Exercise! Love it or hate it, let's motivate each other to just DO IT!

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Old 07-31-2011, 08:04 AM   #1  
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Angry Totally baffled by so many different calories/hour measurements!

I've tried about a dozen websites, plugging in the same numbers (for 30 minutes on elliptical, level 5, 60rpm, at 260lbs), and I've gotten everything from 80-400 calories burned in that period.

It's a pretty frustrating situation. I don't particularly have to know a precise number, but I'd like to be able to come as close as I can. Burning 80 calories in a workout vs 400 is totally different- and I would have to adjust my diet to compensate extra calories burned.

Could anyone help me with this? Is there a good website/tool where I can get a good estimate of calories burned? I've noticed that caloriesperhour.com tends to be on the very low side of the spectrum, while women's health magazines seem to overestimate the number of calories burned. My elliptical itself really seems to brag, saying 30 minutes of working out= 500 calories burned.

Also, I'm about to start some low-impact, muscle building exercises at home, using hand weights. Any tips on what kind of calories that would burn?

Any help is greatly appreciated! Thanks!

Last edited by kelly315; 07-31-2011 at 08:05 AM.
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Old 07-31-2011, 09:00 AM   #2  
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Elliptical notoriously overestimate. The best tool is a heart rate monitor that uses a chest strap. Websites can't give an accurate number.
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Old 07-31-2011, 10:18 AM   #3  
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Honestly the point of exercising is not only to burn calories. I mean, if you think about it, it takes forever to burn off a slice of cake walking on the treadmill. The point to raise your metabolism while building muscle mass so that you can maintain weight loss as well as lose in the first place.
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Old 07-31-2011, 11:51 AM   #4  
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I had a lot of the same complaints about websites. Finally I gave in and bought a bodybugg. Now when I review workout DVDs on my blog I can actually say "I burned x calories"
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Old 07-31-2011, 12:01 PM   #5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SarRawrNaomi View Post
Honestly the point of exercising is not only to burn calories. I mean, if you think about it, it takes forever to burn off a slice of cake walking on the treadmill.
Agreed. Though the second part of this (increasing muscle mass to raise metabolism) isn't exactly true. It's hard to increase muscle mass without serious lifting (cardio doesn't do it) and even then it's still really hard to do. Plus, increasing muscle mass doesn't significantly increase metabolism.

The point of exercise is to increase fitness.

I don't think it's really worth trying to figure out how many calories you burned. If you get really hungry on days you work out, you could probably add 100 more cals to your diet to satiate your hunger without overeating any cals you did burn. But beyond that I wouldn't try to worry about it!

Read more on the Sticky thread in this forum here: http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/exer...g-methods.html

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Old 07-31-2011, 12:48 PM   #6  
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I like to know how many calories I burn when I workout too! I have a HR monitor I wear now and it is awesome- great info AND it keeps me accountable. There's no way of talking myself into the idea that 30 minutes on the eliptical is the same as 30 minutes on the treadmil! It's also really interesting to me to see what gets my HR up, how fast, how long it stays up with different exercises, how long it takes to recover, etc. I think with calorie counting, it's an important part of the equation to know (or at least have a pretty good idea about) how many calories are going out, not just counting the calories going in.
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Old 07-31-2011, 12:56 PM   #7  
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I love my heart rate monitor! I had a personal trainer who was also a Polar rep set it up for me. My heart rate for the best fat loss percentage is 130.
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Old 07-31-2011, 01:19 PM   #8  
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This article has a formula (one for men and one for women) that should tell you approx. what you burn per minute and then you can multiply that by how many minutes you workout. Keep in mind that this is not the net calories burned because you would still be burning some calories while just lying in bed so take that all with a grain of salt.

http://www.livestrong.com/article/36...alories-burnt/

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Old 07-31-2011, 01:39 PM   #9  
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Honestly without a heartrate monitor there is no way to accurately estimate calories burned. Also unless you are regularly burning hundreds of calories, like over 500 I really wouldn't be too concerned about "eating back" your exercise cals. I never did and lost just fine. That said, as I got more active and exercised more I did increase my cals a smidge to continue losing, but it was just an average, nothing specific. Since calorimg counting in general has a margin of error and so does estimating our calories burned you may be doing yourself a disservice by getting too specific and you may find yourself overeating. Anywho, good luck!
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Old 07-31-2011, 02:14 PM   #10  
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I agree on the heart rate monitor. It lets you have a reasonable accurate count of the calories you've burned and it also gives you all kinds of information that you can use as motivation. Watching your heart rate lets you 'see' your increasing fitness--it's fun!

(For example, when I started exercising again a few weeks ago, my HR would be up the high 160s and low 170s as I did a slow run--that's up in the top of my range. Today I can run faster but my HR hangs around the low-mid 150s--my happy cardio zone. It's cool tangible evidence of improving fitness!)
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Old 07-31-2011, 02:45 PM   #11  
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I totally agree with the two posts above!
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Old 07-31-2011, 09:20 PM   #12  
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thanks everyone. I had a bodybugg in the past and loved it, so maybe I'll try that again.

There were a few people who said something along the line of "the purpose of exercise is not to burn calories." Sorry if I wasn't clear enough in my first post. I want to know the number of calories because I want to increase my calorie intake in a sufficient way to make sure I'm well balanced. If I burned 80 calories, then I would change my diet in a different way than if I burned 600 calories. I understand why this might be a hot-button issue and I appreciate your passion.

Last edited by kelly315; 07-31-2011 at 09:21 PM.
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