Workout Guide

How Many Calories Burned To Effectively Lose Weight?

Calories are the energy your body needs in order to function properly. And you can find them in any kind of foods, but the amount will vary.

Obviously, eating less or more than you need will result in gaining or losing weight. Therefore, knowing the exact amount of food you need to consume and the precise quantity of calories you need to burn is crucial for you to have a perfect body!

How to Count Calories

How to Count Calories
How to Count Calories

Many of us may question about the amount of calories we should burn a day. Fortunately, the Harris-Benedict formula comes in handy in estimating how much calories we need to use for daily activities.

The key factor of this famous formula is the individual basal metabolic rate (BMR). The BMR lets us know our required calories for a day. Accordingly, we can decrease the calories taken in to lose weight and vice versa.

BMR Calculation

Tips on Losing Weight
Tips on Losing Weight

To do the BMR calculation, you will need your age, weight, and age:

  • For men: BMR = 66 + (6.2 x weight) + (12.7 x height) – (6.76 x age)
  • For women: BMR = 655.1 + (4.35 x weight) + (4.7 x height) – (4.7 x age)

You can look at these following example for a clear understanding of how to calculate your BMR:

  • For a 30-year-old woman with 6 feet 5 inches height and  140 pound weight, her BMR would be
    • 655.1 + (4.35 x 140) + (4.7 x 65) – (4.7×30) = 1,428.6
  • For a 30-year-old man whose height is 8 feet 7 inches and weight is 160 pound, his BMR would be
    • 66 + (6.2 x 160) + (12.7 x 87) – (6.76 x 30) = 1,960.1

Activity level

The BMR itself is not accurate enough to determine your required calories consumption, especially when you have an intense workout. Therefore, when you know your BMR, it’s time to estimate your activity level according to the below criteria:

  • 1.2 underactive (little to no exercise)
  • 1.375  lightly active (exercise from 1 to 3 days a week)
  • 1.55 moderately active (exercise from 3 to 5 days a week)
  • 1.725  very active (intense exercise from 6 to 7 days a week)
  • 1.9: super active (very intense exercise or hard physical job)

Now we will get our full equation!

Suppose that the woman and the man from the above example are underactive and superactive respectively, then we will have the full equation below:

  • Daily amount to maintain the woman’s current weight
    • 1428.6 (BMR) x 1.2 (activity level) = 1714.32 calories
  • Daily amount to maintain the man’s current weight
    • 1960.1 (BMR) x 1.9 (activity level) = 3724.19 calories

Therefore, if the woman wants to gain weight, she will need to consume more than 1714.32 calories a day. On the other hand, if the man want to lose weight, he will have to take in less than 3724.19 calories a day. Then, how about you?

Tips on Losing Weight

It is always easier to gain weight than to lose weight. To gain weight, you just need to consume more calories than you burn. However, to lose weight, you need to decide carefully what you take in. The less energy you absorb, the less effort you have to make in order to burn calories.

How Many Calories Burned To Effectively Lose Weight
How Many Calories Burned To Effectively Lose Weight

Workout and activities

Truth be told, the best way to burn calories and lose weight is to work out and perform exercises. Here are some of them and the calories burned in case you do them seriously. Just Not Sports sharing this chart:

Approximate calories burned by a 155-pound man
DAILY physical activities: In 30 minutes In 1 hour
Cleaning gutters 186 N/A
Gardening 167 N/A
Washing car 167 N/A
Playing with kids 149 N/A
Grocery shopping with a cart 130 N/A
Cooking 93 N/A
Sitting in meetings 60 N/A
Light office work 56 N/A
Computer work: 51 51 N/A
Standing in line 47 N/A
Reading 42 N/A
Watching television 28 N/A
Sleeping 23
MODERATE physical activities: In 30 minutes In 1 hour
Hiking 185 370
Light gardening/ yard work 165 330
Dancing 165 330
Golf (walking and carrying clubs) 165 330
Bicycling (less than 10 mph) 145 290
Walking (3.5 mph) 140 280
Weight training (general light workout) 110 220
Stretching 90 180
INTENSE physical activities: In 30 minutes In 1 hour
Running/ jogging (5 mph) 295 590
Bicycling (more than 10 mph) 295 590
Swimming (slow freestyle laps) 255 510
Aerobics 240 480
Walking (4.5 mph) 230 460
Heavy yard work (chopping wood) 220 440
Weight lifting (vigorous effort) 220 440
Basketball (vigorous) 220 440


Cutting calories by appropriately consuming foods

Besides going to the gym, the way you consume foods is obviously the most excellent method to lose weight. However, if you cut a lot, you may experience severe health problems.

Here are some common ways  you can try to cut down on calories:

  • Avoid  high-calorie but  low-nutrition foods
  • Replace high-calorie foods with lower-calorie ones
  • Decrease your portion sizes

Avoiding  high-calorie but  low-nutrition foods

Skipping a few high-calorie foods is a good start if you want to decrease the amount of calories taken in.

For example, it is fine to skip a morning latte, a lunch soda, or a dinner bowl of ice cream, and to consume more of high-nutrition but low-calorie foods.

Rather than Calories* Try Calories*
16 ounces of flavored latte 250 16 ounces of black coffee 4
1 cup of chocolate ice-cream 285 1 and 1/2 cups of strawberries 69
16 ounces of lemon-lime soda 201 16 ounces of sparkling water 0

*Actual calories can vary depending on manufacturers

Therefore, if you replace flavored latte with black coffee, you save time to burn 264 calories.

Swapping high-calorie foods for lower calorie options

There are foods containing the same nutritions but different amount of calories. So you may want to have the ones with less calories.

Rather than Calories* Try Calories*
8 ounces of whole milk 149 8 ounces of skim milk 91
2 slices of regular-crust pepperoni pizza (14 inches) 626 1 slice of regular-crust pepperoni pizza, and 2 cups grapes 437
3 ounces (1 pack) of ranch-flavored tortilla chips 426 3 and 1/2 cups popcorn 109

*Actual calories can vary depending on manufacturers

As a matter of fact, to lose weight, replacing chips with popcorn may help you “burn” 317 calories.

Reducing your portion sizes

The more you eat, the more calories you consume. Therefore, try your best to eat enough or less for a better result of losing weight.

A regular portion Calories* A standard portion Calories*
8 ounces of orange juice 117 4 ounces of orange juice 59
73 grams of buttermilk pancake 175 73 grams of buttermilk pancake 86
1 and ½ cups of cooked whole-grain spaghetti noodles 277 ½ cups of cooked whole-grain spaghetti noodles 92

*Actual calories can vary depending on manufacturers

According to the table, having a standard portion of spaghetti noodles helps you cut 185 calories.

Mick Foley
the authorMick Foley
An aspiring Pro Wrestler, Mike loves working out in the gym and attending MMA classes. When not lifting weights, Mike will most probably be lifting his PS4 controller. He writes for Resistance Pro to share all that he has learnt.

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