Unfortunately, weight loss is not a one size fits all approach. Balancing calorie intake with calorie expenditure is the basis for weight loss, but more factors like genetics, health issues, metabolic rate, etc. also impact individual weight loss results.
Sustainable weight loss should incorporate healthy lifestyle patterns like healthy, balanced eating, increased movement, adequate sleep, positive stress relief, etc.
Increasing calorie burn through exercise is an important component for weight loss and overall health.
The good news is increasing exercise doesn’t have to be one way; you can increase your movement however best suites you.
Why burn 500 calories a day?
While this may not be 100% accurate, it can be a good place to start for weight loss. Using 3,500 calories is also conducive to figuring out how many calories per day you should be under because 3,500 ÷ 7 = 500.
Therefore, if you want to average weight loss of about a pound a week, which is recommended by health professionals, burning an extra 500 calories per day can help get you there.
What you do to burn an extra 500 calories everyday can vary, and how long it will take to burn 500 calories can vary based on sex, age, body size, genetics, etc.
In general, estimating how many calories to burn a day are usually based off of body size. This can be a guide for calorie estimation, but note that individual calorie burns can vary.
How to Burn 500 calories in the morning
What time you exercise isn’t critical; what is critical is to fit in exercise where you can. Many people choose to exercise in the morning before the business of your day begins.
It will mean waking up earlier and planning ahead for making time in the morning. However, you won’t regret starting your day with moving your body.
It will make you feel energized and grateful for the rest of the day.
Any exercise can be done any time of day, but here are some suggestions for burning 500 calories in the morning.
Calorie estimates are based on body weights of 155 and 185 pound from a calorie burn table provided by Harvard Health (1).
|Exercise||155 pound body weight||185 pound weight|
|Aerobics, light to moderate||About 1 hour||About 50 minutes|
|Running 5 mph or swimming (back stroke)||About 50 minutes||About 42 minutes|
|Vigorous weight lifting||About 67 minutes||About 56 minutes|
|Stationary cycling, vigorous||About 38 minutes||About 32 minutes|
Burn calories throughout the day
How can you burn an extra 500 calories throughout the day?
You can exercise on your lunch break and add mini movement breaks throughout the day. You can combine exercise at lunch (maybe 30 minutes) with intentionally incorporating extra movement throughout the day wherever you are whether at work or home.
For example, even walking for 30 minutes at lunch time can burn between 149-178 calories for someone weighing between 155 and 185 pounds, respectively.
In addition to walking at lunch time, adding in 4- 10 minute breaks throughout the day of exercises you can do around your house (or desk) can add more calories burned.
For example, you can take periodic breaks throughout the day walking up and down the stairs, body movement exercises that don’t require any equipment, yoga poses, high intensity short interval reps, etc.
Burning 500 calories throughout the day can be possible even if you have limited time.
If you can take an exercise break for an hour, break it up into shorter bouts of movement and add some variety.
In general, the higher the intensity the higher the calorie burn will be.
How to Burn 500 calories in the evening
If working in the morning doesn’t work for you, make an effort to add exercise at the end of your day.
You can use exercises suggested in the morning, or you can try to make a family effort for getting more movement.
The following are estimated ways of burning 500 calories for a 155 pound and 185 pound person. These activities can be done with other family members or friends.
Working out with someone can add some accountability, help you get in a stronger workout, provide stress relief and can make working out more enjoyable.
|Exercise||155 pound body weight||185 pound weight|
|Hiking||About 67 minutes||About 56 minutes|
|Rollerblading, playing soccer or playing tennis||About 56 minutes||About 48 minutes|
|Riding bike (14-15.9 mph)||About 40 minutes||About 34 minutes|
|Dancing, ballroom||About 73 minutes||About 61 minutes|
6 More Ways to boost calorie burn everyday
If you already exercise most or every day, boosting your calorie burn throughout the day can provide even more benefit for weight loss especially if you are at a plateau.
- Taking more breaks to walk around if you sit most of the day can help. If you come home and relax by watching television, during commercial breaks do sit ups, pushups, squats, jump rope, etc. to add in some extra calorie burn.
- If working out 60+ minutes at a time isn’t conducive for your schedule, can you do 30 minutes of exercise in the morning and late afternoon?
- You can be creative with putting together exercises throughout the day that suits your schedule.
- Even if you already exercise most days, can you make an effort to either exercise longer or change up your exercise intensity?
- Changing either your intensity or time length can bump up your calorie burn without doing anything drastic.
- Adding variety to your routine can also help keep you motivated and enjoy your workouts instead of doing the same thing every time.