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Difference Between Active Calories and Total Calories

Personal health is a topic that cannot be ignored. For any person, the knowledge of how the body attains and uses energy in terms of calories is vital. This brings out a sense of interest in personal health, be it in underweight, normal and even overweight persons. For a person who is engaging in physical activities such as walking, swimming, running or even hiking, there is nothing more satisfying than finding out how many calories were burned in the course of a certain physical activity. These units of energy, basically referred to as calories, have several classifications such as total, resting and active calories.


What is Active Calories?

These are calories burnt when one is active. For instance, during the engagement of activities such as walking, running, swimming and hiking. The major importance of active calories is weight loss.


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What is Total Calories?

This is the sum of the calories burned when one is active and calories burnt during normal body function, commonly known as the sum of total calories and resting calories.


Similarities between Active Calories and Total Calories

  • Both are important components in fitness and health


Differences between Active Calories and Total Calories


Active calories are calories burnt when one is active, for instance during the engagement of activities such as walking, running, swimming and hiking. On the other hand, total calories are the sum of the calories burned when one is active and calories burnt during normal body function.

Common use

While active calories are important in weight loss, total calories are important in weight loss and normal body function.

Active calories vs. Total calories: Comparison Table


Summary of Active vs. Total Calories

It is important to note that weight is gained when caloric intake exceeds the body’s need for energy, which then leads to the body storing the excess energy. While both active and total calories vary among individuals based on weight, sex, medical conditions and activity level, it is always important to monitor the body’s activities for optimal health.


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1 Comment

  1. Useless explanation. Just a word salad

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References :

[0]Judith Brown. Nutrition Now. Cengage Learning Publishers, 2007. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=g--RbJVbPikC&pg=SA8-PA4&dq=active,+resting+and+total+calories&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi-1qT67czhAhUChxoKHah_A5cQ6AEIMjAC#v=onepage&q=active%2C%20resting%20and%20total%20calories&f=false

[1]Mezey Mathy & Siegler Eugenia. The Encyclopedia of Elder Care: The Comprehensive Resource on Geriatric and Social Care, Second Edition. Springer Publishing Company, 2007. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=68Sw_VEUORAC&pg=PA98&dq=active,+resting+and+total+calories&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi-1qT67czhAhUChxoKHah_A5cQ6AEIWDAJ#v=onepage&q=active%2C%20resting%20and%20total%20calories&f=false

[2]Smith D & Plowman S. Exercise Physiology for Health, Fitness, and Performance. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Publishers, 2007. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=fYiqixSbhEAC&pg=PA229&dq=active,+resting+and+total+calories&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi-1qT67czhAhUChxoKHah_A5cQ6AEIQzAF#v=onepage&q=active%2C%20resting%20and%20total%20calories&f=false

[3]Image credit: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:FDA_Nutrition_Facts_Label_2016.png

[4]Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/cindyshebley/23681851640

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