Doing enough exercise to burn 700 calories a day might take extreme effort in some circumstances. But in some cases, it's as simple as participating in an hour-long cycling class or playing beach volleyball for an hour.
Calculate Your Calorie Burn
As the Mayo Clinic explains, many factors affect your calorie burn during a workout — chief among them your body size, body composition, gender and age. In general, larger bodies and those with more muscle burn more calories, which is also why men tend to burn more calories than women. Younger bodies tend to burn more calories than older ones.
With all those variables in mind, consulting credible sources of calorie burn estimates, such as Harvard Health Publishing's table of calorie burns and the American Council on Exercise's physical activity calorie counter, is the best way to approximate how many calories you'll burn doing a workout. Matching your body weight and exercise intensity to the quantities listed in the chart/calculator ensures the most accurate results.
Just keep in mind that those estimates are exactly that — estimates_._ So don't worry if you have to do a little trial-and-error juggling of your exercise and diet habits to reach your weight loss goals — it's a natural part of the process.
Exercise to Burn 700 Calories
So, what does a 700-calorie workout look like? Don't forget that body size factors prominently into the answer.
According to estimates from Harvard Health Publishing, if you weigh 185 pounds, the following activities will burn about 700 calories:
- 45 minutes of a vigorous group cycling class.
- 45 minutes of high-impact step aerobics.
- Just under an hour of martial arts or vigorous lap-swimming.
- An hour of running at 5 mph.
- An hour of cross-country skiing.
- An hour of beach volleyball.
- An hour of circuit training.
- An hour of vigorous stationary rowing.
If you weigh 155 pounds, it'll take you a little more time or more intensity, to burn 700 calories a day with the same activities:
- Just under an hour of vigorous group cycling class.
- An hour of high-impact step aerobics.
- An hour of martial arts or vigorous lap swimming.
- An hour and 15 minutes of running at 5 mph.
- An hour and 15 minutes of cross-country skiing.
- An hour and 15 minutes of beach volleyball.
- An hour and 15 minutes of circuit training.
- An hour and 15 minutes of vigorous stationary rowing.
How Much Is Too Much?
As reinforced by the Mayo Clinic, losing weight requires you to establish a calorie deficit, burning more calories than you take in. Increasing your physical activity helps, but sometimes doing a 700-calorie workout every day is too much — especially if you're just starting out or have an extremely busy schedule. You can balance shorter or easier workouts with a modest reduction in caloric intake.
What's a reasonable parameter for your calorie intake? According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, most women can safely lose weight on an eating plan of 1,200 to 1,500 calories per day. They add that an intake of 1,500 to 1,800 calories per day is suitable for most men or women who weigh more or exercise regularly.
Does that mean you should go straight to a 1,200-calorie diet and hammer away in the gym to burn at least 700 calories a day? No. The food you put in your body is fuel for all your physical activity — which is why starvation diets aren't the key to losing weight. Instead, you have to find that elusive balance. Consulting a registered dietitian is a good way to ensure your nutrition supports weight-loss goals — but not everybody has the resources to do this.
If you're working on your own, keep in mind that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a safe, sustainable rate of weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week — a daily calorie deficit of 500 to 1,000 calories, which means that if you're working out hard, you shouldn't decrease your calorie intake very much.
Following the Department of Health and Human Services key recommendations for healthy eating patterns will help you maximize your nutrition while ensuring a reasonable calorie intake, and using a reliable fitness tracking app — or even old-fashioned pen and paper — will help you track your calorie intake and expenditure to be sure both factors stay in balance.
If you do amp up your physical activity to burn 700 calories a day, be aware of the signs of overtraining and make sure you get at least one solid rest day every week.
- Harvard Health Publishing: "Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights"
- Mayo Clinic: "Metabolism and Weight Loss: How You Burn Calories"
- American Council on Exercise: "Physical Activity Calorie Counter"
- National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: "Healthy Eating Plan"
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "What Is Healthy Weight Loss?"
- Department of Health and Human Services: "Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2015-2020: Chapter 1. Key Elements of Healthy Eating Patterns"