Calorie Calculator

Calorie Calculator

When you are developing a weight control program, the most important thing you need to know is how many calories your body burns in a day.  This calorie calculator will help you determine the number of calories you burn in a day, depending upon the activities you pursue.  You can then understand how to adjust your diet and activity levels so that you can lose weight, maintain weight or even increase weight.

The calorie counter is also very helpful for backpackers.  If you know  how many calories per day you are currently burning,  you can enter the more intense exercise of backpacking and to see how many calories you will need to add to your current diet to manage your weight.  Then you can pack the perfect foods for your needs.

Go ahead and try the calculator below.  It’s pretty self explanatory, but there is a short tutorial and more information below the calculator, so be sure to continue on.

Choose measurement system:
US / Imperial
Metric
Age (years)
Weight (pounds)
Height
Feet Inches
Activities per day in MINUTES (24 hrs = 1440 min)
Minutes left to distribute: 1440
Sleeping
 
Very light
Reading
Sitting
Driving
Eating
Chating
Watching TV
Light
Walking
Cleaning
Cooking
Slow bicycling
Moderate
Fast walking
Hiking
Dancing
Carrying bags
Sex
Heavy
Swimming
Up Hill Hiking
Backpacking
Bouldering
Running
Basketball
Fast bicycling
Working out
Very heavy
Rock Climbing
Mountain Climbing
Up Hill Backpacking
Running Up Hill
Boxing
Heavy workout
Results
  If male If female
Kilocalories that you are burning per day (24h):
 
 
 

Tutorial

  1. Choose whether you wish to use Imperial (pounds, feet inches) or metric (kilograms, centimeters) measures by clicking the appropriate button
  2. Enter your age, weight and height.  These factors all play a role in the number of calories your body uses.
  3. Enter the number of minutes you spend, or expect to spend, in a day on each of the six activity levels from “Sleep” to “Very Heavy”.  As you do this,  you will see the number in the red box decrease.  There are 1440 minutes in a day (24 hours X 60 minutes/hour = 1,440 minutes).  As you enter numbers into the boxes (Hint: you can use the “tab” key on your keyboard to move from one box to another),  the total in the red box will decline.  It will always show you how many minutes you still need to distribute across the activity levels.  The listed activities are just examples to help you choose the correct exercise level.  If you don’t see your particular activity listed, compare it to the listed activities to find a close match to the energy it takes.  Use the ads listed to the right to help you decide the level of your activity based upon your footwear.
  4. Once you have all 1,440 minutes assigned to an activity level, click the “Calculate” button.
  5. The calorie calculator will display the number of calories both a man or a woman would use if they did these activities in a day.
  6. To start over,  click the “Clear the Data” button.

That’s all there is to it.  Go ahead and change the data to test different scenarios.

 

The Problem with Calories and Weight

As you may recall, one calorie is the amount of energy it takes to raise one gram of water one degree celsius at sea level.  The calorie we talk about above and when we talk about the calories in food is 1,000 of these little calories or a kilocalorie.   That’s why it shows the total as ‘kilocalories’ in the calorie calculator.  Scientists essentially burn a gram of a substance to see what happens to the temperature of a gram of water that absorbs the heat to get the number of calories in the substance.  Ok,  so they have a fancy way to do this, but you get the idea.

Scientists have determined that human fat has around 3,500 calories in it. So, if you eat 3,500 fewer calories over the course of a week you will lose a pound, right?  Wrong!  That would make developing a weight control program pretty simple, but your body has other ideas.

First, your body doesn’t use up it’s fat stores by burning them in the same way a scientist burns fat to see what it has for a calorie content. Likewise,  your body doesn’t use the calories from food the same way scientists determine the calories in the food.  Thus, the best we can say about calories is that they are an indicator of the energy your body takes in and the energy it uses — your energy balance.

Second,  your body has choices about how it gets the energy to keep itself going.  The result you see on your scale has a lot to do with what your body chooses to do.  For example,  if you have a lot of fat when you start dieting, you should see a pretty fast weight loss, although often less than  a pound of fat for every 3,500 calories you cut out.  That weight loss is mostly fat and water.  As you get close to your target weight,  you may notice that your weight loss slows.  Eventually your body decides it needs to keep some fat around for emergencies and it may even start burning muscle to keep from losing the remaining fat.

Further,  as your weight declines the amount of energy it takes to perform an activity that involves moving your weight around declines.  If you keep eating and exercising the same way you simply aren’t expending the same amount of energy to perform the  same exercise.  If you want to continue to lose weight, you need to increase your activity level and/or decrease your calorie intake.

I’m getting beyond the scope of this calorie calculator story, but the point is, don’t expect the calorie counter to resolve all the issues for you.

The Benefits of the Calorie Calculator

You can use the calorie calculator repeatedly to help you adjust your weight control program (so bookmark this page now!).  Start with your current information then modify your activity level and caloric intake for a week to see what happens to your weight.  If you lost some weight, the amount of calories you burn in a day should decrease.  You can use the calculator to figure out how to adjust your activities to continue burning the same amount of energy.  Adjust your program weekly or monthly to get the long-term weight control results you want.

When you re-calibrate weekly or monthly you are accounting for some of the changes going on in your body.  At this point the actual number of calories you burn in a day isn’t particularly important. The week-to-week changes in the way your body burns energy is important.  After a few weeks of using the calculator you should have a pretty good idea on what to do with your weight management program.

 

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8 Comments

  1. Gee, this is useful, will be bookmarking this. Had to rack my brain around working out how many minutes I did things but once I got the numbers in, it was pretty clear with an answer. Cool.

  2. I like keeping up with my calories because it helps me keep my routine balanced

  3. This is very useful in weightloss It was a little tricky distributing the minutes at first. I will use this to adjust my level of activities so I can lose weight. Thanks for this.

  4. Hi Steven and Tracy,

    I appreciate the difficulty in sorting out how many minutes involved in various activities. It almost takes a calculator!

    I thought about setting it up to enter hours rather than minutes, but most activities don’t round to an even hour. Then I thought about half-hour time blocks, but explaining that gets more difficult than minutes (so distribute your activities to 48 1/2 hour units – ugh). That left me with minutes.

    Hopefully the red count-down number will help.

    I’m glad the calorie calculator can help with your weight management efforts.

    -Jerry-

  5. hi there
    what an interesting tool! I was surprised by the amount of calorie I burned. It was more than I thought which is good. Weight loss is indeed not as simple as a mathematical operation. You provide good info in this post, helped me understand the process

  6. Awesome calculator, I can easily manage my new weight control program now!

  7. I really like this tool, it seems very useful, although the minutes thing left me thinking a little bit but I guess it was more accurate like that because a lot of activities are far less than an hour.
    Cheers for this Jerry!

    • Jerry

      Glad you like it Milo. It is a little hard to get ones head around how many minutes in a day they do something and, as you say, setting it up for hours is a little too broad. I thought about 15 minute or half hour time blocks, but those options are equally difficult to think about.

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