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TOPIC: CALORIES BURNED ESTIMATES

 
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April 23, 2012 7:12 AM
Hey Everyone. Does anyone know exactly how the calories burned during excerise are calculated in my fitness pal? For instance, sometimes it seems to be right on and other times there is like a 300 calorie difference? Is it an average? Does it depend on your current weight?
April 23, 2012 7:13 AM
It is an estimate, if you want exact get a heart rate monitor.
  16124551
April 23, 2012 7:14 AM
QUOTE:

It is an estimate, if you want exact get a heart rate monitor.


This. It is truly an estimate. I think it might depend on your weight too, but I don't know for sure.
  1710900
April 23, 2012 7:14 AM
They take into account duration, weight, age, gender, speed (if applicable). That being said it fails to measure intensity and does not know your currently fitness level. MFP and most machines tend to over estimate caloires burned. I would suggest if you don't have a HRM to only eat back 60-75% of what MFP or a machine says you burned.
Edited by erickirb On April 23, 2012 7:14 AM
April 23, 2012 7:15 AM
The estimates on MFP are rubbish - don't trust them.

You know how some exercise machines "show" your calories burned? That is also rubbish - don't trust them!

All you can do: for each SPECIFIC exercise you are interested in, do careful research on the internet and you might find some formulas that will help you guess calories used, based on your weight and so on.

Is there a specific exercise you want to know about ?
  11534585
April 23, 2012 7:15 AM
The calculation will take your profile into account. But it's an estimate, for sure.
April 23, 2012 7:16 AM
QUOTE:

It is an estimate, if you want exact get a heart rate monitor.


HRM's are just estimates too, they just have more inputs into the calculation used. HRM's use HR to estimate intensity, and intensity is used to gauge oxygen uptake, but since most HRMs don't know your real V02 Max the oxygen uptake and even intensity are just estimates.
April 23, 2012 7:18 AM
My bad I shouldnt have said exact but a closer amount burned than the estimate on MFP, or at least I would trust the HRM more.
  16124551
April 23, 2012 7:19 AM
I was just going to ask this. It seems since I started consistently working out my weight loss has stalled. So I am guessing I am either not eating back enough exercise cals, eating back too many, or I am losing inches and gaining muscle. I just did measurements last week, so can't really check that yet. Any ideas? I can't afford an HRM, though I would love one.
  18920656
April 23, 2012 7:22 AM
MFP underestimates my burn. I use an HRM. Though I am in great shape my heart rate runs high during expercise and I workout at a high intensity. Before I went to maintenance I just put in what MFP estimated. It helped me keep my intake down.
  5356208
April 23, 2012 7:24 AM
QUOTE:

MFP underestimates my burn. I use an HRM. Though I am in great shape my heart rate runs high during expercise and I workout at a high intensity. Before I went to maintenance I just put in what MFP estimated. It helped me keep my intake down.


What brand HRM, some brands are notorious for having high burns. i.e. Timex
April 23, 2012 7:31 AM
I found the same thing.... I have stalled too but found that inches definitely came off.... I am cutting back a few calories but continuing to exercise. hope it works..... time will tell. But of course... eat at least 1200. that is needed to stay healthy......
April 23, 2012 7:51 AM
I find MFP estimates to be fairly accurate for me, at least compared to my HRM. But, then, some research online (not scientific, for sure!) tells me that even the HRM is only an estimate. It bases the burn number on heart rate, which is somewhat more accurate, but your fitness level still affects the burn, and that is hard to estimate from "home" without special ezuipment!

So I consider all this (and all the calories for foods in the database) to just be estimates. I find it best to keep a 100 calore "buffer" on my diary. In other words, I like to stay 100 calories under my net goal. Or, if I overeat, I try not to go over more than 100.
April 23, 2012 1:22 PM
Check out: http://www.triathlontrainingblog.com/calculators/calories-burned-calculator-based-on-average-heart-rate/
  5356208
April 23, 2012 2:22 PM
When I first started using MFP (about a month ago) I sort of compared various calorie burns estimated to other websites and found (in the activities I compared) that MFP seemed fairly accurate. But this week I sort of rechecked things using different intensities/times, etc and found it to be WAY OFF TRACK! I was disappointed. I know calories burned is always an estimate (for the average person who doesn't have access to fancy gadgets) but how are we supposed to know if we're even close? For example, using a Runners World formula to estimate calories burned running 3.5 miles (based on my weight) it said 418. MFP said about 420 for running an 11:30/mile pace for 40 minutes (which is about how long it took me). So okay, that's fairly close. But using the SAME Runners World formula for running 6 miles (718 cals) compared to MFP running 6.0 for 60 minutes MFP claims it burns 1140 calories! That's a HUGE difference and basically negates my caloric deficit (if I ate back all 1140 cals but really only burned 718). I'm very frustrated and don't know how I should be going about making sure I'm eating enough but not TOO much. I have a long history of binge eating and I work very hard to overcome that, but the result is that I'm not very good at just "eating based on how I feel" (aka eat when you're hungry & don't eat when you're not hungry) so I rely a lot on calorie tracking right now. Any suggestions? Generally I just under-enter the length of time I've exercised and hope that I'm somewhere close to accurate.
Edited by Queerdrummer On April 23, 2012 2:23 PM
April 24, 2012 6:38 AM
I agree 100%, that is why I was inquiring. I did like Eric's response of only eating back approx 60% of calories burned. That would be a safe way of not going over or under what you should have. I just find the estimates to be inconsistant. I have borrowed someones HRM and sometimes it's a few calories off, but other times it's off by double. I going to keep researching and I will let you know if I find anything.

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