How to Calculate your Calorie Consumption Requirements

How to calculate your calorie consumption requirements

Taking control of your weight – especially if you’re trying to lose weight – means you have to play a numbers game.

In fact, there’s a simple formula that helps you calculate the average number of calories you burn per hour, per exercise. Once you know this, you can work out how many hours you need to work out per day or per week to lose weight. You’ll also be better able to build a meal plan that complements this.

Let’s take a closer look at the maths of weight loss:

3,500 calories equals about 500g of fat. So work off the premise that to burn off 0.5kg of fat, you must burn 3,500 calories.

As such, if you burn 500 calories more than you consume each day (by reducing your diet and exercising), you can lose about 0.5kg per week (500 calories x 7 days = 3,500 calories).

The question now is, how many calories does your favourite exercise modality burn?

Different sports and exercises, burn calories at different rates. The table below will give you a good idea of the calorie burn per sport/exercise.

Activity 1 hour of training for a 58kg person
Aerobic dance (like Zumba) 650 calories
Aerobics, high impact 413 calories
Cycling at 19 kph 566 calories
Cycling at 24 kph 708 calories
Cycling at 29 kph 850 calories
Boxing 660 calories
Circuit weight training 756 calories
Cross-country skiing 660 calories
Cross-country skiing (uphill) 974 calories
Elliptical trainer 670 calories
Roller skating/rollerblading 600 calories
Jumping Jacks 476 calories
Karate, tae kwon do 720 calories
Kayaking 296 calories
Kettlebells 1000 calories
Push ups 499 calories
Rowing machine 415 calories
Running (06:12 min/km pace) 731 calories
Running (04:58 min/km pace) 890 calories
Sit ups 476 calories
Skipping (60-80 skips/min) 572 calories
Ski machine 564 calories
Slider 608 calories
Spinning 671 calories
Step aerobics 624 calories
Step machine 413 calories
Swimming freestyle (1.9km/h pace) 497  calories
Swimming freestyle (2.7km/h pace) 523 calories
Tennis 464 calories
Walking, flat (12:25 min/km pace) 240 calories
Walking, hills (12:25 min/km pace) 324 calories
Walking, flat (09:19 min/km pace) 292 calories
Walking, hills (09:19 min/km pace) 412 calories
Water aerobics 280 calories
Weight lifting 359 calories


Author: Tanja Schmitz

Founder and Editor of Fitness Magazine. You’ll find her behind her computer or on her bike, dreaming up new ways to improve or create content for you.