Calorie Expenditure for Men vs. Women
Men burn more calories than women for two reasons. The average man burns more calories than the average woman because the average man weighs more, and heavier people burn more calories. Men also usually burn more calories than women of the same weight because they usually are more muscular, and muscle burns more calories than fat. Men, however, need more calories than women to perform the same activities.
The average man weighs 176 pounds and the average woman weighs 132 pounds, according to the textbook “Essentials for Health and Wellness.” In 10 minutes, the average man burns 60 calories walking fast, painting, weeding and washing a car, while the average woman burns 45 calories doing the same activities. You burn more calories when you exercise more strenuously. In 10 minutes, the average man burns 80 calories biking to work, 93 calories walking upstairs and 200 calories running upstairs, while the average woman burns 60 calories biking to work, 70 calories walking upstairs and 150 calories running upstairs. You lose one pound when you burn 3,500 calories.
The average man has 15 percent body fat, while the average woman has 27 percent body fat, according to the textbook “An Invitation to Health.” The fact that the average man has roughly twice the muscle mass percentage means that men burn 5 percent to 10 percent more calories than women of the same weight. Younger people burn more calories. Author Dianne Hales writes that the ideal body fat percentage for men is 7 to 17 percent when they are 20 to 29 years old, 14 to 23 percent when they’re 40 to 49, and 17 to 25 percent after age 60. Women’s ideal body fat percentage is 16 to 24 when they’re 20 to 29, 19 to 28 when they’re 40 to 49, and 22 to 33 after age 60.
Most “calorie expenditure” charts list only how many calories the average person will burn, but you can estimate how many calories the average man and average woman will burn. The average 155-pound person, for example, burns 372 calories swimming vigorously for 30 minutes, according to a study by the “Harvard Heart Letter.” Since the average man burns roughly 8 percent more calories than the average woman, the average man would burn about 388 calories swimming vigorously for 30 minutes, while the average woman would burn about 356. Similarly, a 155-pound person walking 4.5 mph burns 186 calories in 30 minutes. This means that the average man burns about 194 calories, while the average woman burns about 178.
Men burn more calories because they have more muscle, but they also need more calories for the same reason. Hales estimates that a 154-pound man needs to eat 2,900 calories daily if he exercises more than 60 minutes daily, 2,600 calories if he exercises 30 to 60 minutes daily, and 2,200 calories if he exercises fewer than 30 minutes daily. A 154-pound woman, though, needs to eat only 2,400, 2,150, and 1,850 calories daily at the same exercise levels.