To learn to effectively count calories, the question inevitably comes up, how many calories do I burn in a day.
I see three main ways to estimate the calories you burn in a day. Be sure to understand that each of these methods will only give an estimate. Calorie counting is not an exact science, but these three methods should put you on the right track.
Method 1: Using a Calorie/BMR Calculator
The first way is to use a calorie calculator such as the BMR calculator on this site. This calculator will return your basal metabolic rate (BMR) which is basically how many calories you burn a day with no activity or digestion happening.
The calculator will then convert your BMR to an estimate of the calories you burn a day depending on how active you are. The calculator is very easy to use and you only need to input basic details about yourself such as your gender, weight, hight and age.
Method 2: Using a Calories Burned Calculator
A calories burned calculator such as the one at our sister site ACalorieCalculator.com can be used to estimate the calories burned in a wide range of activities. A unique feature of the calculator shown here is that you can then sum the calories burned in a number of activities.
For example, you might input your weight and then look at totalling the calories burned for 8 hours sleep, 1 hour jogging, 1 hour eating, 8 hours office work, 2 hours watching tv, …
By summing the calories burned over a 24 hour period, you can get an estimate of how many calories you would be burning that day.
This can be useful to get an idea of the calories burned on a day by day basis depending on your given activities an exercises.
Method 3: Maintaining a Journal
Another method to see how many calories you burn in a day is to maintain a journal. Here, you should record what you eat as well as your weight gain or loss over time.
It is believed that 3500 calories is equal to about a pound. This means that if you are losing about a pound a week for example, you could total the calories you are consuming and then assume you are burning about 3500 calories more than that a week.
While this is not an exact science and it is only possible to get an estimate of the calories you burn in a day, these methods should start to give you the right idea. If you are interested in a more general overview of the calorie counting process itself, you might like to look at our article on how many calories should i eat.