Burning 1,000 calories in a day may sound like a lofty goal, but is it? And is it healthy at all?
The short answer: it depends.
How difficult it is to burn 1,000 calories depends on how you define “burn 1,000 calories”.
Almost every body requires at least 1,000 calories a day for important biological functions such as replenishing hormone levels and building new tissue.
Daily activities such as cleaning the house, walking, and gardening can also burn significant numbers of calories during the day. For some people, these activities can burn more than 1,000 calories.
Burning 1,000 calories by exercising alone or in a single exercise session is more difficult, but not impossible. For example, a 150-pound person who runs at a 10-minute mile pace for 90 minutes burns about 1,020 calories.
Is It Healthy To Burn 1,000 Calories Every Day?
That depends on why you’re trying to burn them.
If you’re an active person who eats enough to replenish the calories you burned, there’s nothing wrong with burning 1,000 calories a day through exercise.
However, doing vigorous exercise to lose weight quickly or to control binge eating are not healthy habits and can be signs of an eating disorder.
Living with an eating disorder can be difficult, but you are not alone. There are plenty of resources out there to help.
Read on as we explore what you would need to do to burn 1,000 calories a day and help you determine if this is realistic.
Losing weight or getting in shape is a gradual process. No single workout will have a long-term effect on your body. When trying to set a realistic goal for you, it is important to consider what level of activity you can maintain week after week.
Are you ready to invest 1 hour a day? Two hours a day? What about 3 days a week? Five days a week?
The number of calories you burn while exercising depends on factors such as your height, gender, and muscle mass.
Typically, men and people with larger bodies burn more calories per day than women and people with smaller bodies. For example, a 100-pound woman needs to spend a lot more time exercising to burn 1,000 calories than a 250-pound man.
Experts recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week and strength training of all major muscle groups at least twice a week.
When creating a new exercise program to get in shape, getting at least this minimum level of physical activity is a good place to start.
According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), here’s a rough look at how many calories three people would burn per day per week under the minimum guidelines:
Burning 1,000 calories a day is easier for some people than others. For example, an 18-year-old male playing on multiple sports teams can easily burn more than 1,000 calories a day.
For a six-foot, 40-year-old woman with a desk job, it will be harder to burn 1,000 calories a day.
Exercising regularly is good for your body, but exercising vigorously to lose an enormous amount of weight or exercising to counter binge eating isn’t.
If you want to burn 1,000 calories a day, you should be asking yourself why.
If your goal is to improve or get stronger your overall fitness, measuring your calorie consumption is a poor way to get meaningful feedback.
Tracking other markers like body fat percentage, cardiovascular fitness, or strength level is a more accurate way to gauge your progress.
If your goal is to lose weight, burning a certain number of calories is meaningless out of context. If you burn 1,000 additional calories each day from exercise, but consume 1,000 additional calories, your weight will stay the same.
Here is an example of what it would take to burn 1,000 calories a day in three different ways.
According to ACE, here’s a rough guide on how long it would take you to run at various speeds to burn 1,000 calories. Remember that the exact number of calories you burn is unique to your body.
To go biking
According to ACE, here’s a rough guide on how many hours it would take to burn 1,000 calories while cycling.
You burn calories in all of your daily activities. Over the course of a day, these calories can add up to a significant number. For example, for the average man, washing dishes burns about 174 to 252 calories an hour.
Here’s a look at what it would take to burn 1,000 calories without exercising:
If you burn 1,000 calories a day from exercise, the amount you should eat depends on your goal.
If you want to lose weight, you need to eat fewer calories than you burn. Reducing your calories by 500 to 600 per day below your maintenance level can result in weight loss of about a pound per week. This is often considered a healthy rate.
Attempting a “crash diet” or a highly restrictive diet to lose weight is seldom successful in the long run.
If your goal is to maintain your weight, you need to be consuming the same number of calories that you are burning. To gain weight, you need to eat more.
It is not a good idea to start a new and high intensity exercise program if you have a health condition such as diabetes or a heart condition that could be affected by exercise unless you are given the go-ahead from your doctor.
Also, if you are already below a healthy weight for your gender and height, it is not a good idea to intentionally burn significant numbers of calories without properly refueling.
Deliberately not eating after periods of heavy physical activity can be a sign of the eating disorder anorexia. Intensive training after periods of binge eating can be a sign of bulimia or binge eating.
If you think you have an eating disorder, you can benefit from speaking with a doctor who specializes in eating disorders.
If you need help and are not sure where to start, you can contact the National Eating Disorder Association helpline by phone, text message, or online chat.
Many people find that working with a personal trainer or other fitness professional will help them achieve their weight loss or fitness goal.
A personal trainer can motivate you to stick to your program and set realistic goals. They can also develop an effective program for you and answer all of your questions.
Some trainers specialize in helping people with little to no experience exercise, while other trainers work with people who are already fit to take them to the next level.
It is a good idea to speak to your doctor before starting a new exercise program if you have a heart condition or other health condition that may prevent you from exercising vigorously.
It is possible to burn 1,000 calories in a single workout. However, it is easier for some people than for others. Men and people with larger bodies tend to burn more calories during the same exercise than women and people with smaller bodies.
Some active people regularly burn more than 1,000 calories a day when they exercise. However, it is not a good idea to burn 1,000 calories if your goal is to lose weight quickly and you are not replenishing your body properly after exercising.
Developing sustainable diet and exercise habits is almost always the best strategy for long-term weight loss and health.