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TOPIC: Calculating calories burned correctly

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October 20, 2012 8:21 AM
I just tested out Runtastic Pro and it's claiming that I burned 266 calories in .74 miles at 3.5mph (13m 43s)

MFP and other online calculators are saying it should be around 130-140 for 14 minutes. Which is true? Does Runtastic take in the elevation difference (85ft) which adds to the calories burned?
Edited by aeros88 On October 20, 2012 8:40 AM
October 20, 2012 8:41 AM
I would suggest getting a heart rate monitor. I used to go with what myfitnesspal calculated but once I got a heart rate monitor I realised the calories burned were usually way over estimated. It's worth the investment because the chest strap can detect how fast your heart is beating therefore how hard your working.
October 20, 2012 8:52 AM
I don't know anything about Runtastic, so I can't comment on that. It's unlikely that any of them are going to be 100% "true", they are all just estimates. If you can, it would be helpful to get a heart rate monitor (with a chest strap) and that should give you a more accurate estimate.
October 20, 2012 8:55 AM
That is crazy high. I use Runkeeper, which is higher than MFP (and I do think is accurate) and it would be much lower than that.

Does your app track variability in speed? Sometimes if you swing your arms with your phone in your hand it gives you like 25MPH for a minute. It doesn't just average, it actually calculates calories minute by minute (which is important for accuracy and might change the calorie estimate).

I find that at strolling speed it seems to be over-estimating calories. On the other hand, when I walk quickly enough to really be working out (3.5-4.5 MPH), it seems more in range.
Edited by nxd10 On October 20, 2012 8:57 AM
October 20, 2012 9:00 AM
That sounds pretty high to me as well. I am using a Fitbit to track my burned it!
October 20, 2012 9:00 AM
Okay, I just looked up my walk for yesterday on Runkeeper. 3.7 miles at 3.47 mph for 370 calories.

Another day: 3.62 mph for 2.63 miles was 274 calories.
Edited by nxd10 On October 20, 2012 9:01 AM
October 20, 2012 11:07 AM
I just did another mile at a local track, 1.0m at 3.0mph and it shows 400 calories. Looks like ill be investing in a heart rate monitor. Is there a good one in the $50 range? I wish MapMyFitness supported syncing to MFP because I found a cheap HRM with great reviews that only works with MMF.
October 20, 2012 11:14 AM
I've used 3 or 4 different pedometers recently, and they've all pretty much agreed that 3 miles walking for me is between 400-450 calories (my CW is 279). My treadmill also confirms this.

Treadmill also confirmed that whether I walk the 3 miles in 1 hour (so 3mph) or in 45 minutes (so 4mph), I burn the same (roughly) number of calories.
October 20, 2012 11:51 AM
That is interesting.

I logged into MyNetpulse (treadmill at the gym) and it says 20min @ 3.0mph is 135 calories burned. However, my avg HR is 156 (w/ a peak of 166) according to the same treadmill. A couple different online "heart rate to calories burned" calculators seem to agree that 20min @ 3.0mph should be in the 330-350 range.

I'm a 24 y/o male at 340lbs.
October 20, 2012 4:24 PM
Dug into the Runtastic website a bit and found out that my "activities" were created as "Running" instead of "Walking" which uses a different algorithm for calculating calories. I think it should calculate it based on speed/elevation and/or HR if available but guess not.

Calories burned dropped from 401 to 189 after switching activity type.


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