Confusion on calories burned

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Joined: Sep 10
Posts: 4

Posted: 31 Jan 2012, 08:51
Ok, I am confused. I input my exercise with 8 hours of sleep, 8 hours of office desk work and 8 hours of sitting. This is a sedentary day but the calories burned comes up 2125kcal...this cannot be true! If it were, I would be a stick as I only take in 1200 to 1400 cal a day. I don't even want to input exercise as it cannot be accurate. Anyone have any ideas to help me understand?Rolling Eyes

Joined: Feb 12
Posts: 2

Posted: 02 Feb 2012, 04:24
I dont get it either, i could sleep all day and loose more weight than exercising. Ive only just joined so thin I must be doing something wrong, yesterday it says i burned 2543 kcal????????????????

Joined: Jan 12
Posts: 27

Posted: 02 Feb 2012, 04:54
The exercise calories are kinda flawed so I'd take that with a grain of salt....

Joined: Jan 11
Posts: 383

Posted: 02 Feb 2012, 06:16
Sitting and office work are not "exercise" and I think this program does a disservice by allowing them.

I find that when I set my default day at 16 hours Resting and 8 hours Sleeping the numbers are reasonable. I only input exercise that elevates my heart rate and I only enter something like walking if I do it for exercise as opposed to walking around the office or home.

When I started at 232 my sedentary RDI was over 2500 and now that I'm down to 213 it has been reduced to under 2400. I'm telling you this because your info is private and you can use it to compare.

Last year when I did biggest loser there was a period where I had a total calorie deficit of over 35,000 and I dropped 11 pounds so the numbers are working for me.
Pain is a by-product of a good time.

Joined: Sep 09
Posts: 1,995

Posted: 02 Feb 2012, 06:18
Do remember that your body burns calories no matter what you do - even when you sleep. We burn a surprisingly huge amount of calories simply by existing. I record all that I do, just like you. I have compared it with a few other calculators. I honestly don't find it very different - though many users here seem to disagree.
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Posted: 03 Feb 2012, 10:07
Thanks everyone...I have just decided to stick to the caloric intake and not bother with the exercise...I do try to participate in daily exercise but do not record it.

Joined: Aug 10
Posts: 235

Posted: 03 Feb 2012, 10:25
Bkeller1023 wrote:

The other approach, what I did when I started here, was recording everything! Yes, it was definitely telling me I burned a lot more calories that I really did, but the purpose of that was to sort of teach myself to get moving. Seeing that on weekends just relaxing I hardly burned anything, but if I went for a walk, shopping, housework, yardwork, it was helping burn more calories, so I started doing these things more and more.

This is exactly what I do. I take the overall deficit with a grain of salt, but for me it's helpful to look over my exercise dairy and see when I've been lazy (only sleep, resting, and work) versus when I took an extra walk at lunch or did a ton of housework, etc. It's also helpful for when I get discouraged with the scale. I may feel like I've been good, but looking at my exercise diary for a month it's easy to see that I really was averaging low numbers for exercise and I need to kick it up a notch!

mbsett1 - I would encourage you to keep tracking because I think the act of tracking makes you much more aware of your activity level overall. If you feel the numbers are too high, set your defaults as 8 hours sleeping and 16 hours resting and then only record when you do physical activity that gets your heart rate up.

Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 1,712

Posted: 03 Feb 2012, 10:35
Agree with a couple other posters here- sometimes just the act of recording activities will inspire me to be more active.

One way to look at it is that the most concentrated calories burned will always be through exercise and the rest don't matter. The other way to look at it is that the majority of the calories you burn in any given day will ALWAYS come from what you're doing with the rest of your day. If you go with the all or nothing approach and only count what you do at the gym, you're missing out on all those little opportunities to burn a few more all day long. Fidgeters, for example, will burn more calories EVERYDAY than non-fidgeters. You burn more calories cleaning your house or spending a few hours window shopping at the mall than you do sitting on your couch and when you treat them the same, you don't motivate yourself to MOVE more. Try googling NEAT- it's fascinating stuff!
- Natalie

Joined: Feb 11
Posts: 95

Posted: 03 Feb 2012, 10:50
I think that everyone who posted here has made at least one good point. Smile
I'd like to add
that I agree the Fatsecret calories burned are pretty high, and I rarely think they agree with calories I actually burn in exercises I do.

But there are other factors involved.
We also burn calories to maintain body temperature.
1. the more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn just laying down. So, having a database showing actual calories burned for everyone is impossible.
2. When we sleep we burn mainly fat.
3. When we exercise aerobically we start with burning sugar/glycogen/carbohydrates then when the initial storage of carbs is mostly burn off, we will start burning fat, and I think having some carbs left helps to burn the fat.
4. when we do heavy weight lifting we are burning carbs.

so, like some of you, I mainly only use this database to track calories in the food.

Joined: Sep 10
Posts: 73

Posted: 03 Feb 2012, 11:35
I agree with others that the numbers for calories are burned are a little high. I would recommend that you google BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) and run those calculations.

FS says that I should be 1900 calories a day if I do nothing and want moderate weight loss, but according to the BMR calculator on google it should be closer to 1769 calories.

I know several people on here who force their calorie burn numbers lower by saying that are sed but are really more "low active" or "active".
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Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 1,712

Posted: 03 Feb 2012, 12:29
Bella, my understanding is that BMR is not the same thing as sedentary calorie burn. Even when you're sedendary, you spend time standing, sitting, cooking, walking (even if minimally) which isn't the same as what you burn just existing.
- Natalie

Joined: Sep 10
Posts: 73

Posted: 04 Feb 2012, 07:00
Natalie, you are right. A BMR is the baseline burn you will have if you lay in bed and do nothing. I always assumed that this would either be my "resting" or "sleeping" on FatSecret. However, if I list that I slept for 24 hours in my exercise log, according to FS that burns 2202 calories, or if I rest for 24 hours that burns 2446 calories. I think the BMR is a useful number of have to compare. Like I said weight being equal, my BMR is around 1769 and my FS rest is 2446 calories that is a difference of 677 calories, using sleep that's a difference of 433 calories.
"It doesn't matter how fast you run if you're not heading toward the finish line." - Jeff Levy

"It's never too late to become the person you might have been." - George Elliot

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