Burning Calories

Calorie Burning Chart for Various Activities


Exercise Calories/hour
Sleeping 55
Eating 85
Sewing 85
Knitting 85
Sitting 85
Standing 100
Driving 110
Office work 140
Housework 160
Golf with trolley 180
Golf without trolley 240
Gardering, planting 250
Dancing 260
Walking 300
Table Tennis 300
Gardering, hoeing 350
Tennis 360
Exercise Calories/hour
Water Aerobics 400
Skating/blading 420
Dancing, aerobic 430
Aerobics 450
Bicycling 500
Jogging 500
Gardering, digging 500
Swimming 500
Cross country ski 500
Hiking 500
Step Aerobics 550
Rowing 550
Power Walking 600
Cycling, studio 650
Squash 650
Skipping with rope 700
Running 700


How to Make Your Body Burn More Calories


You can make weight loss quicker and easier by increasing your metabolic rate and burning more calories.

Being active is an important part of any weight-loss or weight-maintenance program. When you are active, your body uses more energy (calories). And when you burn more calories than you consume, you lose weight loss.

Because 3,500 calories equals about 1 pound (0.45 kilogram) of fat, you need to burn 3,500 calories more than you take in to lose 1 pound. So if you cut 500 calories from your diet each day, you would lose about 1 pound a week (500 calories x 7 days = 3,500 calories). Because of changes that occur in the body over time, however, calories may need to be decreased further to continue weight loss.

While diet has a stronger effect on weight loss than physical activity does, physical activity, including exercise, has a stronger effect in preventing weight gain and maintaining weight loss.

You can do quite a lot to speed up your metabolism – the secret of burning calories lies in knowing what determines your metabolic rate and what you can do to influence it.


You burn calories to provide energy for three main functions:

Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)

This is the amount of calories you burn just by being alive – even when you are lying down, doing nothing. BMR accounts for approximately 60% of the calories burned for an average person.

Burning Calories for Activity

This is the energy used during movement – from lifting your arm to operate the remote control to cleaning the windows. This accounts for approximately 30% of the calories burned by an average person.

Dietary Thermogenesis

The thermogenic effect described as meal-induced heat production – the calories burned in the process of eating, digesting, absorbing and using food.

How to Speed Up Your Rate of Burning Calories

You can influence all these factors, and speed up your rate of burning calories using some, or all, of the following tactics:

Build Muscle

Increase the amount of muscle in your body. For every extra pound of muscle you put on, your body uses around 50 extra calories a day. In a recent study, researchers found that regular weight training boosts basal metabolic rate by about 15%. This is because muscle is ‘metabolically active’ and burns more calories than other body tissue even when you’re not moving.

Training with weights just 3 times a week for around 20 minutes is enough to build muscle. Not only will you be burning more calories, you will look better – whatever your weight.

Move More

Although the average person burns around 30% of calories through daily activity, many sedentary people only use around 15%. Simply being aware of this fact – and taking every opportunity to move can make quite a dramatic difference to the amount of calories you burn.

The trick is to keep the keep moving message in mind. Write the word move on post-it notes and put them in places you’ll notice them when you are sitting still. Then, take every opportunity to move – here is some ideas for burning calories:

Tap your feet
Swing your legs
Drum your fingers
Stand up and stretch
Move your head from side to side
Change position
Wriggle and fidget
Pace up and down
Do not use the internal phone – go in person
Use the upstairs loo
Park in the furthest corner of the car park
Stand up when you are on the phone
Clench and release your muscles

You’ll find lots of opportunities for burning more calories if you remember that you’re looking for them! Keep thinking keep moving.

Eat Spicy Food

There is evidence to show that spices, especially chilli, can raise the metabolic rate by up to 50% for up to 3 hours after you have eaten a spicy meal.

Drinks containing caffeine also stimulate the metabolism, as does green tea.

Aerobic Exercise

As well as the actual amount of calories burned during exercise – studies have shown that sustained, high-intensity exercise makes you burn more calories for several hours afterwards.

Try 30 minute sessions of heart rate raising exercise, such as vigorous walking, step aerobics, jogging, cycling or swimming, 3-4 times a week.

Eat Little and Often

There is some evidence to suggest that eating small, regular meals will keep your metabolism going faster than larger, less frequent meals. There are two reasons why meal frequency may affect your metabolism. Firstly, levels of thyroid hormones begin to drop within hours of eating a meal, and metabolism slows. Secondly, it may be that the thermogenic effect of eating several small meals is slightly higher than eating the same amount of calories all at once.

Provided your small meals do not degenerate into quick-fix, high fat, high sugar snacks, eating little and often can also help to control hunger.

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