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How to Calculate Calories Burned

Introduction

Every person who is eager to lose weight and get fit wants to know how many calories they burn. There are a few ways to do that: 1) use an online calorie burn calculator; 2) use a device that keeps track of calories you burn; 3) calculate loss of calories yourself. It is better to calculate calories yourself than to use an online calculator. It is a hard way, but it is also the right way: there is a lot of things you need to take into account and not all online calculators do that. Here we offer you formulas that are used in The American College of Sports Medicine.

Do's

Calculating calories manually.

1

Basics

There is a number of things you need to keep in mind before you start calculations:

  • meters/minute = miles/hour x 26.8
  • 1 lb = 0.45 kg
  • MET - Metabolic Equivalent of Task
  • VO2 - oxygen consumption
2

Find VO2

  • If you walk: 3.5 + speed (meters/min) x 0.1 + speed x % grade x 1.8 = VO2 (ml/kg/min)
  • If you run: 3.5 + speed (meters/min) x 0.2 + speed x % grade x 0.9 = VO2 (ml/kg/min)
  • If you ride a bike: 1.8 x work rate (i.e. resistance in kg multiplied by flywheel distance and revolutions/min) divided by your weight (in kg) + 7 = VO2 (ml/kg/min).
3

Find calories burnt

First you have to find METs. To do that, divide VO2 by 3.5. After that you should multiply that number by your weight (kg). The number you get is number of calories you burn per hour.

4

Example

Letís say you run 4 miles per hour, incline = 2 (treadmill) and weigh 110 lb. In this case you have to adjust formula. As you remember from step 1, meters/minute = miles/hour x 26.8 and you need to find this number:

  • 4 miles/hour x 26.8 = 107,2 meters/min
  • convert grade: 2 into decimal = 0.02
  • use formula 3.5 + speed (meters/min) x 0.2 + speed x % grade x 0.9 = VO2
  • 3.5 + 107,2 x 0.2 + 107,2 x 0.02 x 0.9 = 3.5 + 21.44 + 1.9296 = 26,8696 ml O2/kg/min
  • find your MET: VO2 / 3.5 = 58,3 / 3.5 = 7,6 METs
  • find your weight in kg: 110 lb / 2.2 = about 50 kg.
  • find calories burnt: 7,6 x 50 = 380 calories per hour.

Online calculators and phone applications

There are online calculators you can use. They are not as accurate as method described above, but they can save you time, especially if you are not good at math:

There is also a plenty of apps that can help you keep track of your calories using your phone. Click on the link below and choose an app that you find suitable, the choice is pretty big:

Don'ts

  • Donít be lazy and check your calculations, maybe even twice! Numbers are long and they all have decimal points which makes it very easy to make a mistake.
  • Donít forget to change meters per minute to miles per hour and donít forget to convert pounds to kilograms.

Video

Conclusion

Calculating calories that you have burnt is complicated, as you see, there is a lot of stuff you need to know, and an online converter wonít do it for you. Get a pencil, a sheet of paper and a calculator and start calculating. Once you get a hang of it, it will be easy.

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