Saturday, June 25, 2011

Software Pitfalls

So, after a few days of tracking and watching my calories and exercise, I noticed something that is a little distressing. According to MyFitnessPal, every mile that I run at a leisurely 12 min/mile pace (well - leisurely for most), I'm burning 185 calories. Say what? That's a full 50% greater than my Garmin reports.

What this really points out is that calories counting is an estimate at best. And depending the program that you're using those estimates can be grossly off - both for food ingested and exercise burn.

For the time being, I'm going to assume that the algorithms in MyFitnessPal are equally off for both sides of the equation. If they are, then the deficit is still correct - which is why I'm really aiming for. Today's lesson? Due diligence.....

As far as yesterday's burn:

Calorie goal: 1690
Calories eaten: 1727
Exercise burn: 0 (scheduled rest day)
Calorie deficit: -37

Whew. Glad I decided to pass on dinner out with the family last night.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


  1. i always estimate 100 calories per mile. it's probably on the low end, but easy to calculate

  2. It would be neat if we had an internal read out of calories when we are eating it to know precisely. and when we exercise, run or whatever, we would know calories burned, but we are not robots. hahaha. I think that any calorie counting is a guess at best. I try and use common sense when choosing what to eat, but sometimes (most of the time) o well. I think that for 100 calories per mile, its for some one at perfect ideal body weight. It takes more gas to move heavier beings. For me, i wouldn't be surprised if I burned 185 per mile. Take care.

  3. I have noticed at least three different sites having three different calorie burning for the same activity. Crazy. I'd say go with the one that has you burn the least, then you are actually doing even better than you thought! :)

  4. Well it is my good luck in real, as I was searching something else on internet and I am here to your blog by chance and I must say it is a good site buddy.

  5. I noticed the same discrepancies with Livestrong and a couple of other calorie calculators. You're right - so long as the other estimates are proportional, the way to lose weight still holds.