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How to Burn Calories Without Exercise

How to Burn Calories Without Exercise

To prevent sickness and to maintain good health, it is essential to eat the right food and get enough exercise and rest. If you are underweight, you can adjust your diet to eat more healthy food and build muscle mass. If you are overweight, you can also decrease calorie consumption and work out more. But how to burn calories without exercise?

What is a Calorie?

A calorie is a measure of energy. It is the amount of energy that is needed to raise 1 gram of water by 1°C. Calorie burning means burning the energy stored in your body. When people want to lose weight, some of them look at the calories they take in and the calories they burn.

How Does the Body Burn Calories?

Even when you are doing nothing, your body is in calorie-burning mode. Your body does this to do a lot of necessary functions so that you can be comfortable and healthy. It regulates functions such as:

  • Blood circulation
  • Food digestion
  • Waste elimination
  • The repair and building of cells and tissues
  • Maintaining maintenance of body temperature
  • Regulating the brain and nervous system

All these functions require calories. This is a helpful fact for those who want to learn how to burn calories without exercise.

How Calorie Burning Works

Calorie burning only works in helping you lose weight if you burn more calories than you consume. For example, a woman who leads a relatively sedentary lifestyle burns about 1600 calories. If that person eats and drinks a total of 1600 calories only, she will retain her weight. On the other hand, she will lose weight if she eats less. To gain weight, she will need to eat more. For those who are interested in using calorie counters to lose weight, note that you need to burn 3500 calories to lose one pound of fat. This is equivalent to eating 500 calories less per day for a week, or burning 500 extra calories per day for a week.

If your goal is to lose 10 pounds, you need to burn 35,000 more calories than the number of calories you eat. This is how calorie-burning works in the process of losing weight. To find out how to burn calories without exercise, you need to know this first. You can then choose to cut down on food, walk more, or do other things that will have you moving around more.

3 Main Functions of Calorie Burning

Your body burns calories for three main functions:

  • Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). These are calories that you burn so you can stay alive. This comprises 60% of the calories that you consume.
  • Resting Metabolic Rate. These are calories that you burn due to daily movement. This comprises 30% of the calories that you consume.
  • Dietary Thermogenesis (or the thermic effect of food). These are calories that you burn due to meal-induced heat production, which includes eating, digesting, absorption, and using food for other activities.

Factors that Affect Calorie Burning

Several factors affect how many calories you can burn in a day. Factors like age, sex, and height are things that you cannot control. Factors like weight, body fat percentage, how active you are during work, how much exercise you get each week, and what type of activity you do on a day-to-day basis are things that you can control.

If you want to know how to burn calories without exercise, simply move more. The more calories you burn, the better the chances that you lose weight.

Calorie per Food Type

The food that you eat matters when you are trying to make a change in your weight or body composition. Knowing how many calories are in each food type can help you decide what kind of food you should be consuming. Eating the right diet can help you achieve your desired body weight.

For those who want to know how much calorie is in each food type:

  • Carbohydrates: 4 calories per gram
  • Protein: 4 calories per gram
  • Fat: 9 nine calories per gram

how to burn calories without exercise

How Many Calories Does a Person Burn Daily?

One of the best ways to gauge how many calories a person burns per day is by using the Harris-Benedict Formula. The computation was first published in 1918 and last updated in 1990 to improve accuracy. This is how you get the numbers:

To calculate your BMR, you need your sex, age, and weight. The original formulas for calculating this number are as follows, using pounds for weight, inches for height, and years for age.

  • 66 + (6.2 x weight) + (12.7 x height) – (6.76 x age) = BMR for men
  • 655.1 + (4.35 x weight) + (4.7 x height) – (4.7 x age) = BMR for women

After you figure out your BMR, find out your activity level number by using the guide below:

  • 1.2: sedentary (little to no exercise)
  • 1.375: lightly active (light exercise 1-3 days per week)
  • 1.55: moderately active (moderate exercise 3-5 days per week)
  • 1.725: very active (hard exercise 6-7 days per week)
  • 1.9: extra active (strenuous exercise/training or physical job)

Once you have this, you just need to calculate the BMR x activity level = the number of calories needed to maintain your body weight. Another important number to know is your BMI.

Calorie Burning: Diet vs. Working Out

One of the age-old questions that people have about calorie burning is which one works better if your goal is to lose weight? Is it lessening your food intake or working out more?

The answer: Eating less means taking in fewer calories. This is good for those who want to learn how to burn calories without exercise.

Exercising or working out alone cannot help you lose weight, but it can help keep the weight off. A combination of the two is the healthiest way for someone to lose weight and achieve their healthy ideal. The most important thing is to practice consistency and to make eating less and exercising into a habit.

Key Takeaways

Our body burns calories even when we are not doing anything. And if we want to make changes in our bodies, we need to adjust our lifestyle. You can eat healthier, work out more, or simply eat less. Understanding how your body consumes energy is vital in developing a plan to achieve a healthier you. For results that are healthy and sustainable, it is best to consult your doctor and nutritionist.

Learn more about Health Fitness, here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


How to Make Your Body Burn More Calories, https://www.weightlossresources.co.uk/calories/burning_calories/burn_more_calories.htm Accessed June 10, 2020

Metabolism and Weight Loss: How You Burn Calories, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/in-depth/metabolism/art-20046508 Accessed June 10, 2020

Factors That Can Affect Calorie Burn, https://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/6326242/factors-that-can-affect-calorie-burn/ Accessed June 10, 2020

How to Determine Calorie Burn, https://www.mdanderson.org/publications/focused-on-health/How-to-determine-calorie-burn.h27Z1591413.html Accessed June 10, 2020

Physical Activity for a Healthy Weight, https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/physical_activity/index.html Accessed June 10, 2020

Cutting Calories, https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/healthy_eating/cutting_calories.html Accessed June 10, 2020

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Written by Kathy Kenny Ylaya Ngo Updated Aug 18
Medically reviewed by Maria Bianca Angelica Mercado Tech, M.D.