Exercise calories burned…watch those bike calories

One of the challenges in counting calories is that the numbers just really aren’t very accurate…particularly exercise calories, since there are a lot of variables that come into play.

…for example swimming…since I’m not a particularly elegant swimmer, the number of calories that I burn for a particular speed is going to be higher than someone that glides through the water without a ripple…so at least that’s good news in the quest to drop a few pounds.

Cycling though, I think is a real trap…I wrote about it in an earlier post…probably worth taking another look at again:

The numbers calculated by various methods and programs are _all over the place_ and I believe generally too high…like _way_ too high

One example from yesterday on an easy bike ride, reminds me again:  36 minutes, 15.2 MPH, 152 Watts power…calorie calculations:

  • PowerTap power meter on my bike: 325 calories (9 calories/minute)
  • MyFoodDiary.com (biking 14-15.9 MPH): 577 calories (16 calories/minute)

The PowerTap calorie calculations are the lowest that I’ve seen, so the ones that I use…also consistent with One of many Carmichael articles that I’ve read, where he suggests 8-10 (recovery)  to 12 calories per minute (tough but sustainable pace) for an overall ride depending on intensity.

So, if your cycling calculator gives you a calorie burn on a normal ride, of more than 12 calories per minute, it’s probably high…or just use 10 calories per minute, and you’ll probably be more in the ballpark

…and not eat that donut thinking that you have burned an extra 300 calories, that just wasn’t there 🙂

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