The first step to losing or gaining weight is knowing the maximum calories you burn per day with your current routine. The caloric burn will vary by individual. Two 200-pound men, for example, will have metabolic differences based on their muscle mass and other physical differences.
An average 200-pound man burns roughly 2,669 calories a day to maintain a sedentary lifestyle, according to Baylor College of Medicine.
The Average 200-Pound Man
The average height of American men aged 18 and over, as of 2017, was 5 feet, 8 inches according to the NCD Risk Factor Collaboration. That's a full inch taller than the average U.S. man 100 years ago.
Modern-day males around the world also average 5 feet 7 inches. American men aren't the tallest in the world, though. Men in the Netherlands, for example, are some of the tallest, averaging 6 feet each.
An average-height U.S. male weighing 200 pounds has a body mass index of 30.4. That's in the obese range, according to Rush University Medical Center's online BMI calculator. The BMI rate for U.S. men has risen dramatically since 1975, according to the NCD Risk Factor Collaboration, from 25.28 back then to 29.01 in 2016. Yet, the total obesity rate for men has remained the same, overall, since 1960, at about 38 percent.
Maintain Your "Chubby Chic"
At the beginning of the 20th century, fat men's clubs geared toward heftier men required a minimum weight of 200 pounds to join. At a time when the average life required intense physical labor, leaving most men angular and muscled, double chins and an overhanging belly were the outward social symbol of a life of ease.
Read more: Guidelines for Men's Daily Caloric Intake
Today, in our modern society, a sedentary lifestyle is easy to come by, with many jobs involving nothing more than sitting behind a desk. When you're mentally exhausted, it's natural to go home at the end of the day and plop down on the couch in front of the TV set. This lifestyle burns, at most, 2,669 calories per day, according to Baylor College of Medicine's calories-per-day calculator.
Optimize your nutrition by spreading your calories across three 600-calorie meals and three 300-calorie snacks throughout the day. That's the recommendation from the experts at the University of Colorado. Strive for about 30 percent protein, 25 percent fat and 45 percent carbohydrates, and seek out non-starchy, non-sugary sources.
Max Calories Burned Per Day
If you increase your exercise level to less than an hour per day, your body will require roughly 2,932 calories to stay at your present weight. If you continue to consume 2,669 calories per day, the 263 calorie deficit will help you begin to lose weight.
It takes the burning of 3,500 calories to equal a weight loss of one pound, according to the Mayo Clinic. By this measure, it would take you 13 days to lose a pound by reducing your caloric intake alone. However, there are ways to increase the maximum calories burned by your routine each day.
If standing at your desk instead of sitting is an option, a 200-pound, a 40-year-old man can increase his hourly calorie burn from 95 to 158 for each hour spent standing, according to the standing experts at Startstanding.org. That website also explains other simple movements you can add to your life to increase daily caloric burn, such as sitting on the floor instead of the couch at the end of the day, when you relax in front of the TV.
Other activities that can increase your caloric burn include:
- Walking up stairs: 725 calories per hour, or about 181 calories for a 15-minute climb
- Walking the dog: 181 calories per hour at a 2-mph pace
- Playing golf: 408 calories per hour carrying clubs, 317 calories if using a cart
- Cleaning the house: 272 calories
- Yard work: 362 to 492 calories depending on the intensity of the labor involved
Leave Obesity Behind
If your goal is a trim, toned body, you must make more dramatic changes. An average-height, 200-pound man who exercises roughly an hour per day, increases his caloric burn to 3,267 each day.
Ramp up the activity to more than an hour per day, and your caloric burn can reach 3,817, according to Baylor College of Medicine's calories-per-day calculator. More vigorous activities will maximize the calories expended. Active swimming burns roughly 916 calories an hour for a 200-pound man, according to the American Council on Exercise's physical activity calorie counter.
At this activity level, you might notice yourself feeling more trim before you see much difference on the scale. A muscle is denser than fat, weighing in at 2.3 pounds per liter, as compared to 1.9. Each pound of resting muscle in your body burns six calories daily, according to the National Council on Strength and Fitness.
- Mayo Clinic: "Metabolism and Weight Loss"
- National Public Radio: "The Forgotten History of Fat Men's Clubs"
- NCD Risk Factor Collaboration: "Evolution of Adult Height Over Time"
- Rush University Medical Center: "How Much Should I Weigh?"
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disorders: "Overweight and Obesity Statistics"
- Baylor College of Medicine: "Adult Energy Needs and BMI Calculator"
- Mayo Clinic: "Counting Calories — Get Back to Weight Loss Basics"
- University of Colorado, Colorado Springs: "Meal Planning"
- Startstanding.org: "Calculate Calories Burned Sitting vs. Standing"
- ACE Fitness: "Physical Activity Calorie Counter"