Calories are a unit of energy that are essential for the body to function properly. The number of calories an individual needs to burn each day depends on several factors, including their age, gender, weight, height, and physical activity level.
The average adult needs to burn at least 1200 calories per day to maintain their weight. However, this number can vary significantly based on a person’s individual circumstances. For example, a sedentary person who does little to no exercise will need fewer calories than an active person who engages in regular physical activity.
To determine how many calories you should burn each day, you’ll need to consider your basal metabolic rate (BMR) and your physical activity level (PAL).
Your BMR is the number of calories your body burns at rest to maintain essential functions such as breathing, circulation, and cell production. It accounts for about 60-75% of the calories you burn each day.
Your PAL is a measure of the energy you expend through physical activity, including exercise, work, and leisure activities. It accounts for the remaining 25-40% of the calories you burn each day.
There are several ways to calculate your BMR, but one of the most accurate methods is the Mifflin-St Jeor equation:
For men: BMR = 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (years) + 5
For women: BMR = 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (years) – 161
To determine your PAL, you can use the following chart:
Sedentary (little or no exercise): PAL = 1.2
Lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week): PAL = 1.375
Moderately active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week): PAL = 1.55
Very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week): PAL = 1.725
Extremely active (very hard exercise/sports & physical job or 2x training): PAL = 1.9
To calculate your daily calorie needs, multiply your BMR by your PAL. For example, if your BMR is 1500 calories and your PAL is 1.375 (lightly active), you’ll need to burn 2062.5 calories per day to maintain your weight.
It’s important to note that these calculations are just estimates and may not be entirely accurate for everyone. Factors such as muscle mass and hormonal imbalances can also affect your calorie needs.
If you’re trying to lose weight, you’ll need to burn more calories than you consume each day. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends reducing your calorie intake by 500-1000 calories per day to lose 1-2 pounds per week.
It’s also important to remember that weight loss is not just about calorie intake and expenditure. A balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-rich foods is also essential for overall health and weight management.
In summary, the number of calories you should burn each day depends on your BMR and PAL. To calculate your daily calorie needs, multiply your BMR by your PAL. If you’re trying to lose weight, you’ll need to burn more calories than you consume each day by reducing your calorie intake and increasing your physical activity. Remember to focus on overall health and wellness, not just weight loss, by eating a balanced diet and engaging in regular physical activity.