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JENNIFERZDONE SparkPoints: (3,003)
Fitness Minutes: (1,227)
Posts: 60
2/11/13 11:21 A

Thank you everyone! You have all been extremely helpful. I have been looking into getting bodymedia. So far I think it's the best choice for me. I have about 100lbs to lose and i want to make sure I'm burning enough. Thanks again!!

MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,292
2/11/13 5:38 A

Even HRM's are not foolproof. High blood pressure and some medications can lead to an increased heart rate (above what the exercise warrants) and can lead to overestimates of calories burned.


AM_MORRIS87 Posts: 1,665
2/9/13 7:09 P

Yes, I totally agree with Unident. SP waaay overestimates the calories that people are burning (and I've gotten in many arguments with people on the message boards here over it.) I have no idea why SP has such a high calorie burn calculator... but it contributes to people thinking they are doing more than they really are. It's easier to justify slip ups if you think you can burn an outrageous amount of calories to help even it out. Honestly, the amount of calories it said you burned, I would cut in half. Burning 600 calories an hour is definitely possible, and saying you burned around 300 in your half hour of exercise is certainly reasonable. I don't mean to be a downer, but it's better to underestimate your calories burned in this type of circumstance. If you want to be certain though, I would absolutely recommend investing in a HRM. I have a Polar FT4, and it cost about $70. It's incredibly easy to use, and will help you better gauge your efforts. When I run, I can burn around 800 calories an hour. However, if I do the elliptical it's usually somewhere close to 500-600. (I weigh 160 right now btw.) Even when I do use my HRM, it's not going to be exact. So let's say it says I burned 782 calories, I'll just track 700 to be safe.

The main problem here is that so many people think they can out train poor diet choices. As long as they hit the gym, it's okay that they went out for a burger and fries. And it's okay that they are continuously 100-200 calories OVER their limit. It just doesn't even out. And I'm not saying that YOU do this, I'm just saying it's a recurring problem. That's why I never recommend people use Myfitnesspal, because it actually lets you eat more calories if you exercise. It just contributes to people thinking they are burning more than they really are, and eating more than they really should. Try to think of your weight loss as coming from your nutrition and calorie deficit, and exercise just kind of being icing on the cake.

PAMLICO-DAZE SparkPoints: (46,810)
Fitness Minutes: (34,007)
Posts: 1,215
2/9/13 2:53 P

What a great question. I too find the Tracker gives me more calories burned than the machine that I have been working out on. I just try to do an hour of good cardio a day and hope it all balances out.

UNIDENT Posts: 33,498
2/9/13 1:44 P

I'd completely disagree with Bill that it's even within the realms of possibility. It's not.

Exercise is generally between 6 and 10 calories per minute (cpm). Hard exercise, especially if obese, can produce higher, like maybe 12, possibly as much as 13 or 14 for an especially conditioned obese person (fit and fat) who is really pushing it.

This value offered by Spark is 20 cpm.

That is NOT even within the bounds of realism. Not possible. For anyone, anywhere.

Please read this blog on the exercycle where I test Spark's calculations to discover that for magnetic resistance machines (of which elliptical is one too) that don't actually use your bodyweight, Spark is factoring your bodyweight, producing fantastically impossible results:

If you don't have an HRM to use, see what the machine itself offers, if it does, or google other sites for an approximation. Do not use Spark's entry.

I wish they'd remove it or change it. It's so hopelessly beyond the bounds of possibility. It's horribly overcalculating for some people, especially if they use that machine a lot and rely on Spark's figures.

MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,292
2/9/13 6:21 A

Spark's Exercise Tracker assumes calorie burn is proportionate to bodyweight. This holds true for most activities (eg. running, walking, aerobics), but for activities such as the elliptical where you are working out against the resistance of the machine rather than your own bodyweight, this can produce some seriously misleading results, especially for heavier people.

I'd definitely go with the more conservative of these two estimates.


BREWMASTERBILL SparkPoints: (31,088)
Fitness Minutes: (12,713)
Posts: 4,114
2/8/13 2:38 P

It's within the realm of possibility, yes, but that's on the very high side.

Those machines are notoriously wrong and overestimate way too much. I would not use the calories on the machine to determine how much to eat. If you want to micromanage it down to that level, get a heart rate monitor.

JENNIFERZDONE SparkPoints: (3,003)
Fitness Minutes: (1,227)
Posts: 60
2/8/13 2:35 P

Elliptical for 33 minutes burning 658 calories. I know it all depends on your weight, height and a bunch of other stuff, but isn't that a crazy amount of calories to burn for only 33 minutes? I want to make sure Im eating the right amount of calories. At my gym it asks me for my weight, and for the same time it says I only burn about 200 calories. Which one is closest to being correct. Someone please help me?

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