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Are apps reliable in regards to exercise calories burned?

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Old 05-30-2014, 02:14 PM   #1
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Default Are apps reliable in regards to exercise calories burned?

Exercise is a relatively new thing for me. I started walking and fencing back in August and I'm not really seeing the impact I had hoped for.

I use myFitnessPal and MapMyWalk to track my walking. Has anyone experienced the calorie lost aspects of these apps to be accurate?

For example, at a leisurely pace, a 2.32 mile walk over 45 minutes for me is calculated out to be 264 calories. (yeah i know i'm slow)

That seems pretty high to me as I know exercise doesn't usually burn as much as we think it does. Do you think these apps are overestimating calories?
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Old 05-30-2014, 02:41 PM   #2
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Yes, many people find that they cannot rely on the apps (or charts) for exercise calories. Most people focus on diet for losing weight and exercise for toning, health, strength, and feeling good. Exercise is also associated with a higher likelihood of maintaining weight loss.

For losing weight, some people do track their supposed calories burned and "eat them back." Some people eat back a portion of them, and others just view the extra calories burned as (negative) gravy. You have to figure out what will work for you, to keep yourself on track to lose weight, stay motivated and energized, and meet your priorities.
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Old 05-30-2014, 03:03 PM   #3
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I don't know, so I don't really try to change my eating based on calories burned.

A lot of people buy fitbits to track their calories burned.
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Old 05-30-2014, 03:10 PM   #4
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Without a heart rate monitor, it's definitely inaccurate. Even still, I wouldn't use calories burned as a way to try to predict how much weight you will lose, nor would I use it to gauge how much you should be eating.
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Old 05-30-2014, 04:43 PM   #5
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I don't take into account any cals burned because really there's no way to know for sure. I just kind of watch what I eat and run as much as possible, so far that has worked for me to keep the weight off.

Somebody that's new to this will need to count calories in carefully.
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Old 05-30-2014, 04:53 PM   #6
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They are notoriously wrong and I wouldn't eat back the calories they say you "can". Now, if you're hungrier, of course, eat a bit more, but not all that they say.

For me, I just use exercise calories as bonus calories burned for the day not as a reason to be able to eat more. It helps that exercise is an appetite suppressant for me.
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Old 05-30-2014, 05:32 PM   #7
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No, I don't trust them. I just like to make the number go as high as possible
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Old 05-30-2014, 06:13 PM   #8
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I ignore them and just stick to TDEE method and eat roughly the same everyday but do bump it up on hiking days. Hiking is actually weird though bc often the calorie counts are more accurate, and maybe even a little low. I suspect though that's bc what I consider "hiking" is more mountain climbing or borderline trail running to others. Like others above I say ignore the calories burned and pick a number and if you're still hungry eat some more
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Old 05-30-2014, 11:53 PM   #9
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I find that I get the most accurate information (although still imperfect) using a heart rate monitor when I walk or or do other exercise. I use a heart rate monitor that talks to Digifit which then talks to Fitbit to tell it what I burned while using my HRM.
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Old 05-31-2014, 03:16 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vex View Post
Exercise is a relatively new thing for me. I started walking and fencing back in August and I'm not really seeing the impact I had hoped for.
Exercise doesn't burn that many calories unless it is intense and/or sustained. Don't stop exercising though it is fantastic for your health and body composition.

If budget allows it I would suggest a calorie/activity tracker. Something like the fitbit because after wearing a bodybugg I discovered that formulas don't apply to everyone and small movements over the course of a day add up to quite a few calories.
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Old 05-31-2014, 04:11 AM   #11
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I haven't found trackers to be accurate, we each have different levels of cardiovascular fitness, differing muscle mass (even at the same weight and height). My general rule is that I allow another protein serving if my workout increases my hunger. When I'm otherwise on plan and on target with my food it doesn't slow the scale at all. But adding slightly more protein is a lot more reliable than tryi to gauge how much I should be adding or subtracting with activity. I don't play the number game if I can help it, and just logging my food and measuring quantities is quite helpful enough. Activity is a pleasant bonus unrelated to weight loss in practice, for me.

So long story short, I do track food (on Loseit) but not activity (pointless).
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