(Closed) How far "out" are the calories burned on gym equipment?

posted 6 years ago in Fitness
Post # 3
3718 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I’ve always wondered that too. If I run 5 miles on the treadmill it says I burn 600+. If I use the runners world calculator it says 493. If I use map my run (so with hills and wind), it says 345. I say about 450, but that is a guess. It could be 1 brownie, it could be two 😉

Post # 4
1483 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I don’t think they are accurate at all. Causes a lot of problems when people who count calories are trying to eat back the ones they burned. I have no way of knowing though how inaccurate they are, but I do think they run high. I have heard of people buying heart rate monitors and using those to figure calorie counts instead.

Also, the most common solution regarding how many calories to eat I have read on my fitness pal is to count half- so if the machine says you burned 500 calories, eat back 250. This is a little conservative, so maybe you could up that to 75%.

Post # 5
3718 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@Tatum:  That is why I was heavily encouraged not to eat back my calories. What my doctor recommended was not to eat back on days you worked out less than 40 minutes and to then eat back 250 calories per hour of exercise. For me that works and means that a 5 mile run would get gummy bears and a glass of wine, a half marathon would only get me 500 extra calories.

Post # 6
8041 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2013

@Spideykiss:  I’d definitely take it with a grain of salt. I imagine you likely burned around 300 calories. 500 calories IS a lot… we are similar height/weight. If you swam for an hour then 500 calories is more realistic.

Post # 7
13251 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

They’re very far off.  I bought a heart rate monitor to more accurately count burned calories, and I found that it was usually less than half of what the machine was telling me, and I did the same as you with putting in height/weight/gender and all that jazz. 

Post # 8
2065 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

Eh, depends on your heartrate and all kinds of other information. I got myself a heart rate monitor and I trust that more than the machine counts. I think I’m weird though because my HRM without fail ALWAYS says I burn more calories than the machines.

As for eating back calories, depends on the type of workout I do. If I’ve just done cardio that day, I maybe add an extra light snack – granola bar, banana, something simple. But if it’s one of my weight-lifting days, I definitely NEED to eat extra or else I’m just famished and miserable. The extra calories usually come from my post-workout protein drink (2 scoops of protein with milk) and I add in a heavier than normal snack between lunch and dinner.

Post # 9
2103 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

I’d say it’s about 30% more than what I burn by my HRM. I burn roughly 100 calories per mile ran. The TM will say I burn 130 a mile.

Post # 11
661 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

I agree that they are way off, but I love looking at the high numbers of cals burned. They motivate me. You also still burn after you are finished exercising, so I think ,maybe you break out even.

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