I think it's a safe bet that all those calorie burning estimates are high, whether you're getting them from an exercise machine or an on-line tracker like ours or any other one. How far they're off is pretty hard to figure out without collecting some very detailed info over a period of time. One reason they're high is that they all double-count some of those calories burned. That's because they don't estimate just your "net" calories burned by the exercise itself--they also include the calories you would have burned if you spent that same amount of time laying in bed. This won't be a big problem if you only do about 30 minutes of pretty high intensity exercise, but if you do quite a bit of normal walking every day, for example, and count all those steps as "exercise," you'll be double counting a lot of calories--enough to throw your recommend calorie range off. That's why we don't recommend that people use the fitness tracker to track their normal daily activities like walking around the house or office or doing light chores as "exercise." Just track your formal exercise with the tracker.
Another reason the estimates are off is that is that they don't make any allowance for your body fat percentage. Obviously, someone who weighs 300 pounds with a body fat percentage of 5% will burn a lot more calories/minute than someone the same weight with a bodyfat of 40% doing the same activity. When I first started going to the gym at about 375 pounds, the counter on the elliptical machines told me I was burning over 1800 calories an hour, and our tracker here put it at about 1600. If either we're right, I should have been losing weight at the rate of about 1.5 pounds/day, instead of the 2-3 pounds/week I actually lost at that stage. Even now, at 200 pounds, the fitness tracker tells me I'm burning about 900 calories per hour when I use the cross country hiking option, but my heart rate monitor says the number is closer to 600, and I'm pretty sure even that one is a little high.
I think the best thing to do at this point might be to use your own 900 figure for that inspection activity, if it's something you'll be doing on a regular basis. 600 calories per hour sounds about right for an activity that keeps your heart rate in the upper half of your aerobic zone, on average.
One good way to check out all these numbers, if you want to, is to keep a spreadsheet for a month or so, where you track your resting metabolic rate calories (your BMR), your normal daily activity calories, your exercise calories, and your calorie intake. In theory, those numbers should tell you your total calorie balance, and if that's accurate you can use that number to predict your weight change over that period of time fairly closely. Then you can compare that to your actual weight change, to see how close it is to the predicted amount. This still won't be exact, because it can't tell you exactly which numbers aren't right, but at least it will give you an idea of how far off your numbers might be. This method won't work over a short period of time, like a day or two, because of normal water weight fluctuations, but over a month or so, it can help you figure out how to recognize a "bad" number when you get one from a tracker or exercise machine.
Here's a website with a pretty good set of calculators you can use to get a rough estimate of your daily calorie burn with non-exercise activity:
Hope this helps.
"All your life, you have just been waiting for this moment to arise."
(Lennon & McCartney, "Blackbird")
| current weight: 199.0