Calories burned per mile
Replies

I agree. It is better to give an estimate that might end up being a little low than to tell someone a high number that leads them to spinning their wheels. To me that is no different than the "wishful thinking" entries in the MFP db. It is not helpful for a person to think they are on track with their calorie goal when in reality they are eating too much.
Weight loss requires reality and adapting to what is true. We often tell people to start by eating back half of their earned exercise calories and then adjust as needed. What is the harm in telling someone ~90 calories per mile and them finding out they are actually burning a little more? How many people starting out with a lot of weight to lose will be upset they are losing a little too fast? On the other hand how many people will be derailed if they find out they are losing slower than anticipated? I tell everyone all the time to be process focused not results focused but I know as well as anyone that for many, maybe for most, that scale results are very important to keeping someone in it long enough for a better mindset to emerge.
People need to be improving their activity as they are able because it is good for them. I attribute the health problems I faced when I started to being heavily obese and being sedentary. Fixing one was not enough. I had to fix both. I don't exercise to earn calories although I never get mad at them. I exercise because improving my health and fitness requires it.6 
I've always gone with the formula of one mile moved=100 calories. I don't separate running from walking in that equation.
If you weigh 200lbs and move yourself a mile in length, you had to expend roughly the same amount of energy to move 200 lbs a mile whether it was ran or walked. If you run, you work harder but spend less time covering the distance. If you walk, it's less work but for a longer time. You get a small bump due running due to a higher heart rate, but basically a mile moved is a mile moved and your calorie burn should be about the same.1 
That's what that RW piece/formula being discussed was about. Running involves much more bouncing up and down and so does burn more cals.1

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.
I agree we are going in circles, although with exercise perhaps going in circles isn't that terrible.
But all good things must come to an end, including endless arguments. So I conclude my part of this debate with one simple question for you:
Do you believe that if an average, everyday 5'6, 150 pound woman goes outside right now and does a brisk 3 mile walk at 3 mph allllll around her neighborhood, up and down the streets 'cause 3 miles is a pretty good distance for a powerwalk, never stopping because she wants to keep her heart rate up and get some exercise, a full hour of brisk light cardio, she burns a grand total of 135 calories for that hour of exercise?
Or do you believe that her hour of uninterrupted light cardio is probably worth more like 250300?
If you believe the former, that she burned 135 calories over three miles, then you agree with the oftdiscussed RW formula of 0.3 x body weight x # of miles, because that formula applied to her workout would be 135 calories.
If you think, "hey, actually, for a full hr of exercise, yeah, I'd probably log 250 or 300 if it were me", then you agree with what I've been saying all along, that alllll the other formulas out there that posit 2x the calorie burn of the RW formula, are probably correct.
There are, apparently, a lot of people here who believe that 150 pound woman working up a thin sheen of sweat as she motors down the walking path for 60 full minutes should come back, get on MFP, and log .... 135 calories for her exercise.
I don't. I think the other formulas  all of them consistent with each other, and centered around 0.6, which'd give her 270 calories for her one hour workout  are more sensible and will square better with results on the weight scale.
But we don't all have to believe the same thing to coexist here. I'm cool with that.
2 
I use RunKeeper for running outside, and my treadmill desk for walking when I work. The calorie counts these give me vs the formulas given above compare like this:
For 5 miles of running at about 6.2 mph: (Runkeeper: 517 cal vs Running Formula below: 437 cal).
For 2 miles walking at 1.82.0 mph: (Treadmill readout: 150 cal vs Walking Formula below: 83 cal).
Running
Pounds (139) X Distance in Miles X 0.63
Walking:
Weight in Pounds (139) X Distance in Miles X 0.3
So, for daily calorie count purposes, I just count half the calories that Runkeeper or the treadmill give me, and figure I'm coming out about even.0 
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.
I agree we are going in circles, although with exercise perhaps going in circles isn't that terrible.
But all good things must come to an end, including endless arguments. So I conclude my part of this debate with one simple question for you:
Do you believe that if an average, everyday 5'6, 150 pound woman goes outside right now and does a brisk 3 mile walk at 3 mph allllll around her neighborhood, up and down the streets 'cause 3 miles is a pretty good distance for a powerwalk, never stopping because she wants to keep her heart rate up and get some exercise, a full hour of brisk light cardio, she burns a grand total of 135 calories for that hour of exercise?
Or do you believe that her hour of uninterrupted light cardio is probably worth more like 250300?
If you believe the former, that she burned 135 calories over three miles, then you agree with the oftdiscussed RW formula of 0.3 x body weight x # of miles, because that formula applied to her workout would be 135 calories.
If you think, "hey, actually, for a full hr of exercise, yeah, I'd probably log 250 or 300 if it were me", then you agree with what I've been saying all along, that alllll the other formulas out there that posit 2x the calorie burn of the RW formula, are probably correct.
There are, apparently, a lot of people here who believe that 150 pound woman working up a thin sheen of sweat as she motors down the walking path for 60 full minutes should come back, get on MFP, and log .... 135 calories for her exercise.
I don't. I think the other formulas  all of them consistent with each other, and centered around 0.6, which'd give her 270 calories for her one hour workout  are more sensible and will square better with results on the weight scale.
But we don't all have to believe the same thing to coexist here. I'm cool with that.
A 150#, 5'6 woman walking 3mph for an hour is NOT working up sweat. She's not perceiving it as exercise if at all used to walking. I walk .75 miles to the L each morning and then from the L daily (in normal times), I'm a 5'3, 125# woman, and no, I don't think that total is equivalent to me running 1.5 miles daily (nor are my other steps which altogether total normally around 5 miles total similar to me running 5 miles). Absent the usual source of steps today, I walked 1.5 hours at an ordinary walking pace (for about 5 miles, so 18 min miles) today for recreation and errands (I went to the grocery and looked at a garden and just walked for fun), and did not perceive any of that as exertion. When I run, that's exertion.
But really pick the formula you like adjust and go with what works. It may or may not be accurate, as food logging and other exercise logging are also going to be part of the formula.5 
BruceHedtke wrote: »I've always gone with the formula of one mile moved=100 calories. I don't separate running from walking in that equation.
If you weigh 200lbs and move yourself a mile in length, you had to expend roughly the same amount of energy to move 200 lbs a mile whether it was ran or walked. If you run, you work harder but spend less time covering the distance. If you walk, it's less work but for a longer time. You get a small bump due running due to a higher heart rate, but basically a mile moved is a mile moved and your calorie burn should be about the same.
The difference is the kind of movement, regardless of if you weight 120lbs or 200: Running involves jumping. There's a short moment where both feet are off the ground while walking keeps always one on the ground. Plus you move a lot more muscles. That's one of the reasons why running burns a lot more calories than walking.2 
"Do you believe that if an average, everyday 5'6, 150 pound woman goes outside right now and does a brisk 3 mile walk at 3 mph allllll around her neighborhood, up and down the streets 'cause 3 miles is a pretty good distance for a powerwalk, never stopping because she wants to keep her heart rate up and get some exercise, a full hour of brisk light cardio, she burns a grand total of 135 calories for that hour of exercise?
So now it seems 3mph has been elevated to a brisk walk (no it isn't), someone sweating is burning more than someone who isn't (no they are just getting hotter or sweat more easily), a moderate walking pace for a very ordinary distance is now an hour of brisk cardio and presumably an unfit person that gets a large rise in HR at a very ordinary walking pace burns more than a fit person the same weight with a lower HR during that moderate paced walk.....
Or do you believe that her hour of uninterrupted light cardio is probably worth more like 250300?
No I don't believe a moderate walk is equal to that. Could she burn 250  300 cals with a different hour of light cardio  yes of course.
If you believe the former, that she burned 135 calories over three miles, then you agree with the oftdiscussed RW formula of 0.3 x body weight x # of miles, because that formula applied to her workout would be 135 calories.
How many times do I have to say that I believe .3 X miles X lbs is a perfectly reasonable and usable estimate?
If you think, "hey, actually, for a full hr of exercise, yeah, I'd probably log 250 or 300 if it were me", then you agree with what I've been saying all along, that alllll the other formulas out there that posit 2x the calorie burn of the RW formula, are probably correct.
For a full hour of exercise I would estimate using appropriate methods depending on what that exercise was. Not just dream up random numbers.
There are, apparently, a lot of people here who believe that 150 pound woman working up a thin sheen of sweat as she motors down the walking path for 60 full minutes should come back, get on MFP, and log .... 135 calories for her exercise.
You will find there's a lot of people who don't equate 3mph walking with "motoring", don't think an hour of moderate walking is a big deal and realise that sweating does not equal elevated burns.
5 
BruceHedtke wrote: »I've always gone with the formula of one mile moved=100 calories. I don't separate running from walking in that equation.
If you weigh 200lbs and move yourself a mile in length, you had to expend roughly the same amount of energy to move 200 lbs a mile whether it was ran or walked. If you run, you work harder but spend less time covering the distance. If you walk, it's less work but for a longer time. You get a small bump due running due to a higher heart rate, but basically a mile moved is a mile moved and your calorie burn should be about the same.
The difference is the kind of movement, regardless of if you weight 120lbs or 200: Running involves jumping. There's a short moment where both feet are off the ground while walking keeps always one on the ground. Plus you move a lot more muscles. That's one of the reasons why running burns a lot more calories than walking.
...you burn a few more calories per mile but not a lot...it's about time at this point.
If I run for 1 hour vs walking I will burn more calories in that hour...
This is a similar discussion that goes around 1lb of fat vs 1lb of muscle...both are 1lb just muscle takes up less space....vs muscle weighs more than fat...which it does in totality...but not for individual units..
0 
BruceHedtke wrote: »I've always gone with the formula of one mile moved=100 calories. I don't separate running from walking in that equation.
If you weigh 200lbs and move yourself a mile in length, you had to expend roughly the same amount of energy to move 200 lbs a mile whether it was ran or walked. If you run, you work harder but spend less time covering the distance. If you walk, it's less work but for a longer time. You get a small bump due running due to a higher heart rate, but basically a mile moved is a mile moved and your calorie burn should be about the same.
The difference is the kind of movement, regardless of if you weight 120lbs or 200: Running involves jumping. There's a short moment where both feet are off the ground while walking keeps always one on the ground. Plus you move a lot more muscles. That's one of the reasons why running burns a lot more calories than walking.
...you burn a few more calories per mile but not a lot...it's about time at this point.
If I run for 1 hour vs walking I will burn more calories in that hour...
This is a similar discussion that goes around 1lb of fat vs 1lb of muscle...both are 1lb just muscle takes up less space....vs muscle weighs more than fat...which it does in totality...but not for individual units..
Strictly speaking, it's not about time but about distance. Energy expenditure is calculated by means of mass * distance. But of course, if you run you cover a larger distance in a given time compared to walking.1 
robertw486 wrote: »https://journals.lww.com/nscajscr/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.>
In this instance you use the study formula for gross calories, then change the time and distance involved. Gross calories for your example is 377, but for a 300 lb person walking for an hour. Subtract the BMR of a 300 lb person for that hour and now you are in the range of 270275 calories for that 2.5 mile walk. And once again we are back down to the 50 or so calorie spread between the RW formula, the ACSM based calculator, and the formula given in the second study.
Considering the variables in the study groups and that they use a mean, often corrected for fat free mass, etc, a 50 calorie discrepancy is not concerning to me, especially when considering the TDEE of a 300 lb person, even if sedentary, is in the 2700 calorie range. I've seen a number of studies, and when I crunch the numbers, they all fall reasonably close the RW formula.
But what does concern me some is taking my above formula estimated correction and adding to your previous numbers.....
300lb, net cals, 2.5 miles per hour, one hour
Runner world: 225
Rx walk/run: 275
Study link two results 270275
.... but we have people grasping to the numbers not based on science, not based on studies, but only based on calculations with no references, or possibly even how they feel, which claim 150+ calories per mile. To me that number of 375+ is standing out as the outlier of the group.
I regards to your comment as thinking it comes across as elitism, please let me clarify something here. I'm very far from an accomplished runner myself. Though I have a decent cardio base for a person my age, I also have back issues which keeps me on a bike much more often than running on my feet. But to some extent I agree with you, as it was my interest to research what the much more accomplished runners on this internet used to calculate their calorie expenditure. Assuming that a person much more invested than me had more to gain or lose, I followed their links and looked at the data. And, data is data. The scatterplots, variances in study groups, possible correction predictions, etc are noted in many studies, but the truth still remained the same. I took the same approach when researching biking, as well as my elliptical.
I might add that I do not question anyone who states that "using these numbers" worked for them. I personally think that is due to the fact that our normal daily habits and activities, as well as any other logging errors, account for enough variance to someone soften any single error points unless they are extreme. And most of us don't do enough purposeful exercise to greatly skew any numbers. But small details exist in every persons logging... even the food you eat isn't an exact. Scales, GPS, trackers, etc aren't exact. But when major changes happen, anything we are not as accurate with becomes apparent. When I had the time and motivation to exercise 1012 hours of moderate to high intensity exercise a week, I found flaws in apps I was using. When a person is smaller, food intake tracking flaws will show quicker.
We do what we can with what we have. I just prefer to have as much good data as I can get. In my case mostly because it helps compensate for the areas where I allow more flaws in data.
And at the end of the day, if people are more concerned with weight control only, and not fitness, controlling food intake is (in theory at least) much easier than going for a walk or run. The calorie change from a fork put down can be massive, even if you don't go for a walk after.
4 
BruceHedtke wrote: »I've always gone with the formula of one mile moved=100 calories. I don't separate running from walking in that equation.
If you weigh 200lbs and move yourself a mile in length, you had to expend roughly the same amount of energy to move 200 lbs a mile whether it was ran or walked. If you run, you work harder but spend less time covering the distance. If you walk, it's less work but for a longer time. You get a small bump due running due to a higher heart rate, but basically a mile moved is a mile moved and your calorie burn should be about the same.
The difference is the kind of movement, regardless of if you weight 120lbs or 200: Running involves jumping. There's a short moment where both feet are off the ground while walking keeps always one on the ground. Plus you move a lot more muscles. That's one of the reasons why running burns a lot more calories than walking.
...you burn a few more calories per mile but not a lot...it's about time at this point.
If I run for 1 hour vs walking I will burn more calories in that hour...
This is a similar discussion that goes around 1lb of fat vs 1lb of muscle...both are 1lb just muscle takes up less space....vs muscle weighs more than fat...which it does in totality...but not for individual units..
Strictly speaking, it's not about time but about distance. Energy expenditure is calculated by means of mass * distance. But of course, if you run you cover a larger distance in a given time compared to walking.
then if it's about distance than it's not even that significant...walk 1 mile vs run 1mile is about 5 calories difference...even if you are heavier...1 mile is 1 mile..but
walking 1mile=15mins (for me anyway)
runnign 1mile=10mins...same calories as above...
but to do a 5k (3miles) 45mins walking 30mins running so if I run 45mins...yah I will burn more calories then if I walked 45mins and by default I am cover more distance running...1 
robertw486 wrote: »NorthCascades wrote: »Why is it obviously too low?
Those formula coefficients (.63 running, .3 walking) are gospel at MFP but they are just one source and, as far as walking for obese people is concerned, they are absurdly low.
All of the online calorie estimators/calculators that I've seen for walking produce numbers higher than the RW numbers. Much higher, in the case of heavier people. As in, roughly speaking, double. That was my point in the last post, which got the avalanche of disagrees.
Let's take a quick tour of some online walking calculators, keeping in mind that RW says 90 calories per mile for a 300 pound person:
This one says 214 calories for a 300 lb person walking a mile: https://www.verywellfit.com/walkingcaloriesanddistancecalculators3432711
This one says 167, consistent with the #'s I was positing: https://caloriesburnedhq.com/caloriesburnedwalking/
This one says 180: https://www.omnicalculator.com/sports/walkingcalorie
Another one that says 180: http://www.shapesense.com/fitnessexercise/calculators/walkingcalorieburncalculator.shtml
This one says 172: https://captaincalculator.com/health/calorie/caloriesburnedwalkingcalculator/
So basically, in comparison to RW's 0.3 coefficient and resulting 90 calorie estimate, online calorie calculators use coefficients of around 0.6. Double the RW estimate.
There are many more of these calculators but I think 5 data points will suffice for now, as they are roughly consistent with each other.
Aside from the calculators, it only makes intuitive sense that walking, as an initial exercise for an obese person just starting out on the fitness journey, will burn a s**t ton more than 90 calories per mile. At a typical 2.5 mph for someone just starting out and overweight, that'd suggest 225 calories for a full hour of exercise. That is obviously way too low. Obese people walking a full hour each day (in conjunction with portion/calorie control) drop weight like a stone at first, as everyone knows. Takes a lotta work to lug around an extra 100150 pounds of fat for an hour on a walking trail, as I experienced back in the day. BPM = high, calories burned = high. Of course, the BPM and therefore calories burned per minute come down as you lose weight and get in shape.
RW's .63 coefficient might work very nicely for running and for people at normal BMI's, but .3 for walking for obese people is not useful. That is probably why no other sites use numbers that low.
I would find it quite demoralizing if I was back at 300+ pounds and just starting my walking journey, and finding out that the big reward I get is 90 calories per mile or 225 per hour. That's an hour of lugging my tonnage around for one lean chicken taco at California Tortilla. Fortunately, you can eat a solid 400 ish cals to cover a 1 hour walk at that weight level. RW's #'s just aren't right.
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.
Finding data points that are in agreement doesn't solve the actual question.
The numbers in question from the original Runners World article are not just an opinion. They were backed with a study. The idea was to use science to see which prediction formulas were the most accurate. I'm fairly sure the below linked is the study they referenced...
https://researchgate.net/publication/8157727_Energy_Expenditure_of_Walking_and_Running_Comparison_with_Prediction_Equations
One of the prediction methods they cite as fairly accurate was the ACSM method, which is used in the linked calculator below:
https://exrx.net/Calculators/WalkRunMETs
Over the years there have been quite a few studies on the matter and they all come to reasonably similar conclusions. Gender, age, fitness levels, etc have all been tested, and there really is not a huge variance for the average person. Though the numbers aren't exacting across all populations, they are reasonably close. In the end, unless going outside the norm (as in walking very fast or jogging very slowly) then the efficiency doesn't change a lot. As such it can easily be broken down into a mass x distance equation.
Walking is simply a very efficient exercise and doesn't burn many calories.robertw486 wrote: »NorthCascades wrote: »Why is it obviously too low?
Those formula coefficients (.63 running, .3 walking) are gospel at MFP but they are just one source and, as far as walking for obese people is concerned, they are absurdly low.
All of the online calorie estimators/calculators that I've seen for walking produce numbers higher than the RW numbers. Much higher, in the case of heavier people. As in, roughly speaking, double. That was my point in the last post, which got the avalanche of disagrees.
Let's take a quick tour of some online walking calculators, keeping in mind that RW says 90 calories per mile for a 300 pound person:
This one says 214 calories for a 300 lb person walking a mile: https://www.verywellfit.com/walkingcaloriesanddistancecalculators3432711
This one says 167, consistent with the #'s I was positing: https://caloriesburnedhq.com/caloriesburnedwalking/
This one says 180: https://www.omnicalculator.com/sports/walkingcalorie
Another one that says 180: http://www.shapesense.com/fitnessexercise/calculators/walkingcalorieburncalculator.shtml
This one says 172: https://captaincalculator.com/health/calorie/caloriesburnedwalkingcalculator/
So basically, in comparison to RW's 0.3 coefficient and resulting 90 calorie estimate, online calorie calculators use coefficients of around 0.6. Double the RW estimate.
There are many more of these calculators but I think 5 data points will suffice for now, as they are roughly consistent with each other.
Aside from the calculators, it only makes intuitive sense that walking, as an initial exercise for an obese person just starting out on the fitness journey, will burn a s**t ton more than 90 calories per mile. At a typical 2.5 mph for someone just starting out and overweight, that'd suggest 225 calories for a full hour of exercise. That is obviously way too low. Obese people walking a full hour each day (in conjunction with portion/calorie control) drop weight like a stone at first, as everyone knows. Takes a lotta work to lug around an extra 100150 pounds of fat for an hour on a walking trail, as I experienced back in the day. BPM = high, calories burned = high. Of course, the BPM and therefore calories burned per minute come down as you lose weight and get in shape.
RW's .63 coefficient might work very nicely for running and for people at normal BMI's, but .3 for walking for obese people is not useful. That is probably why no other sites use numbers that low.
I would find it quite demoralizing if I was back at 300+ pounds and just starting my walking journey, and finding out that the big reward I get is 90 calories per mile or 225 per hour. That's an hour of lugging my tonnage around for one lean chicken taco at California Tortilla. Fortunately, you can eat a solid 400 ish cals to cover a 1 hour walk at that weight level. RW's #'s just aren't right.
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.
Finding data points that are in agreement doesn't solve the actual question.
The numbers in question from the original Runners World article are not just an opinion. They were backed with a study. The idea was to use science to see which prediction formulas were the most accurate. I'm fairly sure the below linked is the study they referenced...
https://researchgate.net/publication/8157727_Energy_Expenditure_of_Walking_and_Running_Comparison_with_Prediction_Equations
One of the prediction methods they cite as fairly accurate was the ACSM method, which is used in the linked calculator below:
https://exrx.net/Calculators/WalkRunMETs
Over the years there have been quite a few studies on the matter and they all come to reasonably similar conclusions. Gender, age, fitness levels, etc have all been tested, and there really is not a huge variance for the average person. Though the numbers aren't exacting across all populations, they are reasonably close. In the end, unless going outside the norm (as in walking very fast or jogging very slowly) then the efficiency doesn't change a lot. As such it can easily be broken down into a mass x distance equation.
Walking is simply a very efficient exercise and doesn't burn many calories.
I like this quoted calculator as it comes very close to the numbers that work for me for running and walking. But of course I have years of data, and have to say that this oftenquoted equation works for me. Mind you, apart from age I could have been a participant in this study with regards to size and weight.
I find it very interesting btw that the difference between threadmill and track is so small. I would have expected a bigger difference.
Btw, feel very stupid asking this, but what would those equations be in kg/km? I have custom workouts in MFP for multipliers of 0.37 and 0.86, but I'm not sure where I got them from.
I saw this and did the math, but forgot to respond. The numbers I came up with were....
Walking  weight in Kg x distance in Km x .42 = net calories
Running  weight in Kg x distance in Km x .86 = net calories
But I will also add that math is not my strong point, and I did it when low on coffee in the AM so which of us is incorrect on the walking is for someone else to conclude!
If a person really wanted to dig deeper, they could look at a few studies or meta analysis and find results more specific to their size, age, FFM, and other variables that are involved. Better yet, volunteer for a study and find exacting scientific data... wouldn't that be nice? Where are all these studies when we want them?
It's a shame you were too young for the cited study... maybe next time!
2 
robertw486 wrote: »robertw486 wrote: »NorthCascades wrote: »Why is it obviously too low?
Those formula coefficients (.63 running, .3 walking) are gospel at MFP but they are just one source and, as far as walking for obese people is concerned, they are absurdly low.
All of the online calorie estimators/calculators that I've seen for walking produce numbers higher than the RW numbers. Much higher, in the case of heavier people. As in, roughly speaking, double. That was my point in the last post, which got the avalanche of disagrees.
Let's take a quick tour of some online walking calculators, keeping in mind that RW says 90 calories per mile for a 300 pound person:
This one says 214 calories for a 300 lb person walking a mile: https://www.verywellfit.com/walkingcaloriesanddistancecalculators3432711
This one says 167, consistent with the #'s I was positing: https://caloriesburnedhq.com/caloriesburnedwalking/
This one says 180: https://www.omnicalculator.com/sports/walkingcalorie
Another one that says 180: http://www.shapesense.com/fitnessexercise/calculators/walkingcalorieburncalculator.shtml
This one says 172: https://captaincalculator.com/health/calorie/caloriesburnedwalkingcalculator/
So basically, in comparison to RW's 0.3 coefficient and resulting 90 calorie estimate, online calorie calculators use coefficients of around 0.6. Double the RW estimate.
There are many more of these calculators but I think 5 data points will suffice for now, as they are roughly consistent with each other.
Aside from the calculators, it only makes intuitive sense that walking, as an initial exercise for an obese person just starting out on the fitness journey, will burn a s**t ton more than 90 calories per mile. At a typical 2.5 mph for someone just starting out and overweight, that'd suggest 225 calories for a full hour of exercise. That is obviously way too low. Obese people walking a full hour each day (in conjunction with portion/calorie control) drop weight like a stone at first, as everyone knows. Takes a lotta work to lug around an extra 100150 pounds of fat for an hour on a walking trail, as I experienced back in the day. BPM = high, calories burned = high. Of course, the BPM and therefore calories burned per minute come down as you lose weight and get in shape.
RW's .63 coefficient might work very nicely for running and for people at normal BMI's, but .3 for walking for obese people is not useful. That is probably why no other sites use numbers that low.
I would find it quite demoralizing if I was back at 300+ pounds and just starting my walking journey, and finding out that the big reward I get is 90 calories per mile or 225 per hour. That's an hour of lugging my tonnage around for one lean chicken taco at California Tortilla. Fortunately, you can eat a solid 400 ish cals to cover a 1 hour walk at that weight level. RW's #'s just aren't right.
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.
Finding data points that are in agreement doesn't solve the actual question.
The numbers in question from the original Runners World article are not just an opinion. They were backed with a study. The idea was to use science to see which prediction formulas were the most accurate. I'm fairly sure the below linked is the study they referenced...
https://researchgate.net/publication/8157727_Energy_Expenditure_of_Walking_and_Running_Comparison_with_Prediction_Equations
One of the prediction methods they cite as fairly accurate was the ACSM method, which is used in the linked calculator below:
https://exrx.net/Calculators/WalkRunMETs
Over the years there have been quite a few studies on the matter and they all come to reasonably similar conclusions. Gender, age, fitness levels, etc have all been tested, and there really is not a huge variance for the average person. Though the numbers aren't exacting across all populations, they are reasonably close. In the end, unless going outside the norm (as in walking very fast or jogging very slowly) then the efficiency doesn't change a lot. As such it can easily be broken down into a mass x distance equation.
Walking is simply a very efficient exercise and doesn't burn many calories.robertw486 wrote: »NorthCascades wrote: »Why is it obviously too low?
Those formula coefficients (.63 running, .3 walking) are gospel at MFP but they are just one source and, as far as walking for obese people is concerned, they are absurdly low.
All of the online calorie estimators/calculators that I've seen for walking produce numbers higher than the RW numbers. Much higher, in the case of heavier people. As in, roughly speaking, double. That was my point in the last post, which got the avalanche of disagrees.
Let's take a quick tour of some online walking calculators, keeping in mind that RW says 90 calories per mile for a 300 pound person:
This one says 214 calories for a 300 lb person walking a mile: https://www.verywellfit.com/walkingcaloriesanddistancecalculators3432711
This one says 167, consistent with the #'s I was positing: https://caloriesburnedhq.com/caloriesburnedwalking/
This one says 180: https://www.omnicalculator.com/sports/walkingcalorie
Another one that says 180: http://www.shapesense.com/fitnessexercise/calculators/walkingcalorieburncalculator.shtml
This one says 172: https://captaincalculator.com/health/calorie/caloriesburnedwalkingcalculator/
So basically, in comparison to RW's 0.3 coefficient and resulting 90 calorie estimate, online calorie calculators use coefficients of around 0.6. Double the RW estimate.
There are many more of these calculators but I think 5 data points will suffice for now, as they are roughly consistent with each other.
Aside from the calculators, it only makes intuitive sense that walking, as an initial exercise for an obese person just starting out on the fitness journey, will burn a s**t ton more than 90 calories per mile. At a typical 2.5 mph for someone just starting out and overweight, that'd suggest 225 calories for a full hour of exercise. That is obviously way too low. Obese people walking a full hour each day (in conjunction with portion/calorie control) drop weight like a stone at first, as everyone knows. Takes a lotta work to lug around an extra 100150 pounds of fat for an hour on a walking trail, as I experienced back in the day. BPM = high, calories burned = high. Of course, the BPM and therefore calories burned per minute come down as you lose weight and get in shape.
RW's .63 coefficient might work very nicely for running and for people at normal BMI's, but .3 for walking for obese people is not useful. That is probably why no other sites use numbers that low.
I would find it quite demoralizing if I was back at 300+ pounds and just starting my walking journey, and finding out that the big reward I get is 90 calories per mile or 225 per hour. That's an hour of lugging my tonnage around for one lean chicken taco at California Tortilla. Fortunately, you can eat a solid 400 ish cals to cover a 1 hour walk at that weight level. RW's #'s just aren't right.
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.
Finding data points that are in agreement doesn't solve the actual question.
The numbers in question from the original Runners World article are not just an opinion. They were backed with a study. The idea was to use science to see which prediction formulas were the most accurate. I'm fairly sure the below linked is the study they referenced...
https://researchgate.net/publication/8157727_Energy_Expenditure_of_Walking_and_Running_Comparison_with_Prediction_Equations
One of the prediction methods they cite as fairly accurate was the ACSM method, which is used in the linked calculator below:
https://exrx.net/Calculators/WalkRunMETs
Over the years there have been quite a few studies on the matter and they all come to reasonably similar conclusions. Gender, age, fitness levels, etc have all been tested, and there really is not a huge variance for the average person. Though the numbers aren't exacting across all populations, they are reasonably close. In the end, unless going outside the norm (as in walking very fast or jogging very slowly) then the efficiency doesn't change a lot. As such it can easily be broken down into a mass x distance equation.
Walking is simply a very efficient exercise and doesn't burn many calories.
I like this quoted calculator as it comes very close to the numbers that work for me for running and walking. But of course I have years of data, and have to say that this oftenquoted equation works for me. Mind you, apart from age I could have been a participant in this study with regards to size and weight.
I find it very interesting btw that the difference between threadmill and track is so small. I would have expected a bigger difference.
Btw, feel very stupid asking this, but what would those equations be in kg/km? I have custom workouts in MFP for multipliers of 0.37 and 0.86, but I'm not sure where I got them from.
I saw this and did the math, but forgot to respond. The numbers I came up with were....
Walking  weight in Kg x distance in Km x .42 = net calories
Running  weight in Kg x distance in Km x .86 = net calories
But I will also add that math is not my strong point, and I did it when low on coffee in the AM so which of us is incorrect on the walking is for someone else to conclude!
If a person really wanted to dig deeper, they could look at a few studies or meta analysis and find results more specific to their size, age, FFM, and other variables that are involved. Better yet, volunteer for a study and find exacting scientific data... wouldn't that be nice? Where are all these studies when we want them?
It's a shame you were too young for the cited study... maybe next time!
Hey, thanks a lot! I do work with numbers all day (or graphical representations of those), but converting between units gets me every time
Um.. I'm much older than the participants of that study1 
BruceHedtke wrote: »I've always gone with the formula of one mile moved=100 calories. I don't separate running from walking in that equation.
If you weigh 200lbs and move yourself a mile in length, you had to expend roughly the same amount of energy to move 200 lbs a mile whether it was ran or walked. If you run, you work harder but spend less time covering the distance. If you walk, it's less work but for a longer time. You get a small bump due running due to a higher heart rate, but basically a mile moved is a mile moved and your calorie burn should be about the same.
The difference is the kind of movement, regardless of if you weight 120lbs or 200: Running involves jumping. There's a short moment where both feet are off the ground while walking keeps always one on the ground. Plus you move a lot more muscles. That's one of the reasons why running burns a lot more calories than walking.
...you burn a few more calories per mile but not a lot...it's about time at this point.
If I run for 1 hour vs walking I will burn more calories in that hour...
This is a similar discussion that goes around 1lb of fat vs 1lb of muscle...both are 1lb just muscle takes up less space....vs muscle weighs more than fat...which it does in totality...but not for individual units..
Strictly speaking, it's not about time but about distance. Energy expenditure is calculated by means of mass * distance. But of course, if you run you cover a larger distance in a given time compared to walking.
then if it's about distance than it's not even that significant...walk 1 mile vs run 1mile is about 5 calories difference...even if you are heavier...1 mile is 1 mile..but
walking 1mile=15mins (for me anyway)
runnign 1mile=10mins...same calories as above...
but to do a 5k (3miles) 45mins walking 30mins running so if I run 45mins...yah I will burn more calories then if I walked 45mins and by default I am cover more distance running...
I think we've already established that running burns about twice as many calories as walking, regardless of which calculator you use. Which makes sense: we're adapted to walking, hence it burns less calories than running.0 
BruceHedtke wrote: »I've always gone with the formula of one mile moved=100 calories. I don't separate running from walking in that equation.
If you weigh 200lbs and move yourself a mile in length, you had to expend roughly the same amount of energy to move 200 lbs a mile whether it was ran or walked. If you run, you work harder but spend less time covering the distance. If you walk, it's less work but for a longer time. You get a small bump due running due to a higher heart rate, but basically a mile moved is a mile moved and your calorie burn should be about the same.
The difference is the kind of movement, regardless of if you weight 120lbs or 200: Running involves jumping. There's a short moment where both feet are off the ground while walking keeps always one on the ground. Plus you move a lot more muscles. That's one of the reasons why running burns a lot more calories than walking.
...you burn a few more calories per mile but not a lot...it's about time at this point.
If I run for 1 hour vs walking I will burn more calories in that hour...
This is a similar discussion that goes around 1lb of fat vs 1lb of muscle...both are 1lb just muscle takes up less space....vs muscle weighs more than fat...which it does in totality...but not for individual units..
Strictly speaking, it's not about time but about distance. Energy expenditure is calculated by means of mass * distance. But of course, if you run you cover a larger distance in a given time compared to walking.
then if it's about distance than it's not even that significant...walk 1 mile vs run 1mile is about 5 calories difference...even if you are heavier...1 mile is 1 mile..but
walking 1mile=15mins (for me anyway)
runnign 1mile=10mins...same calories as above...
but to do a 5k (3miles) 45mins walking 30mins running so if I run 45mins...yah I will burn more calories then if I walked 45mins and by default I am cover more distance running...
I think we've already established that running burns about twice as many calories as walking, regardless of which calculator you use. Which makes sense: we're adapted to walking, hence it burns less calories than running.
For the equivalent time yes...but not equivalent distance.2 
BruceHedtke wrote: »I've always gone with the formula of one mile moved=100 calories. I don't separate running from walking in that equation.
If you weigh 200lbs and move yourself a mile in length, you had to expend roughly the same amount of energy to move 200 lbs a mile whether it was ran or walked. If you run, you work harder but spend less time covering the distance. If you walk, it's less work but for a longer time. You get a small bump due running due to a higher heart rate, but basically a mile moved is a mile moved and your calorie burn should be about the same.
The difference is the kind of movement, regardless of if you weight 120lbs or 200: Running involves jumping. There's a short moment where both feet are off the ground while walking keeps always one on the ground. Plus you move a lot more muscles. That's one of the reasons why running burns a lot more calories than walking.
...you burn a few more calories per mile but not a lot...it's about time at this point.
If I run for 1 hour vs walking I will burn more calories in that hour...
This is a similar discussion that goes around 1lb of fat vs 1lb of muscle...both are 1lb just muscle takes up less space....vs muscle weighs more than fat...which it does in totality...but not for individual units..
Strictly speaking, it's not about time but about distance. Energy expenditure is calculated by means of mass * distance. But of course, if you run you cover a larger distance in a given time compared to walking.
then if it's about distance than it's not even that significant...walk 1 mile vs run 1mile is about 5 calories difference...even if you are heavier...1 mile is 1 mile..but
walking 1mile=15mins (for me anyway)
runnign 1mile=10mins...same calories as above...
but to do a 5k (3miles) 45mins walking 30mins running so if I run 45mins...yah I will burn more calories then if I walked 45mins and by default I am cover more distance running...
I think we've already established that running burns about twice as many calories as walking, regardless of which calculator you use. Which makes sense: we're adapted to walking, hence it burns less calories than running.
For the equivalent time yes...but not equivalent distance.
No, again: energy equals mass * distance.
Distance can also be expressed as velocity * duration. Thus duration (or time) is related to velocity and distance. However, there's a lot of research showing that there's not much difference in energy usage (thus calories burned) for different velocities as long as you exclude extreme numbers.1 
BruceHedtke wrote: »I've always gone with the formula of one mile moved=100 calories. I don't separate running from walking in that equation.
If you weigh 200lbs and move yourself a mile in length, you had to expend roughly the same amount of energy to move 200 lbs a mile whether it was ran or walked. If you run, you work harder but spend less time covering the distance. If you walk, it's less work but for a longer time. You get a small bump due running due to a higher heart rate, but basically a mile moved is a mile moved and your calorie burn should be about the same.
The difference is the kind of movement, regardless of if you weight 120lbs or 200: Running involves jumping. There's a short moment where both feet are off the ground while walking keeps always one on the ground. Plus you move a lot more muscles. That's one of the reasons why running burns a lot more calories than walking.
...you burn a few more calories per mile but not a lot...it's about time at this point.
If I run for 1 hour vs walking I will burn more calories in that hour...
This is a similar discussion that goes around 1lb of fat vs 1lb of muscle...both are 1lb just muscle takes up less space....vs muscle weighs more than fat...which it does in totality...but not for individual units..
Strictly speaking, it's not about time but about distance. Energy expenditure is calculated by means of mass * distance. But of course, if you run you cover a larger distance in a given time compared to walking.
then if it's about distance than it's not even that significant...walk 1 mile vs run 1mile is about 5 calories difference...even if you are heavier...1 mile is 1 mile..but
walking 1mile=15mins (for me anyway)
runnign 1mile=10mins...same calories as above...
but to do a 5k (3miles) 45mins walking 30mins running so if I run 45mins...yah I will burn more calories then if I walked 45mins and by default I am cover more distance running...
I think we've already established that running burns about twice as many calories as walking, regardless of which calculator you use. Which makes sense: we're adapted to walking, hence it burns less calories than running.
For the equivalent time yes...but not equivalent distance.
No, again: energy equals mass * distance.
Distance can also be expressed as velocity * duration. Thus duration (or time) is related to velocity and distance. However, there's a lot of research showing that there's not much difference in energy usage (thus calories burned) for different velocities as long as you exclude extreme numbers.
I am familiar with that particular math equation...
I just know for me and others in studies I have read where 1 mile is walked or ran regardless of weight similar calories counts are burned...not the exact same but close enough (I think 7 calories dif).
Keeping in mind these were all "average" speeds and a few different weights...with the heavier people burning more of course...
Not that is matters really...esp since most people who are just starting out in exercise are going to walk...not run.
2 
Not just dream up random numbers. [/b][/i]
You are making this personal and unnecessarily (and inappropriately) derogatory. I provided links to five different web sources of formulas for walking calories, all of which agree with each other. I then provided three additional sites that use the same numbers as those five sites, one being MFP itself. All along, my argument has been that if eight different web sites are in agreement on an estimate for walking calories, and there is one outlier, RW, that 9th one may be the one to call into question, which is an eminently sensible thing to suggest. It is hardly "dreaming up random numbers".
Your increasing sarcasm and hostility toward my posts is uncalled for, and not a great look, tbh.
2 
Not just dream up random numbers. [/b][/i]
You are making this personal and unnecessarily (and inappropriately) derogatory. I provided links to five different web sources of formulas for walking calories, all of which agree with each other. I then provided three additional sites that use the same numbers as those five sites, one being MFP itself. All along, my argument has been that if eight different web sites are in agreement on an estimate for walking calories, and there is one outlier, RW, that 9th one may be the one to call into question, which is an eminently sensible thing to suggest. It is hardly "dreaming up random numbers".
Your increasing sarcasm and hostility toward my posts is uncalled for, and not a great look, tbh.
Nope  not derogatory, maybe blunt but as the same message seems to have to be repeated multiple times then perhaps you should expect blunt responses? You asked me questions I replied even though some of the questions were rather peculiar.
Do I believe it's a reasonable estimate  yes, would I tell that to an obese person  yes, would I tell that to a normal weight but sweaty woman  yes.
I sincerely think you lack a lot of basic knowledge about how web sites and fitness apps work in how they source information as well as lacking a working understanding of exercise physiology.
I could find 20 TDEE sites using the same TDEE formula  that's 1 source, 1 formula and not 20 independent sources or data points.
That MapMyWalk, MyFitnessPal and The Compendium all use the same ultimate source is not three separate data points as another example. Same as if I canvassed 50 people who use the 0.3 multiplier for walking  that would be 1 source not 50.
That you seem to want to believe big calorie burns are due to getting sweaty, or feeling hard due to a low fitness levels, or someone unfit having a high exercise HR shows a lack of knowledge I'm afraid. If you think that's derogatory then sorry but I don't know how to sugar coat that message. It's something most cyclists who switch from HR based training to power meter based training have to confront  feeling hard means very little in terms of actual energy expenditure. In cycling terms feeling hard to a pro would be double the calories compared to my feels hard, feeling hard to an unfit novice might be half my calories for the same duration.....
Choose the method for walking estimates you like and I'm sure you can make it work for you but don't go rubbishing other methods which are well based and successfully used by many. I've not called your methods "absurd" (that's pretty hostile...) or falsely stating people claim one method as "gospel" (that's pretty rude). Maybe you need to consider your choice of words as much as you think I should?
You can even use MyFitnessPal gross calorie estimates based on speed if you really want to and as long as you modify your calorie intake accordingly, or simply get lucky with all the other estimates that contribute to a person's calorie balance, you can make a success of weight loss and I hope you do. If you do a high volume of walking then some big adjustments might have to be made, if a low volume the difference becomes far less significant.
PS  feel free to block me if you wish, you seem to be taking an online discussion a bit too much to heart.
3
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