Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sharing a Formula

I've been thinking alot about calories over that last couple of days. Caloric intake versus caloric burn. It seems like it should be pretty simple, yet all of us who weigh ourselves regularly have definitely had a bad weigh in after a perfect week.

Some of these thoughts came about after watching this week's episode of Biggest Loser. This past week it was stated that male contestants had to burn 8000 PER DAY, female 6000. That's just nuts to me - I personally shoot for 2500-3000 per week and sometimes don't even hit that! Yes, I do understand that they work out 8-10 hours a day and I guess you'd have to, to make 6000 per day.

There are lots of tools out there to help us deciper all this, including machines with built in calorie counters, heart rate monitors, that body bugg thing that BL contestants wear, etc. Great tools if you are trying to lose weight.

The problem lies in their accuracy. Some are more accurate than others - i.e., a HRM should be because it's based on your personal heart rate. However, they've all got their problems. For example, I can go on a 3 mile walk on the same route two different times and my HRM will tell me that I've burned 150 calories one time and 280 the next. Since I know conditions are the same, that has to mean that my HRM is "reading" something wrong. If I do that same walk on my treadmill it might say I've burned 400 calories. This can be frustrating, very frustrating.

So, what's a girl to do?

Some years ago, before I had gadgets, I came across a scientific study that ended with a formula for calculating calorie burn. What's so great about it is that it works whether you are male or female because it's based on weight. It's specifically for walking and running, which I do a lot of and I think this is probably the most accurate thing I've ever seen. As I said, I use it because even my HRM acts up sometimes.

Calorie Burn Per Mile:

Running .75 x your weight (in lbs.)/Net Burn is .63 x your weight

Walking .53 x your weight/Net Burn is .30 x your weight

Net Burn is your actual calorie burn over what your basal metabolism would burn anyway.

Just thought I'd share. Give it a try and see if it works for you in helping calculate your calories in/calories out.

1 comment:

  1. Ugh math!! :) Seriously, thanks for that. I'm going to use that to compare what my HRM says. I find it to be pretty consistent most of the time if I have it on right! Congrats on your loss yesterday!