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How Many Calories Does Your Body Burn?
There are many factors that come into play when determining how many calories your body burns on a daily basis. Things such as a person’s sex, weight, height, age, and body composition all affect the amount of calories your body will burn. People with more muscle mass will burn more calories than those with less muscle mass. Those who are taller will burn more calories than those who are shorter. Men burn more calories than women and younger people burn more calories than older people. It’s an intricate system that your body uses to figure out how many calories it needs to make your body run each and every day. This process that our bodies go through is called the basal metabolic rate.
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What is the Basal Metabolic Rate?
The basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the base rate at which your body burns calories for various daily functions such as maintaining internal temperatures, powering muscles, pumping blood throughout the body, and repairing various cells. The BMR uses these calories to keep the heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, muscles, and nervous system in working order.
Though the rate varies slightly from person to person, on average the typical person burns about 70 calories per hour. We burn more calories when we are awake and burn a little less when we are asleep. There are certain factors that can influence BMR such as the body’s internal temperature (for every 1/2 degree (Celsius) rise in body temperature, the BMR increases about 7%), certain medications (such as anti-depressants), injuries, and eating high-fat foods and refined sugars (which can lower BMR).
One of the biggest effects on BMR is muscle mass. The more muscle mass you have on your body, the more calories you will burn daily even at rest. One pound of muscle burns about an additional 30 – 35 calories whereas one pound of fat burns about 5 – 10 calories. So for all the women who are afraid of putting on lean muscle mass, adding it will increase how many calories you burn daily making it easier for you to lose weight.
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How to Estimate Daily Calorie Expenditure
If you go to a site such as BMI-Calculator.net, you can find a BMR calculator and receive an estimate on the amount of calories your body burns daily. All you have to do is put in your height, weight, age, and your sex. From there, the machine will spit out an estimate on how many calories you burn daily.
For example, a 150 lb 35 year old woman who is 5’ 5 would burn around 1448.5 calories every day. This is important if you are trying to lose weight because now you know how many calories your body consumes every day. If you consume 1500 calories a day, you would need to burn a little over 500 calories each day for a week in order to lose one pound of fat. Remember, one pound of fat = 3500 calories and in order to lose one pound of fat in a week, your body will need to be in a 500 calorie deficit each day. Knowing how many calories your body burns and how many calories you consume will let you set realistic calorie burn goals each day to help reach your target weight loss.
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BMI-Calculator.net (2011, February 13). BMI Calculator. Retrieved from http://www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator/
BusyWomenFitness.com (2011, February 13). What is Basal Metabolic Rate? Retrieved from http://www.busywomensfitness.com/basalmetabolicrate.html
LiveStrong.com (2011, February 13). The Average Calories Burned Daily. Retrieved from http://www.livestrong.com/article/155398-the-average-calories-burned-daily/