How Many Calories Do You Burn in a Day?

by Suzanne Hiscock

If you want to get rid of excess body fat, you need to know how many calories you burn in day. Knowing how many calories you burn in a day will give you an idea of how many calories you should be eating.  You can then adjust the amount of calories you eat if you want to lose weight and burn fat.

You see, if you eat less calories than your body burns, you’ll create what’s called a calorie deficit—and your body will burn your excess body fat to make up the difference.

Here’s how to figure out how many calories you burn in a day —don’t worry, there’s no math involved!  I’ve got a nifty calculator to help you figure it out after the explanation.

Your body burns calories in three different ways:

1) Basal Metabolism - Your body needs energy every day to survive—even when you sleep!  Your body is constantly working: heart pumping, keeping a normal body temperature, repairing damage, growing.  To do all that work requires energy!

It may be hard to believe, but roughly 60% to 70% of the calories you burn every day is not from exercise.  It’s from keeping all of your body’s systems working.

2) Physical Activity - The second way your body burns calories is through any sort of physical activity.  Whether it’s from walking around while you work or from more formal exercise, any type of movement will burn calories. 

The amount of calories you burn from physical activity can be anywhere from 25% to 40% of the total amount of calories you burn in a day.

3) Digesting Food - In addition to exercise, your body uses up energy to digest the food you eat.  A high-protein meal requires more energy to digest than a high-carb or high-fat meal.  But that doesn’t mean you should just eat protein!  A balanced diet is better for you in the long run.  Digesting food accounts for only 5% to 10% of calories burned.

Create a Calorie Deficit To Burn Body Fat So, how many calories do you burn in a day?  Without paying for expensive lab tests, it’s impossible to give you an exact number.  But have no fear!  I have a nifty calculator that will not only calculate approximately how many calories you burn in a day, it’ll tell you how many calories to eat in order to create a calorie deficit.  You can use it as a starting point.

Calorie Deficit Calculator

Track the Calories You Eat and the Calories You Burn
And if you want to count the calories you eat and burn in a day, you can use the FitWatch Calorie Tracker.  Click here to get your free account!

More Calculators
Basal Metabolic Rate Calculator
Calories Burned During Exercise Calculator

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About the Author

Suzanne is the owner of FitWatch. She's had strong interest in nutrition and exercise for over 20 years, and is an ACE-certified Lifestyle & Weight Management Coach. Back in 2002, she started because she wanted to help people lose weight by creating helpful tools and calculators. A huge fan of calorie counting, Suzanne created the FitWatch Fitness Tracker to make it easy for people to count their calories.