How Many Calories Do You Burn Lying Down?

Burning calories plays a key role in losing fat, and while you do so at an elevated rate during periods of vigorous activity, your body never stops burning calories. The rate at which you burn calories while lying down is extremely low, but through specific exercises, it's possible to boost your basal metabolic rate to elevate the number of calories you burn during rest.

Yes, you are burning calories while lying down. (Image: oscarhdez/iStock/GettyImages)

Calories Burned

Your body consistently burns calories to provide energy for your most basic functions such as breathing. Harvard Medical School reports that a person's rate of burning calories while asleep is extremely low. People who are 125, 155 and 185 pounds will burn 19, 23 and 28 calories, respectively, in every 30 minutes of sleeping. If you weigh 155 pounds and sleep an average of 8 hours per night, you'll burn 184 calories as you sleep.

Comparison

Although it might seem impressive to burn 19 to 28 calories per 30 minutes of sleeping, this rate is the lowest you'll encounter throughout your day. Even if you're just sitting in a chair reading, you'll burn 42 calories in a half hour if you weigh 155 pounds. A person of the same weight will burn 298 calories during a 30-minute jog at 5 mph and 372 calories during 30 minutes of jumping rope.

Basal Metabolic Rate

Everyone burns calories at a slightly different rate because each person has a unique basal metabolic rate (BMR). This term represents the rate at which you burn calories while at rest. It's possible to elevate your BMR to burn more calories when you're inactive -- and thus potentially burn more fat. Increasing your muscle mass can elevate your BMR by up to 15 percent, and every pound of fat you add to your body can burn an extra 50 calories per day at rest.

Losing Fat

The more calories you're able to burn, the more fat you'll be able to lose. Lying down isn't a logical way to burn calories to help you lose fat, but can provide a welcome reprieve between vigorous exercises. If you wish to lose 1 pound of fat, it's necessary to burn 3,500 calories more than you consume through food and drink. To have success in meeting your fat-loss goals, be realistic when you set them. MayoClinic.com notes that losing 1 to 2 pounds per week is achievable.

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