Burning 1000 calories might sound like a lofty goal, but most people burn 1000 calories every day even if they don’t exercise.
Your Basal Metabolic Rate, or BMR, is the number of calories you burn at rest in 24 hours, and it’s probably higher than 1000 calories. Your BMR is the energy your body uses just to keep functioning.
For example, a 180-pound, 30-year-old man has an estimated BMR of 1814 calories per day, and a 135-pound, 40-year-old woman has a BMR of 1267 calories. Some people may have a BMR of less than 1000, but they tend to be elderly or very small/light.
So, for most folk, it’s actually quite hard NOT to burn at least 1000 calories per day!
So, the real question, and what you probably want to know, is how to burn an EXTRA 1000 calories per day. This increased calorie expenditure could help you lose weight faster.
In this article, we explain why and how to burn 1000 extra calories per day and discuss whether such a challenge is healthy or even necessary.
Why Burn an Extra 1000 Calories Per Day?
The main, if not the only, reason to try and burn 1000 extra calories per day is to create a calorie deficit to lose weight and body fat. It’s only by creating a deficit that your force your body to use fat for fuel. No deficit means your body has no reason to use stored fat for energy. Hence, a calorie deficit is critical for fat loss and lowering your body fat percentage.
One pound of excess fat is said to contain 3,500 calories. So, in theory, burning an extra 1000 calories per day means you should lose just under a pound in three days or a little over two pounds per week, which is a good rate of weight loss.
However, for burning 1000 calories to lead to significant weight loss, your calorie intake must match the number of calories needed to maintain your current weight. Otherwise, even burning an additional 1000 calories per day may not help you lose weight.
So, for example, if it takes 2,000 calories to maintain your weight, but you eat 3,000 and burn 1000 through exercise and general physical activity, your weight will remain relatively unchanged.
Use this calculator to determine your maintenance calorie intake, also known as your TDEE or total daily energy expenditure.
It’s also important to note that there is nothing magical or significant about burning 1000 calories. For example, you can achieve weight loss by burning considerably fewer than 1000 calories. However, 600 or 800 don’t make sure a good article headline!
Factors to Consider When Burning 1000 Extra Calories a Day
Burning 1000 extra calories will be easier for some people than others. For example, very fit individuals will be able to burn that much energy in a single workout. In contrast, others will probably need several hours and even all day.
Factors that affect your rate of calorie expenditure include:
- Age – younger people tend to have a higher hourly caloric expenditure than older people. Metabolism tends to decrease with age, especially from the sixth decade onward.
- Weight – the heavier you are, the more calories you burn per hour. This is true for both fat and muscle weight. Body mass has a significant impact on caloric expenditure.
- Gender – men are generally heavier and more muscular than women, so they can potentially burn more calories per hour.
- Fitness – the fitter you are, the harder and longer you can exercise, and the more calories you can burn. For example, a competitive runner who can cover 10 miles in one hour can expect to burn close to 1000 calories in a single workout. However, such a feat is well beyond the fitness of a recreational jogger.
- Lifestyle – being sedentary, e.g., working in an office, makes it much harder to burn 1000 extra calories compared to someone with a physically demanding job, e.g., manual laborer. The more sedentary you are, the more you’ll have to rely on exercise to burn those surplus calories.
- Consistency – while burning 1000 calories could help you lose weight, it’ll only work on the days you actually do it. For example, if you burn an extra 1000 calories per day for a week, you can expect to lose a little over two pounds. But, if you only manage this goal twice a week, you may not even lose one.
Unfortunately, burning an extra 1000 calories can be quite challenging, and doing it every day could be exhausting.
10 Examples of How to Burn 1000 Calories A Day
So, you want to burn 1000 extra calories per day to lose weight faster? Here are some of the ways you can do it. However, you must understand that these are estimates only, and your precise caloric expenditure will depend on your weight, age, gender, etc. Check out our library of calorie calculators to see how much energy different workouts use.
Running burns an average of 10-15 calories per mile, depending on how fast you run plus the other factors discussed in the previous session. The great thing about running is that it’s cheap and readily accessible. All you need is a suitable pair of shoes and someone to run.
That said, running is a high-impact activity, and doing too much, especially on asphalt roads, can cause injuries. As such, it may be impractical to burn 1000 calories every day by running.
Here’s a rough guide to the time you’d need to run at various speeds to burn 1,000 calories:
|5 miles per hour
|6 miles per hour
|7 miles per hour
|8 miles per hour
|10 miles per hour
Cycling is a low-impact activity, so it’s more joint-friendly than running. However, calorie expenditure is generally lower for cycling than for running, so you’ll need to put in a longer workout to burn 1000 calories. Plus, you’ll also need access to a suitable bike.
Here’s a chart showing how long you’d need to cycle at various speeds to burn 1,000 calories:
|5.5 miles per hour
|12–13 miles per hour
|16–19 miles per hour
Your calorie expenditure while walking is very low. However, because walking is easy, you can do a lot of it. It’s entirely possible to spend all day walking, covering many miles. The easiest way to track how far you’ve walked is by counting steps.
It’s generally accepted that walking 1000 steps burns around 30-40 calories, so you’ll need to clock up about 25,000 per day to burn 1000 calories. However, the actual number of steps you need to do to burn 1000 calories will depend on your height/stride length.
Rowing is a great full-body workout that’s also low-impact, so it’s relatively easy on your joints. Most gyms have rowing machines, and they’re also suitable for home use. You can also row outdoors, although this is a tricky skill to learn without a coach on hand to tell you what to do. Plus, you’ll also need a suitable boat.
There are lots of different workouts you can do on a rower, from ultra-intense Tabata intervals to time trials to easy-paced training, and they’re all great calorie burners.
Rowing for 100 minutes at a moderate pace should burn close to 1000 calories.
A lot of CrossFitters are convinced they can burn over 1000 calories an hour. Unfortunately, this is not usually true. While many CrossFit exercises and workouts have a very high energy cost, they’re too intense to do for more than a few minutes at a time.
As such, you’ll probably spend as much time resting as you do working out when you do CrossFit. Most CrossFit workouts are completed in 10-30 minutes. Needless to say, this will significantly lower your hourly calorie expenditure.
That said, if you can stomach it, doing CrossFit for two non-stop hours will burn about 1000 calories.
Swimming is arguably one of the best full-body exercises you can do. The water supports your weight, so it’s completely non-impact and very easy on your joints. Whether you do laps in a pool or swim in the sea or a lake, swimming is not just a good workout but is also a life-saving skill.
On the downside, you’ll have to swim fast or far to burn 1000 calories, and some strokes use more energy than others. That said, swimming freestyle for three miles in about 90 minutes should burn 1000 calories.
While cardio is most people’s go-to calorie-burning workout, lifting weights can also be effective. However, like CrossFit, strength training involves as much resting as it does working out, which limits how many calories you can burn. Maximize your caloric intake by focusing on freeweight compound exercises, as they tend to burn the most calories.
Two hours of intense strength training, including calisthenics or bodyweight exercises, should burn about 1000 calories.
Zumba is a dance-based cardio workout that many people enjoy. It involves a mix of high and low-impact movements performed to different styles of music. Like any group exercise class, it’s up to you how hard you work, and it’s possible to cruise and take it easy or go for it and work really hard.
That said, the average person will need to Zumba non-stop for one and three-quarter hours to burn 1000 calories.
Gardening might seem like an odd choice of calorie-burning activity, but, like general household chores, it can be pretty energetic. Light digging, planting, trimming, mowing, and carrying all use big muscle groups and plenty of energy. Gardening might not feel like a workout, but it does burn plenty of calories.
The average person will burn 1000 calories during three hours of general gardening.
Some people LOVE to shop! They enjoy trawling around stores in hunt of bargains or the latest fashions. Invariably, this pursuit involves a lot of walking and a fair bit of carrying, too.
Providing you don’t stop at every coffee shop you come to for a muffin and a cappuccino, it’ll take five hours of shopping to burn an extra 1000 calories.
Do You Need to Burn 1000 Extra Calories a Day to Lose Weight?
Contrary to what many influencers and fitness personalities might have you believe, you don’t need to burn 1000 extra calories a day to lose weight. In fact, for many people, doing this on a regular basis may be impractical or even unhealthy.
After all, burning 1000 calories takes a lot of time and effort, and doing it every day could become exhausting. Too much exercise with too few rest days is a recipe for overtraining. This chronic condition can cause aches, pains, and even immune system impairment.
So, instead of trying to burn 1000 extra calories per day, most people find it more practical to eat less AND expend a more moderate number of calories. In studies, combining dietary interventions with exercise has been shown to be more effective for weight loss than diet or exercise alone (1).
For example, instead of creating your 1000-calorie deficit by running for 90 minutes, you could cut 500 calories from your caloric intake, and burn 500 through more modest exercise. The total deficit would be the same, but you’d be less reliant on training to achieve it.
Doing 1000-calorie workouts might make for entertaining social media posts, but for most people, they are impractical and unsustainable.
Also, a 1000-calorie deficit is pretty big, and while it will result in significant weight loss, it may be too large to sustain long-term. In fact, most experts suggest a 500-calorie-per-day deficit, which should be more manageable. So while weight loss will be slower, you won’t have to work as hard, so the chances of quitting are lower.
Exhaustive workouts and extreme diets are usually tough to stick to, even though they can produce rapid weight loss. It doesn’t matter how effective a diet or exercise program is; if you can’t maintain it for as long as it takes to reach your target weight, it’s pretty much useless.
Sustainable diet and workout habits are the best way to lose weight and keep it off.
How to Burn 1000 Calories A Day – FAQs
Do you have a question about burning 1000 calories extra per day or weight and fat loss in general? No problem, because we’ve got the answers!
1. Can I burn 1000 calories in a single workout?
It is entirely possible to burn 1000 calories in a single workout. However, you’ll have to train very hard or for a long time to do it. For example, you can burn 1000 calories by running ten miles, doing two hours of CrossFit, or rowing at a moderate pace for 100 minutes.
However, unless you are a fit, experienced exerciser, you probably won’t be able to do this every day, and any missed workouts will mean no calorie deficit, which could delay weight loss.
For this reason, it’s usually best to combine exercise with a reduced-calorie diet.
2. Can I burn an extra 1000 calories without exercising?
Your body burns calories constantly, and most people expend 1000-1500 per day just to stay alive. That said, the more you move, the more calories you burn. As such, you can burn an additional 1000 calories simply by being more active each day.
For most people, this is more manageable and sustainable than doing 1000 calories of exercise. For example, the following activities should take you close to burning 1000 extra calories per day:
|Calories burned (male)
|Calories burned (female)
|Cleaning or sweeping
3. Is burning an extra 1000 calories a day enough for weight loss?
Burning 1000 extra calories could help you lose weight, but it might not. It all depends on your diet. For example, if you need to eat 2,000 calories to sustain your weight but eat 3,500, burning 1000 calories will mean you still have a calorie surplus, so you’ll actually gain weight instead of losing it despite your workouts.
However, suppose you lower your food intake to 2,500 and burn an extra 1000 calories. In that case, you’ll create a daily deficit of 500 calories, which should lead to one pound of weight loss per week.
Exercising off 1000 calories is no guarantee of weight loss.
4. What is the highest number of calories burned in one day?
Studies suggest that the maximum number of calories an average human can burn in 24 hours is equal to 4-5 times their Basal Metabolic Rate, or BMR (2). So, if your BMR is 1200 calories, your maximum theoretical daily energy expenditure will fall between 4800 and 6000 calories.
Of course, in extreme athletic events, the participants can burn vast amounts of calories. However, such fitness feats are far beyond most recreational exercises’ reach. For example, ultra-runners can burn 8000-13,000 calories running 100km (62.5 miles), and endurance cyclists can burn 14,000 during a 24-hour bike race.
This is why nutrition is a such a critical part of endurance sports and why athletes still lose weight during very long events despite eating many thousands of calories. It’s almost impossible to consume 10,000 or more calories when running or cycling huge distances.
5. What is the best workout for weight loss?
All types of exercise increase your caloric expenditure, so in theory, any workout can help you lose weight. That said, some workouts burn more calories than others. Caloric expenditure is usually higher when you work out at a high intensity level or for a long time.
This means there is no single best workout for weight loss, and there are lots of options to choose from. Some of the best calorie-burning include:
- Circuit training
- High-intensity interval training
- Boxing/martial arts training
- Strength training with compound exercises
- Air biking
Ultimately, the best fat loss workout is one you enjoy, can do frequently, and that you can do for long enough to burn the requisite number of calories in a reasonable timeframe.
6. What is the best fat-loss diet?
The best diet for fat loss is the one you can stick to. Not for a week or a month, but for as long as it takes to reach your goal weight or body fat percentage. Unfortunately, some diets are either too strict or too boring for long-term use.
The main thing to look for in a fat-loss diet is that they provide a modest calorie deficit, and you enjoy the foods you’ll be eating. No deficit means no fat loss, and unpleasant foods mean you have a readymade excuse to quit your diet once your initial motivation wears off.
In fact, you may not even need to follow a regimented diet, and can lose fat just by controlling the size of your portions.
Combined with a sensible and sustainable workout regimen, eating less than your maintenance level of calories should result in fat loss.
- How to Lose Upper Body Fat
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- Fat vs. Muscle Weight: How to Tell the Difference
- How To Lose 1 Pound a Day
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- How to Lose 10 Pounds in a Week
- Weight Management 101: How to Calculate Macros
Burning an extra 1000 calories is entirely possible and may help you lose weight. You can burn these calories through exercise, general physical activity, or a combination of these two things. However, if you eat less, you may not need burn an additional 1000 calories each day. After all, you can create a caloric deficit just through dieting. However, most studies suggest that the combination of diet AND exercise work best.
The bottom line is that developing sustainable eating and exercise habits is almost always the best strategy for long-term weight loss and health. Focusing just on burning 1000 calories means you may be missing the big picture. And, if you are eating too much, even a 1000-calorie workout won’t help you lose weight.
- Joseph G, Arviv-Eliashiv R, Tesler R. A comparison of diet versus diet + exercise programs for health improvement in middle-aged, overweight women. Womens Health (Lond). 2020 Jan-Dec;16:1745506520932372. doi: 10.1177/1745506520932372. PMID: 32597335; PMCID: PMC7325539. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7325539/
- Thurber C, Dugas LR, Ocobock C, Carlson B, Speakman JR, Pontzer H. Extreme events reveal an alimentary limit on sustained maximal human energy expenditure. Sci Adv. 2019 Jun 5;5(6):eaaw0341. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw0341. PMID: 31183404; PMCID: PMC6551185. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6551185/