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How Many Calories Are You Really Burning?

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Blast Calories in Your Sleep

Staying alive takes a lot of energy. Your basal metabolic rate (BMR) -- the breathing, blinking, and thinking you do each day -- uses up about 60 to 70 percent of your total daily calories. (Who knew?) Though your BMR is genetic, it's not set in stone. Here's how to tally it up and give it a boost.

Your weight (in pounds)/2.2 X 24 = BMR

To turn up your daily burn:

  • Make some muscle. At rest, muscle burns more calories than fat tissue. Regular strength training can boost your metabolism 7 to 10 percent -- about 100 calories a day.
  • Feed the flames. Eating too few calories can backfire because you're more likely to lose metabolism-revving lean muscle, not fat. Experts recommend reducing your daily intake by no more than 1,000 calories from what you need to maintain your weight. For most women, that means not dipping below about 1,100 calories a day.
  • Enjoy a jolt. Caffeinated coffee can be a metabolism booster, as can green tea. The result isn't dramatic, a few calories a day, but every little bit adds up.

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