Before counting the calories burnt during daily activities, you need to understand what a calorie is. Plus, what are the factors that affect the number of calories burned?
So, let’s dive right in to find the answers.
What are Calories?
A calorie is simply a unit of energy. It is the nutrition and energy content in food. A more precise and scientific definition of a calorie is the energy required to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1C.
Calories can also be calculated as 1calorie = 4.18 Joules
When nutritionists talk about the nutritional value of some food, they actually mean kilocalories. Where 1 kilocalorie is equal to thousand small calories. Or 1kcal= 4.18kJ.
Likewise, when we hear the word calorie, we immediately think about nutrients, weight loss, weight gain, or even health problems. Body fats and calories are closely related.
Body fat increases when we store those extra calories that we ate but failed to burn. But, all the fats are not always bad. There are some healthy fats necessary for the body.
We can calculate calories from the fat on the basis of body fat’s energy density. 1 kg of body fat stores about 7700 Kcal. This allows the calorie burned calculator to predict the weight loss due to certain exercises.
Factors Affecting Calories Burnt
The number of calories that a person burns performing certain activities depends on many factors. Three major contributing factors are: body mass, duration of the activity, and the metabolic equivalent of task (MET)
Body Mass, Duration, and Exercise Intensity
The body mass affects how many calories a person burns, even at rest. A person with a good height and muscular body will burn more calories than a short heightened skinny person while performing the same activity. This is due to the amount of energy consumed by the body.
Since the body has to make more effort to provide energy to a larger person. For instance, a person who weighs 300 pounds will burn more calories running 1 mile than the person who weighs 150 pounds.
Moreover, the duration of exercise is also a key factor that affects calories burned. The longer the exercises, the more the calories burned. The intensity of the exercises creates a difference here.
If a person walks one mile in an hour, he will burn fewer calories than the person who walks 4 miles in an hour. So the more intense the exercise, the greater the number of calories burned.
Other factors involved in the estimation of calories burned are age, fitness level, temperature, body composition, sleep, diet.
Exercise Intensity Calculator
Exercise intensity can be measured through the heart rate of a person. Heart rate can detect how difficult it is for a person to complete the exercise. If a person performs intense exercise, he will have a higher heart rate.
This is not always an accurate measurement because a physically fit person can have a lower heart rate performing the same exercises than a person who is not fit.
A person’s oxygen consumption during exercise can give a precise calculation—the more the intensity of exercise, the more oxygen consumption.
We can measure oxygen consumption through MET (metabolic equivalent of task). MET is generally oxygen utilization and body mass. It is the ratio of the metabolic rate during exercise to the metabolic rate at rest.
For example, this value can be derived by measuring the MET of a healthy 40years old male who weighs 70 kg. This is the baseline, i.e., a MET value of 1 shows the energy expended by an average person at rest. Higher intensity exercises have a higher MET.
Calories Count and Weight Loss
Exercise or increasing physical activity can help in shedding some pounds. A calorie deficit of 500 calories per day can easily help weight loss.
One pound is approx. 3500 calories so we can lose one pound per week. But this is just an estimate. Other factors can affect this calculation.
Calories Burned Formula
The following equation is used to calculate the calories burned.
Calories = time × [(MET×3.5) × bodyweight] ÷ 200
Where time indicates minutes and body weight is in kilograms.
Calories Burned Calculator
Different Calculators to estimate the calories burned can be used. We can measure calories burned by distance or by activity. The simplest one is as follow:
Calculate calories burned by activity
Calculate calories burned per day
- Body weight:
Calories Burned by the Distance Calculator
Where activity can be cycling, racing, basketball, football, dancing, gardening, playing video games, cooking, driving, etc.
Bodyweight is measured in lbs, Kgs. And duration can be in minutes, hours, seconds, days. Distance is measured in kilometers miles.
Calories Burned Running or Walking
Running has a slightly higher calories burn rate as compared to walking. You can calculate burned calories by using the formula above.
So if you are wondering, how many calories do you burn running a mile, here’s the answer: An average person burns 80 to 140 calories per mile by running.
Therefore, 30 minutes of running will burn 280 to 520 calories depending on weight and speed.
Calories Burned at Rest Calculator
RMR (Resting metabolic rate) tells us how many calories our body requires to perform basic functions when we are at rest. Such as:
- Heart beating
- Blood circulation
- Brain functions
An example of an RMR calculator is as follow:
- Gender: Male
- Age: 30 years
- Height : 180 cm
- Weight : 80 kg
RMR of this person is 2050 calories per day.
Accuracy of Calories Burned Calculator
Most of the calculators are accurate. But the accuracy is not always sure. It can be affected by MET. 1 MET is equal to consuming 3.5 ml of oxygen per kg of body mass per minute. MET values are generally derived by considering the activities done at a constant rate.
But a person can have rest during exercise or activity, so the duration of activity decreases. This will affect the accuracy.
If you use a calorie burn tracker correctly and honestly, it can be more accurate. But a 100% accurate number can only be achieved if the person goes to the lab that measures all the necessary factors. We hope the information in the article is useful.
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