Years ago when I really started working out, I used the treadmill and the elliptical. I hate those machines now with a passion and while I was a member of Curves, rarely used those machines…I didn’t need to. (I use them now, but I only spend about 15-20 minutes on them before moving to another machine.) One of the reasons I don’t like them besides being bored out of my mind is that their calories burned count on them is so inaccurate. Even if you track your heartrate and put in your age/weight. They’re inaccurate. They typically way overestimate what you’re burning but in some cases I’m sure they underestimate, too. What else way overestimates your calories burned? Trackers that you typically find online where you enter your gender, age, weight, and exercise completed. I don’t really believe that I burned 900 calories in a hour of Zumba. I’m sure I burn a lot, but 900? Really? No.
This leads to me to my tracking on My Fitness Pal. If I enter my exercise done for the day (which I do because I want to track it there) it will “let” me eat over 2000 calories/day and claim that I’ll still lose weight. The plan I’m using is supposed to have me losing 2 pounds a week. To be honest, I think the calories they tell me to eat each day without exercise is still a little high but to eat over 2000 calories just because I worked out for 2 hours? I know it’s just a formula but still, what concerns me is that there are people on there that follow that plan exactly because they don’t know any better. I also see people banking on the fact that they burned 900 calories doing a hour of Zumba and maybe they have a heart rate monitor telling them they did, but I’m hesitant to believe that.
My point in all this? I’m skeptical of calorie estimates…whether it be how many I’ve burned or how many I’m allowed to eat. I know for me, I should be eating about 1200-1300 calories a day (My Fitness Pal says 1470) if I don’t exercise. I’ll go over a little if I do exercise but I try to go over in protein rich food if I do. I’ve had a rough week food wise. I want everything. While, yes, I’ve given in to some things, I’ve tried to be conscious of what I’m giving in to and I’ve tried to not give into the worst cravings but it’s hard. I know it’s just my body adapting to a “diet” change. I’ve slipped this week but I’m not letting it get to me (too much) and if I don’t lose weight this week…or even if I gain, I’ll take it as a lesson learned, not as a total failure. It’s a constant battle and I just have to remember to celebrate small successes and learn from where I give in to temptation.