Welcome to calculator for calories burned, the tool that simplifies the process of how to calculate calories burned, making you smarter in the process. Based on the activity type and duration, it estimates how many calories you have burned. Then, it can tell you how much weight you can expect to lose given the calories burned walking, for example.
What are calories?
Put simply, calories are a measure of energy and the definition of a calorie is the energy that’s required for raising the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1º C. Calories in nutrition refer to the energy from food and drink consumed, and also the energy used from physical activity. One needs to burn approximately 3500 calories to lose a pound of body weight.
In nutrition, we actually deal with kilocalories (kcal), where 1 kcal is equal to a thousand “small” calories. This kilocalorie is often called large calorie, Cal or Calorie (with capital ‘C’). As you imagine, 1 kcal = 4.18 kJ. In this article, we use the term “calories” to describe kilocalories for simplicity.
When you mention calories, people immediately think about nutrition, weight loss, and even health problems associated with being overweight, such as heart disease. This is because body fat and calories are very closely related. Body fat is the way our body stores energy for times of necessity, that is, body fat is how we store those extra calories that we ate but never burned. Fat is not necessarily a bad thing, as we explained in our healthy body fat calculator
We will go a bit more into details in a later section, for now, let’s focus on the calculator.
How to calculate calories burned?
The calories burned calculator works out calories burned by using body weight, activity duration as well as metabolic equivalent of task, or METs. 1 MET will be the rate of energy output when resting.
All MET values are estimations and are based upon a 70 kg male, energy output is normally lower in women. The MET calculator also doesn’t take intensity into account so results are to be seen as approximate and not as precise measurements. Even though the MET values used come from the most reliable source available, the updated 2011 compendium of physical activities, you might find that you don’t agree with some of the MET values.
The MET value of an exercise is higher the more energy an activity requires. You can check that by looking at the different MET values for the exercises we have included in this calorie calculator. For example, sleeping has a value of 1 MET while running has a MET of 7.5, much higher.
What exactly is 1 MET, then? It is defined as the ratio of energy spent per unit time during a specific physical activity to a reference value of 3.5 ml O₂/(kg·min). While the MET values allow us to compare activities, they don’t measure energy directly. So you need another step to answer the question how many calories do I burn a day doing certain activity?. Answering that requires some recalculation and for you to convert milliliters of oxygen to calories before we arrive at the final formula:
calories = T * MET * 3.5 * W / (200 * 60)
where T is the duration of activity in seconds, and W is your weight in kilograms.
Our calorie burn calculator uses the formula above for the most accurate estimation of calories burned. If you want to run your calculations by hand, you can also use a simplified version of this equation:
calories = MET * T * W
This equation is based on the approximation that
1 MET = 1 kcal / (kg * h). It is not 100% correct since the real equivalence is
1 kcal/(kg * h) = 1.05 MET, as you can check from the initial formula. Nevertheless, the approximation simplifies calculations so much that a mere 5 percentage difference is an acceptable price to pay.
Now, it’s time to head to the BMI calculator and check where you place, just remember, it’s not a competition, just an indicator. You can also visit our BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) calculator which will tell you how many calories your body requires for its basic existence. It will be a reasonable basis for constructing a new diet plan.