After you finish shedding a few tears in your oatmeal at the title of today’s blog, keep reading and let me expand on this.
A few years ago, I started the Insanity workout DVDs (a great workout, BTW.) The website says you can burn up to 1,000 calories in a training session. So, I thought logging 600 calories for a workout was safe.
My hubby hooked me up with a heart rate monitor for a birthday gift (seriously, he knows his audience when it comes to giving me gifts) and I started tracking my heart rate and calories burned during my workout. Turns out, I only burned about 300 calories per workout dvd. Ouch. I was overestimating my calories burned by 300 calories!! That’s the calorie equivalent to eight chicken nuggets at Chickfila! Wow. No wonder I wasn’t seeing results on the scale.
It’s a super common occurrence to overestimate the number of calories burned. Check out this LINK. It outlines research where people were asked to guess the number of calories burned in an hour workout. Most people estimated 400 calories burned, when, in actuality, they only burned 250. Yikes. That’s a quick way to add some unwanted junk in the trunk.
When you’re trying to lose weight or hit fitness goals, knowing the accurate amount of calories you’re eating and calories you’re burning is vital.
People tell me all the time, “I can’t lose weight.” Seriously, my inbox is full of those emails right now. But, for most people, the culprit is incorrect information on what you’re eating and how many calories you’re burning. (Check out this article on “Why Can’t I Lose Weight” for more details.)
And, just because your gym partner does the same workout as you, doesn’t mean you’ll both burn the same number of calories, either. Every person is different, their cardiovascular ability is different, their muscle mass is different, their intensity level is different…you get the idea. People burn calories differently.
One key thing I want to make sure to point out – as you start to lose weight and you improve your cardio, you may burn less calories during a workout. So be sure to update your HR monitor with your current weight so you continue to get an accurate calorie measurement.
To bottom line this for you guys – I recommend getting a heart rate monitor to track your heart rate and get an accurate number of calories burned during exercise. Use that information to better understand your overall calories burned vs calories you’re eating. I bet you’ll be surprised at what you find out.
Having accurate information is half the battle when it comes to reaching your fitness goals. And the more you know, the better, more informed decisions you can make.