How many calories should I burn to lose weight?

How many calories should I burn to lose weight?

Burn 2000 calories a week to lose weight.

Gradually progress your exercise to burn 2000 calories or more a week. This is the recommended amount of exercise to lose weight and keep it off.

Burning 2000 calories is equivalent to getting 60 minutes of moderate intensity exercise a day. (The exercise requires a medium amount of effort, such as a brisk walk.)

If you don’t have time for 60 minutes of continuous exercise, break it up into shorter segments.

Adults who have lost 66 lbs burn 2621 calories (average) a week.

Adults who have lost an average of 66 lbs and kept it off for 5.5 years burn an average of 2621 calories a week through exercise:

  • Men burn an average of 2903 calories per week.
  • Women burn an average of 2532 calories per week.

These adults are members of the National Control Registry (NWCR). Actual calories burned range from less than 500 calories to more than 5000 calories a week.

Out of 3683 members:
  • 25% burned less than 1000 calories per week.
  • 75% burned more than 1000 calories per week.
  • 52% burned more than 2000 calories per week.
  • 34% burned 3000 calories or more.

Adults who got more exercise were able to maintain a greater amount of weight loss. Other ways members maintained their weight loss.

What type of exercise do they do?

The most common form of exercise among NWCR members is walking (calories burned walking). Other exercise includes:

Members also estimated how many flights of stairs (calories burned walking up stairs) and street blocks they walked each day. This information was included in their total calorie count. Find out how many calories you burn exercising.

Catenacci, V.A., Ogden, L.G., Stuht, J., Phelan, S., Wing, R.R., Hill, J.O., & Holly R. Wyatt. Physical Activity Patterns in the National Weight Control Registry. Obesity 2008; Vol 16, No 1.
ACSM Position Stand: Appropriate Intervention Strategies for Weight Loss and Prevention of Weight Gain for Adults

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Stephanie Averkamp

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