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TOPIC: How do you know how many calories you burn?

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June 1, 2012 5:53 AM
I've just started the p90x Core synergistics video tape. I haven't made it through the full video yet, I let myself do half. I've done it 4 times now and am really enjoying it. My goal is to learn to do a push-up...don't know that I've ever been able to do one!

But my question is logging it. How do I know how many calories I'm burning. Someone recommended getting a pedometer but those suckers are quite expensive and rare where I live so I'm not willing to buy one (especially since replacing my cracked iphone screen just cost me 400$).

So how else can I tell what I'm doing. I'm okay with being under BUT I hate the idea of listing over what I'm doing!
June 1, 2012 5:56 AM
I have a Polar F6 HRM with a Chest strap. It AMAZING and I LOVE it. I would be lost without it. It was only $50 which is pretty darn good. You can check ebay for HRM with a chest strap. They are VERY close to being VERY accurate.
June 1, 2012 5:56 AM
You can get a heart rate monitor - check them out on Amazon. There are lot of different options and don't have to be too expensive. I think I spent about $60 for mine and it works great.
June 1, 2012 5:57 AM
I have an HRM...with a chest strap. Works wonders! If you have a smart phone there is a free pedometer on there.
Edited by ready2tryagain42 On June 1, 2012 5:57 AM
June 1, 2012 5:57 AM
I use a HRM too. And I use a running app on my iPhone, which estimates calories burned while I run.
June 1, 2012 5:59 AM
If you have an iPhone there are lots of free pedometer apps out there. If your trying to log your cardio exercise you just enter the exercise and search and it comes up with a list to chose from that gets you an approximate number. If your doing strenght training it doesn't really burn much calories it just makes you firmer.
June 1, 2012 5:59 AM
Get a heart rate monitor. It will tell you how many calories you're burning. I got a Polar FT4 for about 80.00. I couldn't live without mine, best money I every spent.
June 1, 2012 6:00 AM
Definitely invest in a HRM with a chest strap.....i use the Polar FT4. I love it. That way you can get the exact calories you are burning. You can google search the model and buy it new for about $60.
June 1, 2012 6:00 AM

Lots of choices from Polar. I have a RS100 which works great for me to track calories burned during cardio. It is on the lower end of price in their product line. Comes with a nice comfy chest strap, replaceable batteries in both watch and strap.

A HRM is by far the best estimate you will get for calories burned. MFP and all the other online calculators tend to be way off. Without knowing your heart rate it is very hard to get a good estimate.

For example, running at 5 mph could be much more effort for you versus me. Just entering an activity and duration will never yield good results.
June 1, 2012 6:04 AM
For running, I let my Garmin use a mileage formula to guess at calories. For strength training, I just guess.
June 1, 2012 6:06 AM
Honestly? You can guess. Seriously, it works fine for weight loss. Having more accurate numbers is nice, but you can determine it through simple experimentation without the fancy widgets.

Once you get your diet in balance (fats, carbs, proteins) and are drinking lots of water, your body is pretty good at telling you what it needs. Especially if you aren't eating a lot of processed foods.

Take MFP's numbers for most given exercises and round them down by about 25%. Good starting point, based on my experience with most of their numbers. Then you experiment from there and see what ends up working for you. Your goal is a sustainable 1-2 pound weight loss per week (500-1000 calorie deficit per day).

If you feel great and you're not losing weigh as fast as your goal is set for at least three weeks in a row (or you are slowly GAINING weight for more than two weeks in a row), decrease the calories you log for exercise and eat a little less. See if you start losing weight. Remember - 250 calories a day is a half pound a week. So after you've established your baseline pace for weight loss, it's pretty easy to adjust 250 calories a day at a time to fine-tune your weight loss.

If you feel tired and aren't improving on your program like you feel you should, whether you are losing weight or not, increase the calories you log for exercise, because you aren't refueling properly and can't take full advantage of that exercise.
June 5, 2012 10:35 PM
Thank so much everyone! Didn't realize anyone as replying as I thought my phone would notify me...I'm way to dependent ;). I'm not sure what I'll do yet. Buying it is a bit expensive for me because shipping from amazon to Korea is pricy and I am saving every dime for a two month Asia tour in doing befor moving back to the states!

I try to eat under everyday anyway without needing the workout but it's still be nice to know!!


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