Daily Calorie Expenditure
An individual’s daily calorie expenditure is dependent on a number of factors:

Firstly it will depend on an individual’s basal metabolic rate (BMR), which represents the number of calories burned at rest due to metabolic functions within the body. This is approximately equal to 25 calories per kilogram of body mass, per day.

The second factor to be considered is an individual’s lifestyle and general activity levels. People who are generally more active throughout the day will consume more calories than an inactive person. Below is an approximation of the additional calories used due to lifestyle activity. This is only an approximation as it is difficult to clearly define levels of activity in this manner:

Sedentary Lifestyle (=BMR + 20 %):
Typical characteristics include having a desk-based job (office worker), driving to work, taking the elevator and not the stairs, etc.

Moderately Active Lifestyle (=BMR + 50%):
Typical characteristics include having a job requiring prolonged periods of standing (nurse or factory worker), walking or cycling to work, taking stairs not elevators, etc.

Very Active Lifestyle (=BMR + 75%):
Typical characteristics include having a manual job (labouring or exercise teacher), walking or cycling to work, taking stairs not elevators, etc.

The third and final factor for consideration relates to formal exercise. During formal exercise there is the potential to expend many calories. The exact quantity will depend on the type of activity, the participant’s weight and the intensity. Most cardiovascular machines in a health centre will calculate the calories expelled based on a person’s weight and the intensity at which they are exercising. Below is a list of the approximate amount of calories burned in an hour for each given activity. These are only approximations and do not take into account the participant’s body weight, or the intensity of the activity:

· Aerobic Dancing 550
· Basketball (recreational) 450
· Bicycling (13 mph) 600
· Circuit training 650
· Jogging (6 mph) 650
· Swimming (40 m/min) 500
· Tennis (recreational) 450
· X-country Skiing (5 mph) 650

Approximation of Weekly Calorie Expenditure
Firstly, calculate you BMR:

BMR = Weight (kg) x 25 =

Next, include the additional calories relating to your activity level:

Sedentary Lifestyle = BMR x 1.2 =
Moderately Active Lifestyle = BMR x 1.5 =
Very Active Lifestyle = BMR x 1.75 =

Next multiply this value by 7 for the days of the week:

BMR x Activity Factor x 7 =

Finally, add the number of calories expended during formal exercise throughout the week:

BMR x Activity Factor x 7 + Calories Expended During Formal Exercise =

This gives you the total quantity of calories expended in a given week.

Approximation of Weekly Calorie Intake
There are a number of approaches to approximating weekly calorie intake. Food diary analysis and calorie counting are two examples. The information provided in the ‘GUIDE TO HEALTHY EATING’ can be used to approximate calorific intake using information relating to serving sizes. In addition, this guide provides information on how to ensure a healthy balance of nutrients within an individual’s diet.

Balancing Calories for Weight Management
In order to balance your calories for a given week, simply subtract the number of calories expelled from the number of calories taken in:

Weekly Calorie Intake – Weekly Calories Expenditure = Net Weekly Calories

If this result is negative, the individual’s weight will decrease and if it is positive, the individual’s weight will increase.

As an approximation, in order to reduce your body mass by 1kg, you have to expend 7000 calories more than you intake.

Conversely, to gain 1kg, you have to intake 7000 calories more than you expend.

An individual with weight loss goals should aim to lose between 0.5 and 1 kg body weight per week. Aiming to lose more could result in a slowing of the metabolism, as the body goes into a state of starvation. Therefore, a weekly calorie deficit between 3500 and 7000 kg is required (net calories = -3500 to -7000).

An individual with weight gain goals, aiming to gain between 0.5 and 1 kg body weight per week will require a weekly calorie surplus between 3500 and 7000 (net calories = 3500 to 7000).

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Author's Bio: 

Andrew Smith is a health and fitness professional dedicated to providing free health and fitness information to like-minded, health conscious individuals.