blood levels of the circulating form of vitamin D that were below 25 nanomoles per liter (nmol/L), which is widely considered deficient. For people who started with circulating levels of 25 nmol/L or higher, there was some reduction in asthma attacks, but the difference was too small to rule out the possibility it was due to chance.

One potential explanation of the results is that vitamin D boosts immunity to respiratory viruses that are the major precipitant of asthma attacks, Martineau said. It also dampens harmful inflammatory responses in the airway that can contribute to the development of an asthma attack and may enhance the anti-inflammatory effects of corticosteroids for some people.

“In addition to benefits in asthma, vitamin D supplementation can reduce risk of colds and flu in people who don’t have asthma and protect against rickets in children and osteomalacia (softening of the bones) in adults,” Martineau said.

“It is possible to take too much vitamin D, and if you do, it can cause high calcium levels that can result in kidney damage in extreme cases,” Martineau added. “However, this would not occur at the doses investigated in the trials that contributed to our analysis.”

The study didn’t examine the ideal dose of vitamin D or test possible reasons the supplement might ease asthma symptoms. The small studies in the analysis also had different methods of measuring the effectiveness of vitamin D for reducing asthma attacks, making it hard to say for sure who would benefit most from supplements.

“This analysis suggests that vitamin D supplementation may be beneficial in patients with asthma, although the evidence is not yet strong enough to recommend its use,” said Dr. Richard Beasley of the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand in Wellington, coauthor of an accompanying editorial.

“Vitamin D supplementation is potentially an attractive therapeutic approach as it is relatively cheap, and vitamin D deficiency is common in many populations where asthma is also common,” Beasley said by email.

Source: Reuters

How Foods Labeled ‘Healthy’ Can Still Make You Fat

Dennis Thompson wrote . . . . . .

Be careful when you reach for foods labeled “healthy” — new research suggests if they have hidden high levels of sugar, you may snack more later.

Prior studies have shown that sugary foods can make a person feel hungrier later in the day, said lead researcher Naomi Mandel, a professor of marketing at Arizona State University.

But these latest findings reveal that people can exercise some self-control over sugar-driven hunger, if they are given fair warning through product packaging, Mandel said.

“When people think something is healthy, they don’t psychologically process it that much and so the physiological factors take over,” Mandel said. “But when they think something is unhealthy, they’re able to override their physical impulses.”

For the study, Mandel and her colleagues created two types of “protein” shakes that tasted the same and contained the same amount of protein and total calories. One shake contained high sugar and low fat, while the other had low sugar and high fat.

The first phase of the experiment involved 76 college students who were randomly given either a high-sugar or low-sugar shake to drink, and then provided potato chips to snack on while watching a video, the study authors said.

The researchers chose potato chips because they wanted to see if the sugar effect “would transfer over to a different kind of snack,” Mandel said.

As expected, the students who had the high-sugar shake ate more potato chips.

In the second phase, researchers explored whether changing participants’ perception of the shakes’ healthiness would influence their snacking habits.

The sugar and non-sugar shakes were randomly passed out to another group of 193 students, but this time they included labeling.

Some shakes were labeled “healthy living” and carried nutrition information claiming they were low in fat, sugar and calories. Others labeled “indulgent” carried info showing they were high in fat, sugar and calories.

People who drank a high-sugar shake labeled “indulgent” ate the least amount of potato chips, even fewer chips than people who drank low-sugar shakes marked as either “healthy” or “indulgent.”

Those who drank a high-sugar shake labeled “healthy” ate more potato chips than any of the other three groups, the findings showed.

Mandel said she’s particularly concerned about the impact from breakfast foods like cereal, yogurt or instant oatmeal, which are marketed as healthy but often contain loads of sugar.

“People think they’re starting out having a healthy breakfast, but they may be setting themselves up to be hungry all day and eat too much over the course of a day because of that,” Mandel said.

Dr. Reshmi Srinathe is an assistant professor of medicine, diabetes, endocrinology and bone disease with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. She said the study shows the importance of food labels and the need for stricter regulation of claims made by product manufacturers.

“Labeling matters,” Srinath said. “When people think something is healthy, they think it gives them a pass to make other food choices that may not be as healthy.”

Srinath and Mandel recommend that people read the Nutrition Facts label and ingredient list included on food packaging, and figure out for themselves whether a product is healthy or not.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is in the process of expanding the Nutrition Facts label to show the amount of added sugar in food, Mandel said.

“I think that’s a good first step,” Mandel said. “Ideally, I would like to see more regulation of a marketing term claiming that a food is healthy or healthful. If it has a lot of added sugar, then it really should not be called healthy.”

The study was published in the journal Appetite.

Source: HealthDay

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