Are Eliptical machine calories burned accurate?

I have noticed a big difference between the machines readout and the app's calculated cals burned. Is it just me or which one should i go with? Thanks in Advance.

Replies

  • BrianSharpe
    BrianSharpe Posts: 9,128 Member
    I'd go with whichever was the lower...... I'm not an elliptical user but I've seen other machines that grossly overestimate the calories burned.
  • NorthCascades
    NorthCascades Posts: 10,765 Member
    Not generally. Go with whatever best guess you're comfortable with and use that for a while. Keep detailed logs of your exercise, food, and body weight, and after a few weeks you'll know how to adjust from your results.
  • TeaBea
    TeaBea Posts: 14,517 Member
    What type of information does the machine have? If you didn't enter gender....it assumed male (which works in your favor).....if you put in height & weight....that's a good start, did you enter age? Again, the machine will make assumptions.

    Without knowing the numbers.....go with the lowest estimate. Even then it may be too high. For steady state cardio workouts a heart rate monitor is helpful. Many MFP members will start by eating back 50% of exercise calories. Then after several weeks adjust that % up or down based on actual results.
  • MostlyWater
    MostlyWater Posts: 4,284 Member
    Not really. It doesn't measure your weight and exertion.
  • ASKyle
    ASKyle Posts: 1,475 Member
    Don't trust either!

    Eat back half of them to start, and if you're still not losing cut that even further. Machines are notoriously inaccurate.
  • NorthCascades
    NorthCascades Posts: 10,765 Member
    It doesn't really make sense to just eat half of whatever it says. Basically that's assuming that the machine knows how to be accurate, but it's sneaky and lying to you by exactly double.

    Beth's elliptical machine told her she burned 24 kCal in 30 minutes having done almost 4 miles on it in that time. Your advice is that she should eat 12 kCal to make up for that.

    Better to figure out what a reasonable estimate is for what you're doing, eat 100 % of it back, and log meticulously so you'll be able to adjust from reality down the line.
  • ASKyle
    ASKyle Posts: 1,475 Member
    If any machine states that you burned 24 calories in 30 minutes, it's broken.

    Eating back half still stands as the best way to get an idea of how accurate the machines are. Far too many times I see "xxx burned 980 calories in 30 minutes of elliptical" and then they wonder why they can't lose weight.
  • PokernuttAR
    PokernuttAR Posts: 74 Member
    edited May 2017
    If you put in gender, weight, and age, you should expect the machine to only give you an approximate amount of calories burned. The app doesn't take into consideration what machine you're using. Do they think all machines are made the same??? It also doesn't consider the incline/resistance level you set on the machine or your effort level and it assumes you held on to the handles during the entire exercise time.

    Personally, I don't eat back any of my exercise points so I'm "lucky" I don't have this problem. But in general, I feel I burn about 100 calories every 10 minutes on the elliptical. I would guess we're all close to the same. 24 calories in 30 minutes sounds very inaccurate.
  • Sp1tfire
    Sp1tfire Posts: 1,120 Member
    The machine for me after 1 hour says 685.... MFP says 423, I go with MFP
  • NorthCascades
    NorthCascades Posts: 10,765 Member
    ASKyle wrote: »
    If any machine states that you burned 24 calories in 30 minutes, it's broken.

    I've used it myself and I can guarantee it's functional. You don't like the way it's programmed, but it's not broken.
  • beesgetout
    beesgetout Posts: 6 Member
    Wouldn't a heart rate monitor be the most accurate? (not being a jerk, I'm genuinely curious.)
  • myname20
    myname20 Posts: 97 Member
    I always count it as 250 calories for 30 min or 500 calories for 1 hour. My elliptical shows 700+ calories for 1 hour exercise, I just dont believe it. I remember reading online articles (when I went to gym first) about the elliptical and how it always overestimates the burned calories.
  • Azdak
    Azdak Posts: 8,281 Member
    Not really. It doesn't measure your weight and exertion.

    Actually, those are the two things that it DOES measure. The problem is the conversion of measured workload to calories burned. It's time-consuming and expensive to develop accurate, machine-specific algorithms, so many brands use rougher estimates.
  • PowerliftingMom
    PowerliftingMom Posts: 430 Member
    None of those machines are accurate. The problem with machines is they don't take into consideration novices vs. athletes.
  • Azdak
    Azdak Posts: 8,281 Member
    beesgetout wrote: »
    Wouldn't a heart rate monitor be the most accurate? (not being a jerk, I'm genuinely curious.)

    Not necessarily. HRMs have their own problems with inaccuracies and variability.

    Even if inaccurate, a machine will usually give you more consistent readings. That's because the machine measures your exact workload, which is the primary factor that determines calorie burn. If, through trial and error, you determine that a certain machine is 25% too high, for example, that overestimate will be consistent across different steady state workouts.

    Unless you can update HRM settings as your fitness level increases, an HRM will become less and less accurate over time.