Calculating how many calories you burn carrying 20lbs might seem easy, but it involves more than you’d think.
Factors such as your age, metabolism, physical strain, conditioning, and even your environment can hugely influence how many calories you burn with 20lbs on your back (or in hands).
Of course, your body weight also plays a part. Here are some average estimates of what a person carrying 20 lbs might burn per hour depending on their body weight :
- 265 calories for a 155-lb person
- 305 calories for a 180-lb person
- 340 calories for a 205-lb person
Assuming you’re moving upstairs, here are some estimates of calories you’ll burn per hour carrying 20 pounds:
- A 155-lb person burns 425 calories carrying 20lbs upstairs
- A 180lb person burns 490 calories doing the same activity
- A 205lb person burns 558 calories doing the same activity
Optimizing Calorie Burning
There are ways you can maximize the efficiency of any physical activity to burn more calories in the same amount of time.
Here we’ll list a few recommended ones:
- Regular Intense Exercise: doing strength training or HIIT (High-Intenisty Interval Training) 2-3 times per week will enhance muscle growth, leading to higher basal metabolic rate. The more muscle mass you have the more calories your body will burn – both during exercise, and at rest. 
- Eat Smaller Frequent Meals: This is yet to be fully proven by scientific evidence but the idea is that whenever you eat a meal, you activate your metabolism which burns calories. By eating smaller meals more frequently, you’ll be activating your metabolic activity more often leading to higher calorie loss.
- Take weight loss supplements: green tea extract, cayenne pepper extract, and Glucomannan are just some to consider. They help with not only direct calorie burning but also suppress appetite making you eat less food in the long run. [1, 2]
You can expect to be burning about 30-40 additional calories per hour by adding 20lbs to your body weight. However, as we mentioned early on, this is significantly influenced by your body weight, metabolic speed, physical activity levels, environment, and many other factors that are out of the scope of this article.
For maximizing fat loss, look at making regular strength training, 7-9 hours of quality sleep, and eating a calorie-controlled diet with emphasis on whole foods integral parts of your daily routine, and you will have results that stick.
- Chen IJ, Liu CY, Chiu JP, Hsu CH. Therapeutic effect of high-dose green tea extract on weight reduction: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Clin Nutr. 2016 Jun;35(3):592-9. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2015.05.003. Epub 2015 May 29. PMID: 26093535.
- Walsh DE, Yaghoubian V, Behforooz A. Effect of glucomannan on obese patients: a clinical study. Int J Obes. 1984;8(4):289-93. PMID: 6096282.