Average Calories Burned in a Day
What did you do today? Trained for a marathon? Flipped burgers for 10 or 12 hours? Played couch potato and did nothing more strenuous than pick up the remote control? Read a novel?
All these questions come into play if you are to determine the average calories burned in a day. The number isn’t the same for any two people and it is usually isn’t the same for any one person on more than one day. There are just too many differences that determine metabolic rate, including the food you eat on any given day.
American adults need roughly 2,000 calories each day to maintain body function. Some of us need a bit more and some of us need a bit less, depending on lifestyle and the day’s activity level. Two thousand is just the average number of calories for the average American adult to consume on a given day.
To determine the average calories burned in a day, we need to understand basal metabolic rate and the thermic effect of food.
Basal metabolic rate, or BMR, is what’s required to keep us alive, even if we don’t move at all, all day long. BMR represents the energy (calories) burned while breathing, while the heart is beating, body temperature is remaining stable, sneezing, hair growing, all that stuff we can’t stop.
As a rule, men have a higher BMR than women do so the average calories burned in a day by men is greater than that of women. You can figure your BMR using one of the following two formulas:
Adult man = (6.3 x weight in pounds) + 66 + (12.9 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in years).
Adult woman = (4.3 x weight) + 655 = (4.7 x height) – (4.7 x age).
The food you eat will contribute to the average calories burned in a day. Yes, you’ll be adding calories by the very act of eating but you’ll also be burning calories as you digest that food. The calories burned during digestion are known as the thermic effect of food.
Count the number of calories eaten during the day and multiply that number by 10%. That’s the number you’ll need to add to your BMR to determine the minimal number of calories needed on a daily basis.
The third factor required to calculate the average calories burned in a day is your level of physical activity. A 20-year-old male marathon runner will burn a lot more calories each day than his beloved granny, sitting at home knitting him a new pair of running socks.