How Many Calories Did I Burn?

Exercise machines at the gym are a great way to burn calories. But don’t trust that glowing calorie counter on your machine to really tell you how many calories you’re burning. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh found that on an average, calorie counters on elliptical trainers gave a reading that was 31 percent too high!

Gym machines can overestimate calorie burn (floating_zen@flickr)

Many machines use age and weight in their calculations, but that’s not enough. Their algorithm may need more information, like your gender, height and maybe even your fat content. Let us explain that with a 60 kg man and 60 kg woman.

Gender: Biologically, men and women have different metabolic rates. So, a 60 kg man might have a different metabolic rate than the woman, so they burn calories at completely different rates, while running at the same speed.

Height: Two men with the same weight and different heights would have completely different body composition, thus a difference in metabolic rates and calories burned.

Fat Content: Two women with the same height (say 5’7″) and weight (60 kg) might have completely different fat content. One could have more weight due to higher muscle content and thus lower fat. The more muscular woman clearly has higher metabolic rate, and again burns a different amount of calories on the exercise machine.

But in all these cases, machines show the same results for calories burned!

Its unfortunately, that even though machines cannot accurately estimate calorie burn accurately, we have the science to accurately estimate calories consumed. Use Fitho’s calorie counter to search for your food, calculate its calories and see its full nutrition facts.

You can also find out how many calories you burn doing your favorite activities or how long you should do an activity to lose weight through Fitho’s calorie burn calculator.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo
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