If you're asking this question, I'm going to presume that you’re probably looking to change your weight, right? If that’s the case, you've come to right place.
In the article, I’m going to show you how to work out the number of calories you burn each day, based on your own individual body composition.
BMR, or Basal Metabolic Rate, is the estimated rate your body burns calories while resting.
Obviously, if you’re active throughout the day, then you’ll burn more calories than this, but knowing (and regularly reviewing) your BMR will help you with whatever weight management goals you have.
What I want to do in this article, is answer your question – How many calories do I burn a day? – by giving you the number of calories you personally burn at a natural pace.
We’ll then move on to how you can use the information to affect your weight, whether it’s to lose or gain weight.
If you don't want to understand the amazing information behind it and simply want to find out quickly, you can check out our FREE CALORIE CALCULATOR by clicking the link.
So, with that in mind, let’s get into the nitty-gritty and answer your question:
How Many Calories Do I Burn a Day?
To find out the answer (using a slightly different method than in the video above), you’ll need to know your body-fat percentage, or at least have a good estimate of it.
You can use the picture on the right to estimate your body fat percentage.
If you want to be completely accurate, I would suggest bookmarking this page, getting your body-fat checked by a local fitness or healthcare professional, then coming back and picking up from here, once you know.
Finding out how many calories do I burn a day, or what your BMR is, depends on how your body is made up of Fat, and Fat-free tissue. (Muscle, Bone, Organs, etc.)
This is known as your body composition.
The reason you need to know this is that fat is less metabolically active that fat-free tissue, so the more fat you have, the fewer calories you naturally burn each day.
How to work out the number of calories you burn a day.
So how many calories do I burn a day? We need to know 3 things:
- Weight in Kilograms
- Body-fat percentage
- The magic equation (Don’t worry… it’s MUCH less complicated than it looks)
The equation however, I will share with you now: As an example, we’ll use our 100kg, 35% body-fat friend from earlier.
100 × 35% = 35 kg body-fat weight
100 – 35 = 65 kg fat-free weight
35 × 9 = 315 calories burned by fat
65 x 28 = 1,820 calories burned by fat-free tissue
315 + 1,820 = 2,135 calorie BMR
So, there you have it. That’s how you can find the answer to your question, How many calories do I burn a day?
OK, now you know what your BMR is, but how can you use that to affect your weight?
In my opinion, knowing your BMR is one of the best first steps towards manipulating your weight, as it acts as your ‘maintenance’ calorie intake.
Your BMR will change depending on your body composition. I recommend getting a body-fat check every 4-6 weeks so you can check what your BMR is and adjust your calorie intake according to your weight goals.
For Weight Loss:
If your goal is to lose weight, you should consume around 300-500 calories below your BMR, so our friend from earlier should consume around 1,635 – 1,835 calories per day. If he did nothing else, this would lead to a 1lb loss every 7-11 days.
Of course, most people are in some way physically active each day, so this weight loss would be increased by adding in just 20-30 minutes of physical activity each day.
Let’s use walking as an example for this and continue to use our 100kg friend as our benchmark. Walking at 3mph, he would burn around 175 calories for a 30-minute walk.
Combining that with consuming 300-500 calories under maintenance would bring around a 2.5 lb weight loss every 10-14 days.
2.5 lbs may not seem like a lot, but for a simple change to your diet and a slow 30-minute walk each day, it’s getting you going in the right direction.
Compounded over 6 months, that gives you a total loss of around 30 lbs. Not bad, huh?
Here at the Fit Father Project, we have a free 1-day meal plan that shows you exactly how you can eat at the correct level without counting every calorie or eating ‘rabbit food’.
How Activity Comes Into The Equation:
As I've mentioned above, increasing the amount of activity you do each day will also help with your weight loss goals.
You can include this into how you work out your daily calorie intake by multiplying your BMR by the below figures.
- 1.2 points for little or no exercise.
- 1.37 points for light intensity exercise 1–3 days per week. (Walking, low impact static bike, etc.)
- 1.55 points for moderate intensity exercise 3–5 days per week. (Jogging, Water aerobics class, Slow paced cycling, etc.)
- 1.725 points for hard exercise 6–7 days per week. (HIIT classes, Weight training, SPIN class, etc.)
- 1.9 points for a very active person who either has a physically demanding job or has a particularly challenging, daily exercise routine.
For Weight Gain:
To gain weight, which is usually geared to for muscle gain, you should consume around 500 calories above maintenance.
When you add weight, it will be more important to keep an eye on your body-fat %, as you want to make sure you are not gaining too much fat.
I wanted you to understand what your BMR is based on, but if you don’t want to do the math, you can use our easy calorie calculator, by clicking on the link.
The results will be slightly different to what I have advised above, as the calculator considers your suggested activity level also.
Adapting Diet for Calorie Intake
Now that you know how many calories you should be consuming to support your main goal, we’ll dive into the types of food you should eat to get the calories you need.
Our recommendation here at the Fit Father Project is dependant on what you want to achieve.
There is only a slight variance in the ratio, and I will explain the reasons for that below.
40% Protein, 35% Carbs, 25% Fat
35% Protein, 40% Carbs, 25% Fat
The reason the percentage of protein differs is that when you’re losing weight, you need more protein to keep you full and support muscle tissue.
If you start to lose muscle tissue due to a calorie deficit, your metabolism will drop, and it will make it harder for you to continue to lose fat.
When you are gaining weight, you will need slightly more carbs for energy and do not need to rely on protein to keep you full as you will be in a calorie surplus anyway.
Whether your goal is to lose weight or gain weight, your food choices should still be the same, eating clean foods that supply healthy calories that support your body.
Recommendations for each macronutrient:
Protein: Chicken Breast, Sardines, Eggs, Turkey, Lean Beef
Carbohydrates: Sweet Potato, Quinoa, Brown Rice, Ezekiel Bread
Fats: Avocado, MCT or Coconut Oil, Cold pressed Olive Oil
Vegetables: Broccoli, Spinach, Asparagus, Kale, Rocket
With these ingredients, you can make some amazing meals. To get some great examples, grab a copy of our free 1-Day Meal Plan.
The basics of how your body naturally burns calories will give you a great place to start and something to regularly monitor as you go through changing your weight.
If you're looking for a complete program, including healthy eating guide, exercise plans, accountability steps, and goal-setting and mindset advice, we have programs for both weight loss and muscle gain.
If you want to lose weight, then our Fit Father 30X system is what you need. You can check it out by clicking here, or on the book image to the right.
Likewise, if you want to gain weight by adding solid, lean muscle, we have our Old School Muscle system that will get you on the right track to get bigger and stronger in no time.
If this article has been helpful to you, please share it with anyone else you think it could help. We’re on a mission to help 100,000 men and their families by 2020, so your help would be very much appreciated.
Until next time, I wish you every success in your goals.
Your new friend & health coach,
Small note about research cited in this article:
*Always remember: weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual. Just because these studies cite certain data does not mean you will experience these results/outcomes. Always consult with your doctor before making decisions about your health. This is not medical advice – simply well-researched information on how many calories do I burn a day. Thanks for reading!