Calculating calories burned is complex and tricky and nearly impossible to be 100% on. The benefits of exercise are not only burning calories. Exercise is also building muscle, improving cardiovascular performance, endurance, blood pressure, etc. As far as calories burned, if you entered your weight into the machine, it's as accurate as you are going to get without sophisticated equipment.
So when you are saying that you want to have an "effective" work out, it depends on what your definition of effective is. What are your goals with exercise? If your goal is to burn 200 calories, then stick with what you are doing. If your goal is to increase your ability, do something more challenging.
There are so many different ways to exercise, and it is up to you to decide which one works best for you and your lifestyle. If you like the elliptical, stick with it. If you feel like it is "easy", go faster, or do harder intervals. If you feel like you are "used to" the elliptical, you can vary it by doing a moderate pace for a longer period of time, adding more time, getting off the elliptical and doing jumping jacks every 5 minutes, whatever- get creative with it.
Here is a basic guideline for the difficulty level of your workout:
Easy pace: Can carry on a conversation
Moderate pace: Can speak in full sentences, but couldn't carry on a long conversation
Hard pace: Can speak single words, but cannot speak in full sentences
All exercise is good. What is "best" depends on you. In my opinion, the "best" exercise is what you don't mind doing and can commit to doing regularly.
| current weight: 165.0