How do you accurtaley log your exercise calories burned?

fairy2b Posts: 126 Member
Everything I read insists that MFP grossly overestimates the burn that you get through exercise. I read an article yesterday that said elliptical machines were the worst culprits in inaccurate information and could be as much as 40% off in what they display as calorie burn.

What I see most often here is that people will log whatever MFP says, but then only eat 50-75% of those exercise calories back.

How do you log it? I had no idea it was so inaccurate and was logging what it told me, AND eating most of my exercise calories back some days. I'd like to log exercise more accurately. Today I took the total MFP calories burned and guesstimated (I know, guessing is never a good idea with weight loss) and logged 70% of the total "calories burned" instead of the full amount displayed (logging 500 verse 720).

I'm curious, how do you get the most accurate log to keep track of your burns?


  • Hornsby
    Hornsby Posts: 10,322 Member
    For steady state cardio such as elliptical or running, a heart rate monitor will probably be as accurate as you are going to get for home use. They are still just estimations as well, but are usually more accurate that MFP numbers.
  • fairy2b
    fairy2b Posts: 126 Member
    I'm not familiar with heart rate they display a projected burn? Or do you calculate based on HR?
  • TeaBea
    TeaBea Posts: 14,517 Member
    Heart rate monitors are designed for steady state cardio. So they should help give you a better picture for that type of exercise....but they still use a formula which is not accurate for every single person.

    If you are taking exercise calories MFP gives you (eating them back) and still losing weight...then no harm done. Most people will over ride the numbers (take 25% off) and carry on. Over time they get an idea that those calories are A. about right or B. over stated.

    None of these things are exact. Some people weigh food....other people measure. There will be differences there. You need to tweak the numbers to work for you.
  • gonnasnap
    gonnasnap Posts: 146 Member
    I go through a variety of websites to see what they claim are calories burned for a certain exercise per hour and then create and average. Then I create an exercise in the app with that number. It's not an exact science but it gives me something to go by.
  • Asher_Ethan
    Asher_Ethan Posts: 2,430 Member
    edited April 2015
    When I'm not using my HRM I usually put in that I walked (when I actually ran) and eat back only 50% of those calories. I'm still loosing so it's working for me.
  • _mr_b
    _mr_b Posts: 302 Member
    HRM is the most accurate calculation you'll get, there are all sorts of solutions on the market depending on whether you want to connect it to your phone or have a dedicated device. I'd say the chest straps are more accurate than wrist worn ones but both would be more accurate than a generic website.

    Personally I use a Garmin and not only is it great but the sites talk to each other so it updates MFP automatically too :smile:
  • jemhh
    jemhh Posts: 14,261 Member
    edited April 2015
    I switched back to the MFP method from TDEE a few weeks ago, just for a change. I use the MFP calorie burns or MapMyWalk or RunDouble and eat them all most days. I've been losing a pound a week.