Calculating Energy Expenditure

Losing or gaining body weight is a matter of getting the right balance between energy in and energy out. The 'energy in' component is determined by the food you eat. The 'energy out' component is determined by the energy expenditure of the cells of your body. There are two primary components that make up your body's energy expenditure, the energy you use at rest (basal metabolic rate, BMR) and the additional energy that is expended during physical activity (METs).

See the specific pages on BMR and METs to understand and determine your daily energy requirements. If you are after just a simple rough estimate, use the information below. Be aware that the range for total daily energy expenditure is highly variable. It depends on many factors, including: activity level, age, gender, size, weight and body composition.

Using a Pedometer

You can use a pedometer, which is a device for counting the number of steps you take, and therefore can estimate the amount of activity that you perform. From the number of steps taken, the walking distance and calories burned can also be calculated. More about pedometers.

Total Energy Expenditure

You can roughly estimate your daily calorie requirements using the following simple formulas:

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