# Accurate calories burned

Options
Posts: 79 Member
Ok so you know when you hop on the treadmill for 30 minutes and the treadmill spits out an estimated calories burned. I have no idea how accurate that it (probably not very accurate!) So my question is what is the most accurate way to calculate calories burned in an aerobic situation? Heart rate monitor?

## Replies

• Posts: 9,248 Member
Options
Even simpler....... if you're walking on the TM .30 x weight (in lbs) x distance (in miles). For running same formula but substitute .63 as the factor.

This formula will give you an approximation of the net calories expended (ie additional) as a result of the activity many HRMs and treadmills will give you gross estimates that include BMR. This calculation assumes a relatively level surface and will be very conservative if you're using higher inclines.
• Posts: 246 Member
Options
Heart rate monitor is the cheapest solution you can find. But it's still an estimation as it doesn't take into consideration the VO2 max.
But still, an HRM is at least an estimation based on your heart rate and not on an averaged heart rate put into the machine, so it's a bit more accurate estimation.
• Posts: 16 Member
Options
The calories they give you for exercise in MFP seems to be over estimated. Calorie calculations is based on weight and heart rate. I use a heart rate monitor and it is the only way to calculate exercise calories. My HRM enables me to put my weight in it. I like to err on the conservative side and not over estimate my calories.
• Posts: 10,322 Member
Options
The calories they give you for exercise in MFP seems to be over estimated. Calorie calculations is based on weight and heart rate. I use a heart rate monitor and it is the only way to calculate exercise calories. My HRM enables me to put my weight in it. I like to err on the conservative side and not over estimate my calories.

Just note, an HRM will only be relatively accurate for steady state cardio (running, elliptical, cycling). It will not be accurate for much else.
• Posts: 79 Member
Options
Thank you everyone!
• Posts: 318 Member
Options
A simple and conservative approach is to calculate potential energy times 5

Using a Heart Rate Monitor to estimate energy consumed has its own BIG set of assumptions:
1. That most of the body is exercising
2. That you are average fit
• Posts: 1,510 Member
Options
This is exactly why I use "TDEE" it takes a lot of the work out of estimating calories via workouts. I would bet that more peoples estimate of their calorie intake is farther off than their caloric burn any day of the week..
• Posts: 1,369 Member
edited December 2015
Options
I use my HRM for running and cycling and rare occasions that I get to row or do the stairclimber. I estimate for swimming and walking.

And I use the HRM number as a rough estimate. My cal burns for cycling with the HRM always seem too low. Most accurate for running, imo.
• Posts: 246 Member
Options
I actually use my HRM for two purposes - to check my pulse and potential burn during steady cardio, and to check my heart rate and recovery time during all other workouts - HIITs, weights, etc. Though I don't log it. I use TDEE instead.