How many calories do I burn in a day?

Calculate how many calories you burn within a day.

How many calories you burn daily depends on your sex, age, and activity level. We look at how many calories are needed to maintain weight or to lose weight.

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This article is based on scientific evidence, written by experts, and fact-checked by experts.
We look at both sides of the argument and strive to be objective, unbiased, and honest.

Burning calories

Every day, you burn calories when you move around, exercise, and go about your daily tasks.

Your body even burns calories at rest, through basic functions like:

Ever wondered how many calories you burn each day? The Harris-Benedict formula can help you figure this out.

This formula calculates your basal metabolic rate (BMR), which is the number of calories your body needs to function at rest.

With one more calculation, you can work out how many calories you need each day to maintain your current weight. Eating fewer calories than this will result in weight loss.

It is important to note that while calorie intake and exercise are an important part of weight loss, hormones and metabolism also play a major role.

How do you calculate calories burned?

The Harris-Benedict formula, or Harris-Benedict equation, lets you work out how many calories you need to eat per day. The formula is adjusted based on your sex, age, and weight to give a personalized answer.

This equation was first published in 1918. Researchers then revisited the calculation in 1984 and again in 1990 to improve its accuracy.

Once you work out your BMR, you can multiply this figure by a measure of your daily activity level — ranging from sedentary to extra active — to find out the number of calories you need to consume each day to maintain your weight.

Calorie Calculator & Counter

Enter your details in the calculator below to figure out how many calories you should be eating per day to either maintain, lose, or gain weight.


This calculator is for informational purposes only, you should consult a healthcare provider before making any health decisions. The calculator is based on the Mifflin-St. Jeor equation, a formula that has been shown to be an accurate way of estimating calorie needs in numerous studies.

How many calories do you burn from daily activities?

The activity level has a lot to do with how many calories a person needs each day.

Many people think they need to exercise hard to burn calories throughout the day.

While exercise does burn a lot of calories, your body also burns calories while you’re doing normal daily tasks. How much you burn has to do with how much you weigh.

You can use an interactive online calculator to find out how many calories you’ll burn while doing different activities. To use it, simply input your activity, time spent doing it, and your weight.

Do men and women burn calories differently?

Yes, males and females burn calories at different rates. This is why sex is included as a variable in the equation, along with age and weight, which also affect the number of calories a person burns.

Males generally have less body fat than females. They also tend to have more muscle mass. More muscle means the body burns a higher number of calories while at rest.

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So, generally speaking, males usually burn more calories than females overall. That said, the individual’s body composition plays an important role.

Calories and weight loss

Once you know how many calories your body needs to maintain your current weight, eating fewer calories than this will usually lead to weight loss.

Many people choose to reduce their calorie intake by 500 kcal per day to achieve weight loss.

For example, a person with a calorie need of 2,800 per day to maintain their current weight can lose weight if they eat 2,300 calories per day.

As an alternative, you can eat the same number of calories but do more exercise to burn calories. This will also lead to a calorie deficit.

A calorie deficit means that you’re eating fewer calories than you’re burning, which is the key to effective weight loss.

It is important to note that while calorie intake and exercise are an important part of weight loss, hormones and metabolism also play a major role.

Conventional wisdom is that you need to burn 3,500 calories to lose 1 pound. This means reducing calorie intake by 500 kcal per day to lose 1 pound in a week.

Researchers have since called the 3,500-calorie rule into question because it’s not quite that simple. In reality, the number of calories you need to burn depends on how much body fat and muscle you have.

Read more about how many calories to eat for weight loss here.

Tips for losing weight

Losing weight isn’t always as simple as plugging numbers into a calculator.

The most effective way to lose weight and keep it off in the long term is to follow a balanced lifestyle that includes:

Some people also find these tips can help when they’re trying to lose weight:

Last updated on October 11, 2021, and last reviewed by an expert on September 30, 2021.
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