Calculating Daily Calorie Burn: What You Need to Know

Typically, women require around 1,600–2,200 calories daily, while men generally need 2,200–3,000 calories. However, your specific calorie needs depend on your body composition and activity levels.

Your body keeps burning calories constantly for you, not just when you’re active. Even when you’re not moving much, like reading, sleeping, or sitting around, your body still burns calories. This natural calorie burn can range from 1,300 to over 2,000 calories daily, depending on age and gender.

So, how does your body burn calories during these activities? Let’s break it down!

Daily Calorie Burn

Understanding why your body burns calories goes beyond just focusing on weight loss. It’s essential for survival. Your body burns calories to pump your heart, breathe, think… for every function.

This continuous calorie burn to keep your body functioning is known as metabolism. Specifically, your basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the minimum number of calories your body needs to operate. Even when you’re inactive, your body is at work burning calories to keep all systems running smoothly.

Your calorie burn consists of three main parts:

Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) – This is how many calories your body burns at rest. Even when you’re not doing anything, your body is still working to keep you alive, like breathing and digesting food. BMR makes up about 65% of your total calorie burn.

Activity Level – This is the number of calories you burn through physical movement. The more active you are, the more calories you burn. Activity level makes up around 20% of your calorie burn and varies depending on how much you move.

Thermic Effect of Food – Digesting food requires energy, but this only makes up about 10% of your total calorie burn.

How Many Calories Do I Burn a Day?

To determine how many calories you burn each day, you’ll need to consider your body composition, including fat and fat-free tissue (like muscle, bone, and organs).

Your body’s fat percentage affects how many calories you naturally burn. Fat is less active metabolically than fat-free tissue, so more fat means fewer calories burned daily.

For instance, a 220-pound (100 kg) man with 30% body fat burns around 2,135 calories daily. But a man of the same weight with only 15% body fat burns about 2,515 calories daily. As you can see, body composition determines your daily calorie burn.

To calculate this, you’ll need:

• Your weight in kilograms (1 kg = 2.2 lbs)
• Your body-fat percentage
• A simple equation

Here’s the equation:
• Weight x body-fat percentage = body-fat weight
• Weight – body-fat weight = fat-free weight
• Body-fat weight x 9 = calories burned by fat
• Fat-free weight x 28 = calories burned by fat-free tissue
• Calories burned by fat + calories burned by fat-free tissue = BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate).

You can also try the TDEE calculator to determine how many calories you burn daily. It also provides your BMI, BMR, Macros, and more information!

How to Check Your Calorie Burn

To find out how many calories you burn during a workout, you have a few options:

• Use a device or app that estimates your calorie burn. Just remember, these can vary in accuracy.
• Wear a heart rate monitor. It’s one of the best ways to track calorie burn because it measures the effort you’re putting in.