If one has normal activity throughout the day, for example wake up at 10AM sleep at 11:30PM, drive to work, work, walk to get lunch, drive home, do laundry, etc.

What is the estimated amount of calories one will burn. I heard you even burn calories while you sleep, so please estimate that in and add to the estimate.

Please assume, that this person does not get any cardio or workout in his daily activity.


  • 2
    I suggest you edit your question to ask how you can estimate you calories, rather than asking for an estimate based on a vague description.
    – Ivo Flipse
    Commented Mar 18, 2011 at 14:55

4 Answers 4


To get a fairly exact calculation follow these steps:

Step 1: Calculate your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). This is the number of calories that's needed to keep your body functioning without you doing any activity at all. It doesn't take muscle mass into consideration so it will underestimate the calories needs for very muscular people and overestimate them for obese people.

The formula is:


Women: BMR = 655 + ( 9.6 x weight in kilos ) + ( 1.8 x height in cm ) - ( 4.7 x age in years )

Men: BMR = 66 + ( 13.7 x weight in kilos ) + ( 5 x height in cm ) - ( 6.8 x age in years )


Women: BMR = 655 + ( 4.35 x weight in pounds ) + ( 4.7 x height in inches ) - ( 4.7 x age in years )

Men: BMR = 66 + ( 6.23 x weight in pounds ) + ( 12.7 x height in inches ) - ( 6.8 x age in year )

So for example if you're a 32 year old man who is 181 cm tall and weighs 89 kilos, the BMR would be 1973.

Step 2: Calculate your Physical Activity Level (PAL). This is done by looking at the BMR value for the different activities you do each day.

Here's some example of activities and what BMR value they have:

  • Sleeping, lie down silently 0.9
  • Sit silently, drive, watch tv 1
  • Office work sitting down 1.5
  • Cooking, eating 2
  • Shower, get dressed, light household work, work standing up 2.5
  • Walking on flat ground, cycle 16 km/h 4
  • Aerobics low impact 5
  • Jog 7 km/h 7
  • Ice hockey game, basketball game 8
  • Football game, jog 10 km/h, swimming breaststroke 10
  • Cycle 25-30 km/h 12
  • Running 16 km/h 16

So for example if you spend 8 h sleeping, 6 h drive & watch tv, 8 h office work, 1.5 h light household work and 0.5 h walking, the total BMR value for one day is 27.2 (8*0.9 + 6*1 + 8*1.5 + 1.5*2.5 + 0.5*4). Divide this by 24 hours and you get the average PAL value for a day, which in this case is 1.13.

Step 3: Multiply the average PAL value with the BMR value and you'll get the number of calories you can eat per day to maintain your weight: 1.13 * 1973 = 2229.49 kcal.

  • 4
    I love this answer, but sources would make this answer even more awesome. Commented Mar 18, 2011 at 13:58
  • @md5sum - I would have posted my source, only reason I didn't is that it's in Swedish! :) But I guess google translate might help so here it is: uppladdningen.nu
    – annelie
    Commented Mar 18, 2011 at 14:01
  • More specifically, this is the awesome page where you can just fill in your values and it'll do the calculations for you: uppladdningen.nu/uppladdningenwww/main.nsf/page.items.www/…
    – annelie
    Commented Mar 18, 2011 at 14:02
  • 1
    This is surprisingly accurate for me! +1 Commented Mar 18, 2011 at 15:09
  • Football rates higher than basketball? Maybe if you're playing against old people. Commented Mar 20, 2011 at 22:34

Well, you can figure out how many calories your body burns in a resting state (BMR) by using one of the various calculators on the Internet.

Once you get your resting BMR, you just have to multiply that by your activity factor, and that should give you a rough estimate of how many calories you burn in a day.


It depends on a whole bunch of variables: age, gender, type of work.

When I decided to lose some weight I started counting my calories and on average I was burning 1400 calories a day.

I suggest you start keeping track of your calories for the next month.

  • Any advice on how to keep track of calories burned per day?
    – Pablo
    Commented Mar 18, 2011 at 2:41

The calorie intake approximation increases based on you “activity” level, and in my case with a “sedentary” lifestyle it jumps from a BRM of 1700 to a calorie intake requirement of 2100 (more if you actually exercise). I’ve calculated mine @Calorie Intake Calculator

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.