Calories burned calculator

Sport type
Perceived intensity
Body weight

During this period of exercise you have burned around kcal ( kJ).

Your daily basal metabolic rate (without movement) is kcal ( kJ) with a BMI of ().

How high is my actual calorie consumption? And above all: which sports burn the most energy? There are always a lot of myths circulating on the internet. Some of them make sense, some of them really don't. With our calorie calculator we want to give you a little bit of help and at the same time clarify for you, what your daily energy requirements are composed of and what influences effect them.

Calculate Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)

The BMR is the amount of energy that our bodies need everyday, in order to properly perform basic vital functions. It can be calculated using many different formulas and is for example around 1850 kcal for an average man (30 years old, 80 kg, 180cm) and around 1450 kcal for a woman (30 years old, 65 kg, 165 cm).

The formulas vary depending on gender and BMI:

Formulas for calculating BMR
Gender BMI BMR per day (kcal)
Men < 30 66.5 + 13.7 × weight (kg) + 5 × height (cm) - 6.8 × age
Men ≥ 30 3.4 × weight (kg) + 15.3 × height (cm) - 6.8 × age - 961
Women < 30 655 + 9.6 × weight (kg) + 1.8 × height (cm) - 4.7 × age
Women ≥ 30 2.4 × weight (kg) + 9 × height (cm) - 4.7 × age - 65

It is obvious that: The BMR correlates with age, weight and height and thus also with the Body Mass Index (BMI). The higher this value, the higher the BMR Of course, age and gender also play a role. The older we get, the lower our BMR, since the proportion of muscle mass to body weight drops. For the same reason, women have a lower BMR, since in comparison to men, they have a lower muscle mass.

Calculate Body Mass Index (BMI)

The BMI (Body Mass Index) is the ratio of height to weight and is used and an indicator of being normal weight or overweight. In individual cases this value can however be misleading, which is why the so-called waist-to-hip ratio can be used to make an assessment – but this is another topic.

The BMI is calculated by taking the weight in kilograms divided by the height in metres squared:

BMI = weight ÷ (height × height)

The World Health Organisation (WHO) categorises BMI as underweight, normal weight, overweight, and obese. In the simplified version gender is not taken into account. In the more exact version the upper and lower thresholds for men are estimated somewhat higher than for women, since men as a rule have a higher muscle mass in comparison to body weight.

WHO weight classifications for adults
BMI User weight range
< 16 extremely underweight
16 to 17 moderately underweight
17 to 18.5 slightly underweight
18.5 - 25 Normal weight
25 to 30 Overweight (pre-obesity)
30 to 35 Obese Level I
35 to 40 Obese Level II
≥ 40 Obese Level III

Calculate your actual calorie requirements

Now, most people don't spend the whole day lying around on the couch – even if it's very tempting – we actually go to work, play sport and are active in many different ways. And even when we are just lying around our energy needs are still above BMR level. Therefore, in order to calculate the total energy expenditure, we must use the activity factor with the BMR.

For the sake of simplicity PAL factors (Physical Activity Level) have been defined, and the BMR is simply multiplied by these factors. So a typical pen pusher has a PAL if 1.4 to 1.5 while farmers, miners, or foresters have a PAL of around 2.0 to 2.4. In the above example our man with a predominantly sedentary activity has a total energy requirement of 2775, while physical workers need between 3700 and 4440 kcal per day.

Calorie consumption in sports

The more physically active I am, the more energy I expend. So far, so good. In order to calculate the requirements for individual sports, we can also use the PAL factors. A few examples:

Sport type PAL factor
Jogging & Running 7.0
Alpine skiing 7.0
Mountaineering 6.3
Road bike 8.0
Climbing 5.8
Hillwalking 4.3

Here average values are used, since you would use more energy climbing than you would on the descent. Also, the time needs to be included, since almost noone hikes for 24 hours at a time. If we come back again to our Mr. Example, the calorie requirements for hillwalking come in at around 500 kcal per hour.

Jogging is ideal for increasing your calorie requirements

On positive effect of any kind of training, is that our body is better able to cope with increasing physical demands. Among other things, this leads to the body becoming better able to use the available energy economically. This however has the result, that the calorie requirements are reduced. In short: The more often we run a certain distance, the easier it gets and the energy we need becomes correspondingly lower.

Since the effect of training is of course very individual, it is difficult to factor in. But the effect of this factor can be gauged by subjective perceived effort. If a tour is fairly easy for us, we can assume that we have burned less energy. If it was very demanding, we are using more energy. In this case it can help to know approximately which exercise zone we are in.

More influences on energy requirements

Along with the factors we have already mentioned, there are obviously other factors that are important for making sure, that our body have to work more. Your calorie requirements are fore example greatly increased when you are hillwalking in the desert (heat index) or in cold regions (windchill effect), because your body has to use more energy to keep its temperature stable, and the calorie requirements in mountaineering and hiking are also significantly effected by the thinner air. Your entire circulatory system starts working faster, so that your cells can be supplied with enough oxygen, and this requires a lot of energy. So when you are going on mountain tours it makes sense to bring along enough to eat. Because of the limited space, high-energy trekking food is perfect for this.

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