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TOPIC: How many calories am I REALLY burning??

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November 22, 2012 10:02 AM
About 12 weeks ago I started the "couch to 5k runner" program! LOVED it, and I just used that app to figure out how many calories I was burning while doing my workout. After I finished the program I downloaded another app called iRunner which also calculates calories burned. However someone had suggested that I go and get a heart rate monitor so I could get a more accurate record of calories I am burning. I went and bought one and today when I went for my run (today was more of a run/walk) when I got back it told me that I had burned 839 calories... WHAT?? Sorry, but there is just no way! I also had my iRunner app going and it said that I had burned 336 calories. How do I know how many calories i'm really burning??? I think it is highly unlikely that I burned 839 calories, out of the 2 the 336 looks more realistic to me! Today I ran/walked for 42 minutes and did 3 miles! Does anyone have any suggestions on what I can do to more accurately count my calories burned??
November 22, 2012 10:05 AM
What kind of hrm did you buy? If its good brand like garmin, nike, polar, etc I would def go with it. If its a cheaper one then idk...
November 22, 2012 10:06 AM
I find a HRM to be most accurate (it should be the most accurate) but mine normally comes out with a lower estimate than MFP or other places. Maybe something went wrong with it today - did you make sure to set the count back to zero before you started exercising? Try it again tomorrow.
November 22, 2012 10:07 AM
Is the hrm calibrated to your stats?
November 22, 2012 10:09 AM
Yes, that sounds high....make sure that you input your height, weight and age in the settings. They may be calculating the burn for a large man. :)
November 22, 2012 10:11 AM
...and does it come with a chest strap?

As a rough guide they estimate that you burn around 100 calories a mile (although I am large and burn nearer 150, and live somewhere very hilly).
November 22, 2012 10:12 AM
Yes I put in all of my stats, however it never asked for my weight! Also, while I was running it wouldn't pick up my heart rate, I had to actually STOP moving and then push the button. It was my first time using it so everything was at 0!! I am thinking I need to return it and get a better one! Thanks for your help guys :)
November 22, 2012 10:13 AM
One more question, how often should you be checking your heart rate during a workout???
November 22, 2012 10:13 AM
I'm guessing it depends what heart rate monitor you got. Did you get one that straps across your chest and sinks with a wrist watch, like a Polar, or just a watch? If it straps across your chest and is calibrated to your weight and age, and seems to be picking up your heart rate, its probably correct. If its the watch kind, you need to take that back and get a real HRM lol.
I have the kind that straps across my chest and sinks with my HRM watch. Today, for example, it read 30 minutes on my bike at 231 cals, which MFP is at 273. It calculates 30 minutes of 30 day shred at 211 cals, MFP is at 295. MFP has been a little high compared to my HRM.
November 22, 2012 10:15 AM

One more question, how often should you be checking your heart rate during a workout???

I don't check mine very often, I let the monitor keep track.

If it wasn't picking up your heart rate, were the contacts on your chest wet enough? If they're not it won't record properly.
November 22, 2012 10:18 AM
The HRM should be the most accurate. Like the other posters said, check your settings. Also, you may just have a bad monitor or chest strap. Another problem could be the connection between the strap and your skin, but that usually results in a low calorie count. I wet the strap and use an electrolyte cream on my skin (Buh-Bump brand) to ensure good contact between my chest strap and skin otherwise I have trouble.

Regarding how often to check it, that depends on what you're trying to get out of it. If you're using it purely for calories, which is the case for me, I don't check it at all until the end except from time to time to make sure it's working. If you're using it to help burn in certain zones, then you'll want to check every few minutes. Some HRM's have features where it will beep to let you know if you're inside or outside your target zone. That could help.
Edited by SeaRunner26 On November 22, 2012 10:22 AM
November 22, 2012 10:24 AM
it doesn't have a chest strap it is useless for calorie calculation.
November 22, 2012 10:25 AM
Thank you everyone. I am for sure going to be taking it back. I got the one that is just a wrist watch and I think that might be my problem!! :) Didn't even know they had one that went across your chest! I should have researched it first I guess!! Thanks everyone! :) :)
November 22, 2012 10:30 AM
I have a Polar PF4 and my chest strap requires to be wet. Does yours? If it does and you did not wet it, it will not produce inaccurate numbers. I just ran 7 miles today with my heart rate in the 167-171 range and I burned 1078 calories in an hour and a half.
November 22, 2012 10:32 AM
woops sorry just read your post that you don't have a chest strap lol. I LOVE my Polar PF4. Got it for a good price on Amazon.
November 22, 2012 11:31 AM
I have always used this calculation ( got it from runner's world). Simple.

CALORIES/MILE .57 x wt in lbs .72 x wt in lbs
CALORIES/MIN .03 x wt in lbs .07 x wt in lbs

To use the above, simply multiply your weight (in pounds) by the number shown. For example, if you weigh 188 lbs, you will burn about 107 calories (188 * .57) when you walk a mile, and about 135 calories (188 * .72) when you run a mile.

formatting's off: its should be 0.57Xwt for walk and 0.72Xwt for run
Edited by roodica On November 22, 2012 11:32 AM

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