Calories from exercise seems to high for me.

It seems that the calories spent from exercise are too many. Does anyone else have that experience? For example if I go for a bike ride for 30 miles that takes me a little over 2 hours (125 minutes) MFP says I burned 1588 calories but my bike computer only says I burned 1100 calories and another site where I log bike miles gives me 1300 calories.

On a related note, I've been bike riding for over 30 years and I was wondering if my body is just so used to it that it doesn't burn the calories like a person just getting into bike riding.

Anyone care to tell me their thoughts?


  • amateurdude
    amateurdude Posts: 44 Member
    Personally speaking I've found mfp to overestimate calories burnt by an awful lot, Sometimes by up to 3 times as much as I actually did.
  • smazzyuk
    smazzyuk Posts: 20 Member
    Hi I think your body gets used to a certain fitness programme & doesnt burn as many calories as it used to. Try upping your goal making it a bit more chalenging. Ive used the gym for years & find you get into a routine, now I move the goal posts & work a bit harder.
  • MissJen84
    MissJen84 Posts: 109 Member
    I think mfp over estimates calories quite a bit. I bought a heart rate monitor and always wear it when I work out. I bought a basic model at Walmart for about $30. I have tested the heart rate against the machines and it seems pretty accurate.
  • GeeWizMan
    Thank you for your replies. I guess I will also move the goal posts, so to speak, in an effort to get a clearer picture of how many calories I burn through exercise. Thanks again,

  • 257_Lag
    257_Lag Posts: 1,249 Member
    If I use MFP numbers I log 2/3 of the actual time. It has worked well for me so far.
  • makeitallsue
    makeitallsue Posts: 3,086 Member
    wear a Polar HR monitor. I spent around $100 on it and it came with a chest strap. It shoed me that I have a pretty low heart rate and that I have to kick it in pretty hard to get in my zone. I have also seen that I can do the same exercise and my burns will be different.. it may even be that I feel like I am working harder, but the calorie burns will be lower.
    If you want to know for sure, I would suggest investing in the tool to help you see. Good Luck!
  • tweetyjf
    tweetyjf Posts: 48 Member
    hi i've got a polar ft80 and it tells me exactly how many kcal i am burning
    based on weight and length and heartrate
  • angeleyz4u
    Personally speaking I've found mfp to overestimate calories burnt by an awful lot, Sometimes by up to 3 times as much as I actually did.

    If this is true, I bet this could be a reason why my weightloss is not progressing very much at all. I usually zero out my day or go over just a tad, but if MFP is overestimating my exercise calories-earned, then I'm going WAY over. :[
  • swissbrit
    swissbrit Posts: 201
    If I do anything new I usually check the data on about 4 different websites where I can put my height, weight and age in and then take the lowest to be sure but there again most likely the average would be fine :-)
  • Cyclink
    Cyclink Posts: 517 Member
    Your body does gain a level of efficiency, but you're talking about a pretty small difference. Most of that is detectable through lower heart rates at the same speed, which will cause a heart rate monitor to show lower calories.

    Heart monitors have a really hard time calculating calories for road cycling. You are sitting, removing most of your body weight, and you can coast for extended periods of time. Your upper body is mostly in isometric contraction, working hard enough to hold you upright and stabilize the bike, but not moving much. Most HRMs are set up for running, which engages more muscles and is fully weight bearing.

    Not to mention all the issues with calculating calories from heart rate in general (cardiac drift especially, but there's also dehydration, fatigue, nervousness, and on and on).

    That's one of the many reasons I picked up a power meter a few years ago: it gives a much more accurate calorie count than any heart rate monitor. At an average of 15 mph, unless you are doing very long climbs, I'd be surprised if you were even doing 500 calories per hour.

    That 1100 sounds about right to me.