How to Calculate Calories Burned During a Workout
Have you ever wondered how many calories you actually burned during your workout?
If you used a piece of gym equipment that displays it, that’s great, but what if you ran outside, or went swimming, or went for a hike, the list goes on. It can be difficult to know how many calories you burned during those activities.
That’s when a calories burned or activity calculator can be extremely helpful. (Scroll down for the actual calculator).
A calculator that tells you how many calories you burned during a certain activity will
A Guess?! How many calories did I actually burn though?!
An activity calculator can only give you a good guess as to how many calories you burned because the information it has is limited.
Unfortunately, the same goes for exercise equipment.
Generally, exercise equipment over estimates how many calories you burned during a workout.
Which is one major factor in why people struggle to lose weight.
What calculators and exercise equipment don’t know about is your fitness level – which will determine how hard you’re working – and your body composition.
According to MyFitnessPal, here are the percentages common cardio machines overestimate how many calories you burned during your workout:
- Treadmills – 13%
- Stationary Bike – 7%
- Stairs – 12%
- Elliptical – 42%
How to Accurately Measure Calories Burned
The most practical way to measure calories burned during a workout is to use a wearable fitness tracker with a heart rate monitor.
It’s important that the tracker has a heart rate monitor so that it can take into account your effort level.
There’s tons of options out there, but I personally use a FitBit Charge HR.
I can attest to the accuracy of the Fitbit after having my resting metabolic rate and VO2 Max professionally measured, the numbers aligned with what FitBit was telling me pretty closely.
Your resting metabolic rate is basically how many calories your body needs just for it’s most basic functions – aka just to be able to love.
VO2 max is a measure of your oxygen consumption during a workout – to put it extremely simply.
What’s import is that those two numbers can be used as a benchmark to more accurately measure how many calories you’re burning during your workouts.
I went off on a bit of a tangent there, but those are good terms to know.
Any way, part of what I like about the FitBit is how easy the app makes it to see your activity:
Calculate How Many Calories You Burn
How to Figure Out How Many Calories You Should Eat vs Burn
Now you have a better understanding of how many calories you’re actually burning.
So now you might be wondering how many you should be burning vs eating in order to lose weight.
Get the full break down of what calories you need by getting a personalized weight loss calculator: