Calories burned per mile

24

Replies

  • SezxyStef
    SezxyStef Posts: 15,270 Member
    I've actually read a few studies that indicate it doesn't matter in the distance.

    Normal weight walking @ 2.94 MPH burns 93.9 calories
    Overweight walking @ 2.97 mph burns 98.4 calories
    Marathon Runners Running @ 6.78 mph burns 99.3 calories...

    It's all about duration...1 mile is after all 1 mile...
  • sijomial
    sijomial Posts: 19,859 Member
    That someone is huffing and puffing during very mild exercise is not indicative of greater calorie burns - just poor fitness and low capabilities. Does an obese badly unfit 300lb person burn significantly more than a 300lb fit athete or does it just feel harder?

    Does a 300lb person of whatever fitness burn more net calories than two 150lb people walking the same distance?

    What IMHO is unhelpful is coming up with exagerated calorie burns. You are welcome to think your clutch of estimates is better but that's a million miles away from saying a different estimate is "absurd" when it's actually a result of research.


  • PAV8888
    PAV8888 Posts: 11,146 Member
    edited March 2020
    There has been more than one of us quoting the Rx walk / run calculator which I think is well modeled and accurate.

    With one of us saying it proves the runner world formula, and myself saying it disproves it.

    300lb, net cals, 2.5 miles per hour, one hour

    Runner world: 225
    Rx walk/run: 275
    MET value would be 2x BMR (it is a 3 met activity), so 40yo, 5ft 8" male, 300lbs, would be about 200

    The likelihood of firm level walk where I walk is a different question! 🤷‍♂️
  • NovusDies
    NovusDies Posts: 8,940 Member
    Granted I have not reviewed all my data but according to apple watch which gets me pretty accurately the difference between my 300ish pound self and my current self on calories per mile is almost the same which is around 105. I carried more then but move faster now.
  • lgfrie
    lgfrie Posts: 1,450 Member
    sijomial wrote: »
    That someone is huffing and puffing during very mild exercise is not indicative of greater calorie burns - just poor fitness and low capabilities. Does an obese badly unfit 300lb person burn significantly more than a 300lb fit athete or does it just feel harder?

    Does a 300lb person of whatever fitness burn more net calories than two 150lb people walking the same distance?

    What IMHO is unhelpful is coming up with exagerated calorie burns. You are welcome to think your clutch of estimates is better but that's a million miles away from saying a different estimate is "absurd" when it's actually a result of research.

    It is not my clutch of estimates. It is links to five online calorie estimators for walking, all of which agree with each other +/- 10-20 %. I typed "Exercise calories for walking" into Google, checked out the results on the first few pages, and posted 5 representative links, though there are dozens more, all more or less in agreement on the calories, and all substantially higher than the RW formula. RW doesn't have a monopoly on research. These other sites are using their own data sets and metabolic research, too.

    But OK, fine, let's not over-rely on a clutch of 5 data points.

    MapMyWalk awards 156 calories burned for a one mile walk for a 249 pound person.

    Runkeeper gives me 162 calories per mile.

    Here's MFP itself, weighing in on how many calories I, at 249 pounds, should get for an hour of walking at 2.25 mph.

    nnykaq7hout0.jpg

    Do note that MFP's own formula results in 152 calories per mile.

    And so, we are now at 8 data points, each and every one of which is within 10-20 % of all the others, and then there's RW, which has a far, far, FAR lower estimate.

    At what point is there enough data to question RW and conclude that its coefficient of 0.3 is too low?
  • sijomial
    sijomial Posts: 19,859 Member
    It's not MyFitnessPal's own formula!
    You do realise that MFP hasn't funded any exercise research and is just using readily available sources?

    It's just sources one calorie estimate (probably from the Compendium of Physical Activities) which again is not based on unique research by the authors of the Compendium and is a gross calorie estimate at that (total METS for the duration) - that's one of the well known issues with the exercise database on here. For a large person doing a long duration but low rate of burn activity that introduces a more significant error than the different studies which the many various estimators source.

    Just as the estimate you get from Runner's World is not from Runner's World own studies.
    Just like MapMy haven't done their own research.
    Just like Runkeeper haven't done their own research.

    There are a range of estimates (accessed via apps, calculators, web sites...), some well researched, some not so well researched, many gross, some net and they come up with a range of estimates.

    That some are lower doesn't make the absurd - just lower.
    That some are higher doesn't make them more accurate - just higher.

    Get yourself of to a sports science lab and get tested if you want to really know your rate of burn. Or maybe just accept that using @Pav8888 's example a 50 calorie range between two reasonable estimates is perfectly good enough for the purpose of calorie estimating for weight control.


  • robertw486
    robertw486 Posts: 2,344 Member
    SezxyStef wrote: »
    I've actually read a few studies that indicate it doesn't matter in the distance.

    Normal weight walking @ 2.94 MPH burns 93.9 calories
    Overweight walking @ 2.97 mph burns 98.4 calories
    Marathon Runners Running @ 6.78 mph burns 99.3 calories...

    It's all about duration...1 mile is after all 1 mile...

    I actually happen to have that study bookmarked.

    https://journals.lww.com/nsca-jscr/Fulltext/2010/10000/Comparison_of_Energy_Expenditure_to_Walk_or_Run_a.29.aspx

    Though the study doesn't go into obese categories, it does conclude much the same thing as the Runners World numbers. Since running expends roughly twice as many calories as walking, those running twice the speed as the walkers still use about the same amount of energy in terms of gross calorie burn.

    And even those tested that were above 300 lbs didn't reach 150 gross calories per mile.

    Science > feelings

  • NovusDies
    NovusDies Posts: 8,940 Member
    sijomial wrote: »
    It's not MyFitnessPal's own formula!
    You do realise that MFP hasn't funded any exercise research and is just using readily available sources?

    It's just sources one calorie estimate (probably from the Compendium of Physical Activities) which again is not based on unique research by the authors of the Compendium and is a gross calorie estimate at that (total METS for the duration) - that's one of the well known issues with the exercise database on here. For a large person doing a long duration but low rate of burn activity that introduces a more significant error than the different studies which the many various estimators source.

    Just as the estimate you get from Runner's World is not from Runner's World own studies.
    Just like MapMy haven't done their own research.
    Just like Runkeeper haven't done their own research.

    There are a range of estimates (accessed via apps, calculators, web sites...), some well researched, some not so well researched, many gross, some net and they come up with a range of estimates.

    That some are lower doesn't make the absurd - just lower.
    That some are higher doesn't make them more accurate - just higher.

    Get yourself of to a sports science lab and get tested if you want to really know your rate of burn. Or maybe just accept that using @Pav8888 's example a 50 calorie range between two reasonable estimates is perfectly good enough for the purpose of calorie estimating for weight control.



    Or just start a regular walking regimen and then see what happens with weight loss vs deficit in a month. Based on what I see I would be losing about a half a pound faster than projected if I were getting 150ish calories per mile.
  • lgfrie
    lgfrie Posts: 1,450 Member
    sijomial wrote: »
    It's not MyFitnessPal's own formula!
    You do realise that MFP hasn't funded any exercise research and is just using readily available sources?

    It's just sources one calorie estimate (probably from the Compendium of Physical Activities) which again is not based on unique research by the authors of the Compendium and is a gross calorie estimate at that (total METS for the duration) - that's one of the well known issues with the exercise database on here. For a large person doing a long duration but low rate of burn activity that introduces a more significant error than the different studies which the many various estimators source.

    Just as the estimate you get from Runner's World is not from Runner's World own studies.
    Just like MapMy haven't done their own research.
    Just like Runkeeper haven't done their own research.

    There are a range of estimates (accessed via apps, calculators, web sites...), some well researched, some not so well researched, many gross, some net and they come up with a range of estimates.

    That some are lower doesn't make the absurd - just lower.
    That some are higher doesn't make them more accurate - just higher.

    Get yourself of to a sports science lab and get tested if you want to really know your rate of burn. Or maybe just accept that using @Pav8888 's example a 50 calorie range between two reasonable estimates is perfectly good enough for the purpose of calorie estimating for weight control.


    Considering that MFP can't even come up with budget to fix the scores of bugs in its web site, I can easily agree that they haven't funded independent research into caloric expenditure from exercise B)

    I, personally, don't consider "reported" calories from exercise machines, or calories estimated by any particular formula, to be important. I do an hr of recumbent machine per day and count it as a flat 500 calories regardless of difficulty/resistance level etc. When I was mostly focused on walking, I counted an hour of outdoor walking as a flat 400 regardless of hills, time, etc. Then I ate / eat back 40-50 % of that, and it's all good - I get the weight loss I want. I don't see a need to be more specific than a generic 500 biking, 400 walking, although I certainly understand that some people want a more precise estimate than that.

    BUT ...

    My point remains, for the OP and in general, that if one is very overweight, one should not be demoralized by the extremely low estimate for walking of 90 cals/mile being tossed around on MFP as though it were gospel truth, whereas in truth it's based on one article in RW and there are many other data points from which to choose. If there's a consensus at all "out there", the consensus would be around 0.6 X body weight per mile. Even a mid-point of 0.45, which would suggest 113 calories per mile for a 250 pound person on a walk, seems infinitely more reasonable to me than the 75 calories suggested by the RW formula.

    I do agree that gross vs net exercise calories is a big part of it and is ignored/obfuscated by most formulas and certainly almost all fitness machines. Low-intensity, long duration exercise of the sort done by those just getting started is especially prone to that error. Such as a 1 hour walk, where the first 100 cals off the top is being double-counted with BMR. Definitely an issue.

  • PAV8888
    PAV8888 Posts: 11,146 Member
    edited April 2020
    robertw486 wrote: »
    https://journals.lww.com/nsca-jscr/Fulltext/2010/10000/Comparison_of_Energy_Expenditure_to_Walk_or_Run_a.29.aspx

    Though the study doesn't go into obese categories, it does conclude much the same thing as the Runners World numbers. Since running expends roughly twice as many calories as walking, those running twice the speed as the walkers still use about the same amount of energy in terms of gross calorie burn.

    And even those tested that were above 300 lbs didn't reach 150 gross calories per mile.

    Science > feelings

    I agree that science > feelings, so I don't understand the support of the runner's world formula, based on a study that implies: Quoted study: (136 * 0.789 - 7.634 + 51.109 ) * 2.5 = 377 Cal

    for our previously used example of a 300lb male, 1 hour walk, net calories, 2.5 miles per hour, ergo 2.5 miles, where the RW formula gives: 300 * 2.5 * 0.3 = 225 Cal

    At which point do we conclude that the RW formula (when it comes to walking for obese men) is significantly lower than every other estimate out there?

    <this doesn't make any other number "right" and we all know that the use of net vs gross and logging will have a larger effect. But, given how much walking has been looked into in studies and given that the RW simplified formula results in a significantly an appreciably lower estimate than most, I do not understand why it appeals to so many.

    To me it has always smacked as coming across with a hint of "running" elitism, even though I am certain, given the consistently exceptional contributions by so many of the participants in this thread, that this would not be intentional.>
  • lgfrie
    lgfrie Posts: 1,450 Member
    edited April 2020
    BradOWGolf wrote: »
    lgfrie wrote: »
    Why is it obviously too low?


    EDIT: Addressing the gross vs net exercise calories issue: Let's say you're burning 160 cals/mile for an hour at 3 mph and 300 lbs. That's 480 cals/hr. With a BMR of, say, 2400 (just to use a round number) you'd have to subtract 100 from that 480 to get net exercise calories, so call it 380 rather than 480. That's still 126 net new cals burned per mile, or a coefficient of 0.42 with BMR removed from the equation - 0.42 gives you a pure "net" calorie calculation and is still 40 % higher than RW's estimate.

    Gross versus Net calories and a BMR... can you explain this a bit more? If possible, put it in context of oh, say a 55 y/o male @225 pounds who treadmills almost everyday for what the on board computer says is 325 calories burnt in anywhere from 22 to 27 minutes depending on my pace. Thx

    There are two ways to estimate exercise calories. The first ("gross" calories) says: how many calories were actually burned during the time you were exercising. It's simple, but it also entails double counting (explained below) and therefore the number reported is too high. Example: You ran on your treadmill for 27 minutes and it reports 325 calories, meaning that during that time, a grand total of 325 calories were burned by your body. That number is simultaneously accurate and, if in fact your machine is reporting gross and not net calories, misleading.

    The second, net calories, says: fine, yes, you burned 325 calories. But since your BMR is (let's just use a round number for the sake of discussion) 2400, the first 100 calories per hour have to be subtracted, because you would've burned them anyway, sitting on your couch watching Tiger King. So, in your 27 minute workout - but let's just call it a 1/2 hour for convenience - 50 calories would be subtracted from that 325, and you'd be awarded 275. The other 50 can't be counted, because they're already counted in your BMR. You didn't actually burn them on the treadmill; they've would've been burned anyway, breathing and stuff. Your actual additional calories burned as a result of working out is 275, not 325.

    Net calories is a far more honest representation of your actual CICO gains from the workout. Since those first 50 calories are burnt no matter what, including them in your "exercise" calories is double-counting. That is, they are counted first in your BMR and then again in your exercise.

    Exercise machine companies are notorious for using gross calories, because it makes the number higher for marketing purposes, so that people will believe the machine burns more calories than it really does. It's easier to sell an elliptical machine that supposedly burns 500 calories in an hour than one that burns 400. They are technically correct that, according to their algorithm, you will burn 500 calories in 60 minutes, but you would've burned 100 of those 500 taking a nap, so it's also misleading.

    It is hard to know whether a machine is using gross or net, but a fairly safe bet that it's using gross, because the people who make the machine have no real incentive to report net, ergo most machines use gross. But as noted, gross calories entail double counting.

    So ... anytime you're using a machine that seems to be reporting a higher than reasonable number of calories per minute, you could do this:

    go get your BMR at TDEEcalculator.net. For sake of discussion, mine is 1970.
    Divide that by 24. For me, that's 82.
    Subtract that from the calories your machine reports for an hour of exercise.

    In your case, you're getting 325 cals in 27 mins. Let's say your BMR is the same as mine, 1970. Here's the formula to calculate your net calories:

    325 - 82 * (27/60) = 325-36.9 = 288.1

    Voila, you burned a net 288 calories during your workout.

    Gross vs net becomes more important for longer duration workouts. The reason is that gross vs net isn't very important over a period of 15 minutes, because the BMR burn during that time might be, say, 20 calories. But over a period of an hour, it can be more like 80-90. Big difference. Thus, those who do low-intensity, long duration workouts (like going for long, slow walks) have extra incentive to use net rather than gross exercise calories, if they want to be accurate about it.

    I personally wouldn't bother with this number crunching for a 27 minute workout. But for an hour or 90 minute workout? Definitely. At 90 minutes, you're talking about a gross/net differential of, in my case, 123 calories. (82 * 1.5). That's too much to ignore.
  • rheddmobile
    rheddmobile Posts: 6,841 Member
    I just gotta say that speaking from personal experience 90 calories a mile walking doesn’t match what I saw when losing weight as an obese person, and it doesn’t match what I’ve seen in 3 years maintenance as a normal weight person. When I cut back on walking (same amount of running) due to lack of time I very quickly see a difference in how much I can eat before gaining. This is pure anecdote but those RW numbers seem crazy to me. I dropped weight more rapidly than even the MFP formula would indicate when I first added walking, and over time the MFP numbers seem about right if not low based on my weight maintenance now. I dunno, maybe I’m just a wildly inefficient walker.
  • lgfrie
    lgfrie Posts: 1,450 Member
    I just gotta say that speaking from personal experience 90 calories a mile walking doesn’t match what I saw when losing weight as an obese person, and it doesn’t match what I’ve seen in 3 years maintenance as a normal weight person. When I cut back on walking (same amount of running) due to lack of time I very quickly see a difference in how much I can eat before gaining. This is pure anecdote but those RW numbers seem crazy to me. I dropped weight more rapidly than even the MFP formula would indicate when I first added walking, and over time the MFP numbers seem about right if not low based on my weight maintenance now. I dunno, maybe I’m just a wildly inefficient walker.

    Exactly. And keep in mind the 90 calories per mile is what the RW formula gives you if you weigh 300 pounds. At 200 pounds, it gives you 60 calories per mile. At 150 pounds, you'd get 45 cals per mile. So a 150 pound person walking at a decent pace for an hour would get, say, 135 calories, which of course is nonsensical. Their 0.3 x body weight formula is half of what any other online calculator proposes. It's unfortunate that that outlier has become gospel on MFP, perhaps discouraging people from walking due to believing they'd get a pittance of reward for their effort, when in fact they'd actually get a half-decent calorie burn if they got out there and strode around for a while. While maintaining a safe coronavirus distance of course B)

    ALL other online calculators use a coefficient equal or close to 0.6. That is, calories burned for the walk = 0.6 x body weight x # of miles. The lowest coefficient I could find in a hour of searching through walking formulas was 0.45 and that is the absolute rock bottom minimum number I would use for estimating walking calories, though I think the real number is closer to 0.6. At 0.6, a 150 pound person would burn 90 calories per mile, which sounds about right.
  • PAV8888
    PAV8888 Posts: 11,146 Member
    lgfrie wrote: »
    BradOWGolf wrote: »
    lgfrie wrote: »
    Why is it obviously too low?


    EDIT: Addressing the gross vs net exercise calories issue: Let's say you're burning 160 cals/mile for an hour at 3 mph and 300 lbs. That's 480 cals/hr. With a BMR of, say, 2400 (just to use a round number) you'd have to subtract 100 from that 480 to get net exercise calories, so call it 380 rather than 480. That's still 126 net new cals burned per mile, or a coefficient of 0.42 with BMR removed from the equation - 0.42 gives you a pure "net" calorie calculation and is still 40 % higher than RW's estimate.

    Gross versus Net calories and a BMR... can you explain this a bit more? If possible, put it in context of oh, say a 55 y/o male @225 pounds who treadmills almost everyday for what the on board computer says is 325 calories burnt in anywhere from 22 to 27 minutes depending on my pace. Thx

    There are two ways to estimate exercise calories. The first ("gross" calories) says: how many calories were actually burned during the time you were exercising. It's simple, but it also entails double counting (explained below) and therefore the number reported is too high. Example: You ran on your treadmill for 27 minutes and it reports 325 calories, meaning that during that time, a grand total of 325 calories were burned by your body. That number is simultaneously accurate and, if in fact your machine is reporting gross and not net calories, misleading.

    The second, net calories, says: fine, yes, you burned 325 calories. But since your BMR is (let's just use a round number for the sake of discussion) 2400, the first 100 calories per hour have to be subtracted, because you would've burned them anyway, sitting on your couch watching Tiger King. So, in your 27 minute workout - but let's just call it a 1/2 hour for convenience - 50 calories would be subtracted from that 325, and you'd be awarded 275. The other 50 can't be counted, because they're already counted in your BMR. You didn't actually burn them on the treadmill; they've would've been burned anyway, breathing and stuff. Your actual additional calories burned as a result of working out is 275, not 325.

    Net calories is a far more honest representation of your actual CICO gains from the workout. Since those first 50 calories are burnt no matter what, including them in your "exercise" calories is double-counting. That is, they are counted first in your BMR and then again in your exercise.

    Exercise machine companies are notorious for using gross calories, because it makes the number higher for marketing purposes, so that people will believe the machine burns more calories than it really does. It's easier to sell an elliptical machine that supposedly burns 500 calories in an hour than one that burns 400. They are technically correct that, according to their algorithm, you will burn 500 calories in 60 minutes, but you would've burned 100 of those 500 taking a nap, so it's also misleading.

    It is hard to know whether a machine is using gross or net, but a fairly safe bet that it's using gross, because the people who make the machine have no real incentive to report net, ergo most machines use gross. But as noted, gross calories entail double counting.

    So ... anytime you're using a machine that seems to be reporting a higher than reasonable number of calories per minute, you could do this:

    go get your BMR at TDEEcalculator.net. For sake of discussion, mine is 1970.
    Divide that by 24. For me, that's 82.
    Subtract that from the calories your machine reports for an hour of exercise.

    In your case, you're getting 325 cals in 27 mins. Let's say your BMR is the same as mine, 1970. Here's the formula to calculate your net calories:

    325 - 82 * (27/60) = 325-36.9 = 288.1

    Voila, you burned a net 288 calories during your workout.

    Gross vs net becomes more important for longer duration workouts. The reason is that gross vs net isn't very important over a period of 15 minutes, because the BMR burn during that time might be, say, 20 calories. But over a period of an hour, it can be more like 80-90. Big difference. Thus, those who do low-intensity, long duration workouts (like going for long, slow walks) have extra incentive to use net rather than gross exercise calories, if they want to be accurate about it.

    I personally wouldn't bother with this number crunching for a 27 minute workout. But for an hour or 90 minute workout? Definitely. At 90 minutes, you're talking about a gross/net differential of, in my case, 123 calories. (82 * 1.5). That's too much to ignore.

    Perfectly said.

    One "extra" correction. MFP doesn't assign 1x BMR to every minute of the day. MFP assigns BMR x 1.25 for sedentary (x1.4 for lightly active, 1.6 active, 1.8 very active).

    So your "net for MFP so you can eat your actual net calories" value would be whatever the original gross calories were less (BMR x 1.25) or whatever the correct multiplier is based on your activity settings.

    It is one of the reasons for the oft quoted "percent of your exercise calories" advice.

    Please note that this is all discussing specific exercises with a specific value.

    All this discussion is totally different if the exercise calories represent an ADJUSTMENT to MFP from an activity tracking device such as a Fitbit, Garmin, or correctly synchronizing Apple Watch. The correctly synchronized exercise adjustments from the devices are definitely net values (based on the detection of the devices).
  • yirara
    yirara Posts: 7,719 Member
    NovusDies wrote: »
    sijomial wrote: »
    It's not MyFitnessPal's own formula!
    You do realise that MFP hasn't funded any exercise research and is just using readily available sources?

    It's just sources one calorie estimate (probably from the Compendium of Physical Activities) which again is not based on unique research by the authors of the Compendium and is a gross calorie estimate at that (total METS for the duration) - that's one of the well known issues with the exercise database on here. For a large person doing a long duration but low rate of burn activity that introduces a more significant error than the different studies which the many various estimators source.

    Just as the estimate you get from Runner's World is not from Runner's World own studies.
    Just like MapMy haven't done their own research.
    Just like Runkeeper haven't done their own research.

    There are a range of estimates (accessed via apps, calculators, web sites...), some well researched, some not so well researched, many gross, some net and they come up with a range of estimates.

    That some are lower doesn't make the absurd - just lower.
    That some are higher doesn't make them more accurate - just higher.

    Get yourself of to a sports science lab and get tested if you want to really know your rate of burn. Or maybe just accept that using @Pav8888 's example a 50 calorie range between two reasonable estimates is perfectly good enough for the purpose of calorie estimating for weight control.



    Or just start a regular walking regimen and then see what happens with weight loss vs deficit in a month. Based on what I see I would be losing about a half a pound faster than projected if I were getting 150ish calories per mile.

    This! I have the numbers as I've been tracking for ages, weighing ALL my food as good as possible, and have long stretches of time where I only did one specific exercise, for example running. For me, the Runners World numbers fit.
  • yirara
    yirara Posts: 7,719 Member
    lgfrie wrote: »
    sijomial wrote: »
    It's not MyFitnessPal's own formula!
    You do realise that MFP hasn't funded any exercise research and is just using readily available sources?

    It's just sources one calorie estimate (probably from the Compendium of Physical Activities) which again is not based on unique research by the authors of the Compendium and is a gross calorie estimate at that (total METS for the duration) - that's one of the well known issues with the exercise database on here. For a large person doing a long duration but low rate of burn activity that introduces a more significant error than the different studies which the many various estimators source.

    Just as the estimate you get from Runner's World is not from Runner's World own studies.
    Just like MapMy haven't done their own research.
    Just like Runkeeper haven't done their own research.

    There are a range of estimates (accessed via apps, calculators, web sites...), some well researched, some not so well researched, many gross, some net and they come up with a range of estimates.

    That some are lower doesn't make the absurd - just lower.
    That some are higher doesn't make them more accurate - just higher.

    Get yourself of to a sports science lab and get tested if you want to really know your rate of burn. Or maybe just accept that using @Pav8888 's example a 50 calorie range between two reasonable estimates is perfectly good enough for the purpose of calorie estimating for weight control.



    My point remains, for the OP and in general, that if one is very overweight, one should not be demoralized by the extremely low estimate for walking of 90 cals/mile being tossed around on MFP as though it were gospel truth, whereas in truth it's based on one article in RW and there are many other data points from which to choose. If there's a consensus at all "out there", the consensus would be around 0.6 X body weight per mile. Even a mid-point of 0.45, which would suggest 113 calories per mile for a 250 pound person on a walk, seems infinitely more reasonable to me than the 75 calories suggested by the RW formula.

    I do agree that gross vs net exercise calories is a big part of it and is ignored/obfuscated by most formulas and certainly almost all fitness machines. Low-intensity, long duration exercise of the sort done by those just getting started is especially prone to that error. Such as a 1 hour walk, where the first 100 cals off the top is being double-counted with BMR. Definitely an issue.

    But telling someone very overweight that massively inflated numbers are the right ones and that's what they are getting is not right either. So what's the alternative? Tell them to count it and eat back half? Effectively telling someone that the numbers are inflated or giving the impression that there's something wrong with me.
  • yirara
    yirara Posts: 7,719 Member
    I just gotta say that speaking from personal experience 90 calories a mile walking doesn’t match what I saw when losing weight as an obese person, and it doesn’t match what I’ve seen in 3 years maintenance as a normal weight person. When I cut back on walking (same amount of running) due to lack of time I very quickly see a difference in how much I can eat before gaining. This is pure anecdote but those RW numbers seem crazy to me. I dropped weight more rapidly than even the MFP formula would indicate when I first added walking, and over time the MFP numbers seem about right if not low based on my weight maintenance now. I dunno, maybe I’m just a wildly inefficient walker.

    Do you have data without workout, hence your actual calorie burn in 24 hours? It might be higher. I know it is for me. That's why I'm mentioning it
  • rheddmobile
    rheddmobile Posts: 6,841 Member
    yirara wrote: »
    I just gotta say that speaking from personal experience 90 calories a mile walking doesn’t match what I saw when losing weight as an obese person, and it doesn’t match what I’ve seen in 3 years maintenance as a normal weight person. When I cut back on walking (same amount of running) due to lack of time I very quickly see a difference in how much I can eat before gaining. This is pure anecdote but those RW numbers seem crazy to me. I dropped weight more rapidly than even the MFP formula would indicate when I first added walking, and over time the MFP numbers seem about right if not low based on my weight maintenance now. I dunno, maybe I’m just a wildly inefficient walker.

    Do you have data without workout, hence your actual calorie burn in 24 hours? It might be higher. I know it is for me. That's why I'm mentioning it

    Sort of... as I said, when I’m short on time, I tend to keep the higher intensity exercise and lose the walking, which leads to a much bigger jump in weight gain than would be expected. I’ve learned over time to watch out and drop my calories significantly if I’m not walking.

    Of course, apart from purposeful exercise I really am completely sedentary, sitting motionless at a computer working all day sedentary. So maybe the calculations are reasonable when comparing purposeful walking to the sort of “sedentary” that equals several thousand casual steps per day, but not when comparing it to being motionless.
  • sijomial
    sijomial Posts: 19,859 Member
    My last contribution as we are walking in circles - mile long circles......

    "My point remains, for the OP and in general, that if one is very overweight, one should not be demoralized by the extremely low estimate for walking of 90 cals/mile being tossed around on MFP as though it were gospel truth, whereas in truth it's based on one article in RW and there are many other data points from which to choose."

    I dispute that very overweight people should search for or be offered the highest estimate to encourage them. They should be treated just like anybody else and offered information that people believe to be perfectly reasonable and usable for the purpose of finding their calorie balance.

    I don't see it being tossed around as gospel truth - I see the formulae being offerred as simple and convenient ways to make a perfectly reasonable estimates based on the physics of mass moved over distance with a typical or average efficiency ratio rather than based on feelings and avoiding the marketing aspect of apps flattering people's egos with deeply unhelpful vanity burns.
    I wonder why I can't eat more when MyFitnessPal tells me I burn 900cals for every hour I cycle briskly? I must be a special snowflake, it's so much harder for me, maybe my metabolism is damaged? Ah no - the simple truth is I burned 600 net cals not 900.

    It's not based on one Runner's World article as has been repeatedly explained already. Sure the study that underlies the article could be flawed - maybe their sample eliminated the foot draggers, the thigh rubbers, the waddlers, people with a limp or otherwise simply an inefficient walking gait?
    That you are happy to choose or promote a different estimate is fine by me but why you keep trying to discredit a different estimate with your dismissive choice of language remains a mystery to me.
  • lemurcat2
    lemurcat2 Posts: 7,894 Member
    I just gotta say that speaking from personal experience 90 calories a mile walking doesn’t match what I saw when losing weight as an obese person, and it doesn’t match what I’ve seen in 3 years maintenance as a normal weight person. When I cut back on walking (same amount of running) due to lack of time I very quickly see a difference in how much I can eat before gaining. This is pure anecdote but those RW numbers seem crazy to me. I dropped weight more rapidly than even the MFP formula would indicate when I first added walking, and over time the MFP numbers seem about right if not low based on my weight maintenance now. I dunno, maybe I’m just a wildly inefficient walker.

    I don't know, since I never directly compared the formulas, but this is my impression too. When I first started out I used Fitbit for walking (and all other sources of non intentional exercise) and then added in (keeping times accurate so as to not double count) running (using the MapMyRun numbers) and various other exercises. The majority of my exercise in the first couple of months was just getting my steps up, since it's easy for me to walk a lot in daily life as I'm in a big city and rarely drive anyway. For me, the FitBit/MapMyRun estimates seemed to be accurate, and I think those give more than the two favored RW estimates do.

    Also, if you ran my stats starting off (200, 5'3, 44, a bf %), you get a TDEE estimate of around 1700 for sedentary, and a moderate estimate of 2250 ---> that seems pretty consistent with my experience, and I was losing 2+ lbs a week (even when past the first few weeks) eating 1200+exercise, with assuming my goal of daily 10K+ steps was part of my activity level, not intentional exercise.

    Anyway, my perception was using MFP's activity level to account for regular walking (I said lightly active when I stopped using the FB, but I was lighter then) or else using the estimates from FB or MMR (for running) or some other such tracker are probably reasonable when one starts out, especially if one is heavy enough to have a 1.5-2 lb goal and is tracking food carefully. If results aren't as expected, you adjust.