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HAWKTHREE's Photo HAWKTHREE SparkPoints: (67,659)
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4/24/18 5:04 A

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If I'm not losing weight, it's usually something other than the exercise calories. I'm a human being and there's simply too many variables.

There is no such thing as the final success in life. What is really meaningful is the courage to face the next minute, the next hour, the next day.

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SHOAPIE's Photo SHOAPIE Posts: 26,751
4/6/18 3:52 P

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I’ve always figured these are at best a guess. Too many variables for them to be real accurate.

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ZRIE014 Posts: 161,591
4/6/18 12:39 A

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i do not worry about the calories

HANNAH1SAMUEL2's Photo HANNAH1SAMUEL2 SparkPoints: (14,822)
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4/5/18 9:06 P

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I’ve worried about this and try not to eat to my max calories to hopefully compensate for those differences

-Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars.
-I have not failed. I have found 10,000 things that do not work. Thomas Edison

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CHAZ2JOSEPH's Photo CHAZ2JOSEPH SparkPoints: (8,525)
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3/30/18 3:15 A

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Most of the time the calories burned for me is inaccurate as well. I just keep pushing. As long as the scale is changing, my body feels good, and my clothes are getiing bigger I am okay with the inaccurate count.

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SPEEDYDOG's Photo SPEEDYDOG Posts: 3,047
3/24/18 1:44 P

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This is a very interesting thread.

I agree that consuming extra calories, based on a fitness tracker that a person wears like a watch, may lead to over-consumption of food.

I have a Garmin Vivomove Classic Watch. I also have a Fitbit Charge that I don't wear much. I like the Garmin because it looks like a normal wrist watch with leather band. The Garmin Vivomove and the Fitbit agree with each other pretty well.

I walked my dog this morning for about an hour. We walked 2 miles. Walking my dog is not too strenuous. The Garmin application reported I used 100 calories walking my dog.

My basal metabolic rate is 120 calories an hour. So, did I burn 220 calories walking my dog? I don't think so. Even if I did burn an extra 100 calories - that does not mean I can eat a 100-calorie peanut butter saltine sandwich or drink a light beer.

Walking is good and has many health benefits. However, burning massive calories is not one of walking’s benefit.

I live in Colorado, so my intense exercises are running or cycling over steep hilly terrain. I have a Garmin Fenix 5S with heart rate chest strap that I wear during these intense activities. High altitude also contributes to the difficulty of hard exercise.

A few days ago, I cycled for 2 hours on a concrete bike path. I climbed 1,407 feet. My average speed was 19.15 mph. Maximum speed was 42.6 mph (downhill).

My heart rate monitor indicated that I spent 50 minutes in Zone 5 (Maximum Exertion), which for me is greater than 160 beats per minute. I spent 50 minutes in Zone 4 (Above Lactate Threshold), which for me is 148 to 159 beats per minute. I managed to spend 20 minutes in Zone 3 (Aerobic), which for me is 130 to 147 beats per minute.

(BTW - I have had cardiac and respiratory screening. My maximum heart rate is 180 bpm. My lung capacity is high. I have been approved for this level of exertion by a qualified doctor.)

Average elevation for this ride was 5,923 feet above sea level. High elevation drives your heart rate higher. My blood pressure is low at 110/75. My resting heat rate is less than 50 bpm.

The Garmin Express application estimated my total calorie expenditure for this brutal ride at 1,395 - 240 (basal metabolic rate) or 1,115 extra calories expended.

After a hard ride, I have to rest for 3 days before I can get back on the bike. So, what does that mean? That means the extreme exertion equals 385 extra calories per day. So, I can have 3 whole saltine peanut butter sandwiches per day, until I can go on another bike ride!

Exercise has tons of benefits. Consuming a lot extra calorie is not one of those benefits.

Edited by: SPEEDYDOG at: 3/24/2018 (14:06)
"No one has ever drowned in sweat."
Lou Holtz

"The strongest have their moments of fatigue."
Friedrich Nietzsche

"It ain't bragging if you can do it."
Dizzy Dean

" Not everyone who looks fast really is, and not everyone who looks slow really is."
Mark Remy

 Pounds lost: 66.0 
CINDYTW963's Photo CINDYTW963 Posts: 4,297
3/23/18 1:33 A

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I have a Fitbit. I trust it more than other sources for calories burned since it also tracks heart rate. I go by what my Fitbit says I burned, subtract 500-1000 calories and that is my calories to eat. I know on average what I burn via Fitbit. DON'T link Fitbit with SP, it gives you WAY overinflated calories burned and so a lot of extra calories that you don't need.

Cindy~Eastern Time (Western NY)

 current weight: 206.8 
3/22/18 8:19 A

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I don't treat them as related. I don't find the concept of 'move more to eat more' helpful for a healthy lifestyle. I have and continue to use movement trackers to help me find my best growth edges for exercise and sustained daily activity between exercise. I track and watch my trends for nutritional intake to help me understand what I need for weight loss, knowing that will evolve as my fitness routines do and through loss phases into maintenance. My ultimate goal is to get in tuned with my body enough to not need machines or trackers to 'tell' me what I need to do to fuel properly.

SYNCHRODAD's Photo SYNCHRODAD SparkPoints: (43,524)
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3/17/18 7:56 P

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There are some very thoughtful, refined opinions here. I have kept my life simple. I have a Fitbit and I linked it to my activity in Spark. While I was working towards my loss/maintenance goal, I let the Fitbit steps counter change my calories per day, my Goal was a pound a week. After 7 months, I hit "Maintenance." Now I still let Fitbit dictate the calorie count, and my "fake" goal in Spark is a half pound a week. I don't need "wildly" different calorie counts from an HR monitor (I have one), my Garmin (I have one) or Fitbit calc to affect the simplicity of steps. Works well for me.

Sparker Since 2005

Highest Weight, Oct, 2016 227

At Maintenance 11/30/17 188 Pounds, 7 Month Effort..

"You eat what you buy. Shop wisely, my friend."

 current weight: 210.0 
HWNHMMBRD's Photo HWNHMMBRD Posts: 3,329
3/14/18 12:28 P

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Like many, I don't "eat" my calories. I have had my RMR (resting metabolic rate, simular to BMR) medically analysed and I am very LOW. I stopped paying attention to the SP "You need to eat more" flags and try to stay within 1100-1300, but this is under medical guidance and supervision. I do use a Chest strap HRM (Polar H10)and the Runkeeper App for cardio. I pay attention to my HR to gauge the intensity of my workout and to avoid over exerting, and Runkeeper syncs to SP, so it adds the activity automatically. I have used MMF in the past, but RK has a Stopwatch mode that lets you time treadmill and other exercises that are stationary. I agree with the people that say find the calorie range where you are losing at a comfortable rate and can go with out being hungry.

Waianae, Hawaii
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"Don't fail until you fail." ~Prince Talon, "Shalador's Lady"

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LORALLBB SparkPoints: (3,714)
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3/11/18 7:14 P

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The calculated burned calories from my Fitbit is ridiculously high. According to info I've found online, for my weight and age and walking speed, I burn approximately 200 calories for a 45 minute walk, so that's what I use.

3/5/18 12:19 P

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The accuracy of whatever tracker/device/estimator you are using will depend on the information that device has available to it. Does it know your weight, age, heart rate, distance, level of exertion, etc.? I would guess that your GPS tracker says you burn more calories than SP, and that is because it probably has "more" information about your workout. If you are going up and down hills, the GPS "knows;" meanwhile, SP thinks that you just "walked 2 miles in 40 minutes," assuming your path was completely flat. Maybe one of the devices doesn't know how old you are or how much you weigh, and that could affect the accuracy of the read. Of course, a GPS device could also have false information, as I have found when I've used it in a big city -- something about the skyscrapers seems to make it really inaccurate, and it thinks that I walked WAY more than I did. Of course that was pretty obvious when it said I'd walked 3 miles in a half hour!!

I would say whether or not you should just throw all the active calories out the window depends on just how active you are. If you are working out long enough that there is a 200-300 calorie DIFFERENCE between calculators, I have to guess that's a long workout, and burning a fair amount of calories. If SP is telling you to eat 1200-1550 calories (the lowest they will allow a woman) and you don't have any activity accounted for, and you are eating on the low end of that but went on a one hour jog, you will certainly lose weight but you could be hungry and tired from not consuming enough calories.. which could then backfire and end in binging. You may just have to experiment.

3/3/18 6:22 A

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I agree with what has already been said here. Calories burned calculators are a wild game of numbers and nothing more than that. It's impossible to know the actual amount of calories burned without knowing exactly what your metabolism rate is and since that varies for everyone and is different on every given day, you'll never know for sure the actual calories that are being burned.

When it comes to running, you can estimate APPROXIMATELY 100 calories burned per mile and that varies depending on how light you are and how much easier running has become. It could be 89 calories per mile or it could be 106 calories per mile etc. If you're going to track your running, for example, why not track the minutes spent running...and see if you can stick with your goal amount...or track the distance you ran..so many miles per week. This can be applied to most exercises...except the estimated calories burned varies depending on the effort used...running uphill is harder than say stationary biking.

A lot of people end up over-eating because they don't know they are eating more than they were actually burning off.

"Success is holding on when you feel like letting go."

 current weight: 163.4 
I_ROBOT's Photo I_ROBOT SparkPoints: (23,478)
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3/2/18 4:44 P

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I use a chest heart rate monitor as well and I can tell you that weather along with altitude changes are a key factor. Walking into the wind is a bigger workout than walking with the wind, etc.

Many of the GPS apps do not factor in altitude changes and can be very inaccurate in calculating distance. My wife and I walk together and her GPS never matches my GPS walking distance.

Read and record numbers with a grain of salt.

Thirst can be mistaken for hunger.
You cannot outrun the fork.
The journey never ends.
Exercise is medicine.
Move to Improve.

Harry in Wild and Windy Casper, WY, USA Mountain Time

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COONSY's Photo COONSY Posts: 1,270
3/2/18 4:23 P

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I use a chest HR monitor along with an app where I choose the type of exercise (to help avoid the wrong type of calculation) along with all of my stats.

Since I've started using this system, my counts seem to be pretty accurate. I'm not actively trying to lose weight, instead I'm recomping. The scale has held pretty steady, while measurements have steadily shrunk. I eat back most if not all of my exercise calories, and my numbers are staying where they should.

That being said, I'm working out pretty intensely for 2 hours, 5 days a week. That can actually add up to a pretty massive number of calories. If I try cutting back too much, my workouts and my overall energy levels plummet/suffer, so I'm pretty much on target.

I'm in a very, very slight deficit, eating up to maintenance for my "goal" weight. According to my weight trend app, I'm right on point with a very, very slow general downward weight trend, of about .2-.3lb/week.

This has me pretty happy with this monitor/app combo (Polar H10 + Polar Beat app)

Daly City, CA

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Try not, do or do not. There is no try.

Never argue with an idiot - they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

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MARTHA324's Photo MARTHA324 Posts: 8,115
3/2/18 8:12 A

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In my experience the calories burned is just an estimate and mine get calculated with my Garmin. some days when I'm really working hard it shows almost no extra cals burned and others days it is way over the top. I don't "eat back" my calories so it doesn't really matter. What I pay attention to is whether I'm maintaining in my goal range and if so, then cals in vs cals out is in balance.

Persistence is more important than perfection.

Don't assume your freedoms are assured.

If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention.

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CHERYLA2012's Photo CHERYLA2012 Posts: 4,116
3/2/18 5:34 A

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You've made an excellent, sustainable decision by not factoring your "burned" calories into your plan. As others have shared, we can't out-exercise a bad diet. We can make good food (fuel) choices every time we eat, so that we have the energy to power through our days. Making lifestyle changes that we can live with for the rest of our lives (along with having to tweak them every once in a while) is something we can do, too.

When I started my journey, I received wonderful advice to not "eat back the calories I burned" and that has served me well the 5 years I've been a Sparker. I also don't commit to exercising more in order to get additional calories.

Here's to you figuring out what works best for you in your experiment of one!

#50 lost (7.10.2013)
#70 lost (11.24.2014)
#100 lost (6.16.2015)

Only I can change my life, no one can do it for me.

196 Maintenance Weeks
MAGLITE7's Photo MAGLITE7 Posts: 745
3/1/18 11:36 A

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Honestly, not factoring in calorie burn is actually not a bad idea for precisely that reason. Truth is that your body is going to burn calories differently than someone else's due to metabolism, body composition, etc, so there is no real accurate way to figure out how much you are burning except in a research lab. As the saying goes "you can't out exercise a bad diet". Exercise should be used to build lean muscle (which helps you burn calories better), improve cardiovascular health (which helps your body become more efficient at using oxygen, and therefore burning calories better), etc. Don't ever use doing a workout as an "excuse" to "cheat" because you will often end up "cheating" way more than the exercise is worth, calorie wise.

"Your worst enemy cannot harm you
As much as your thoughts, unguarded.
But once mastered,
No one can help you as much."
-The Dhammapada

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LUANN_IN_PA Posts: 28,943
2/28/18 6:48 P

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Yep - calories burned is pretty much a best guess situation.
I just use the numbers on SparkPeople to have a semblance of consistency.

"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand."
~ Randy Pausch

"There's a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstance permit. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results."
~ Art Turock

"We have a saying in Tibet: If a problem can be solved, there is no use worrying about it. If it can't be solved, worrying will do no good."
~ 7 Years in T
NDSTOIC44's Photo NDSTOIC44 Posts: 643
2/28/18 4:46 P

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I've noticed that my calories burned amount is never accurate. I exercise outside running/jogging/walking. I use the MapMyWalk app to gps track it. After I workout I enter the time and pace from my app into SP. I get wildly different calorie burned amounts (I'm talking 200-300 difference for a long workout). I've tried different apps and different trackers and it's never consistent among any app or tracker. Anyone else have this issue? It's to the point where I just don't factor burned calories into my plan at all.

 current weight: 203.0 
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