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Tracking Biking Calories Burned

Old 10-08-20, 09:53 AM
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laparks
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Tracking Biking Calories Burned

If this topic has been discussed recently, please direct me to it. I searched through the forum but did not see it directly addressed.

I am using a Garmin 820 Plus and Strava on my iphone during rides. I enjoy riding for a number of reasons and now I am seriously working on losing weight. I am using MyFitnessPal to maintain a food log and capture exercise calories. It seems that my riding calories burned are interfacing to MyFitnessPal from both Strava and the Garmin.

I can delete one of the exercise entries from MyFitnessPal to determine daily Net Calories. However, I see that the number of calories from each source, from the same ride, is significantly different. A casual google search on why the differences brought me to: https://www.yellowjersey.co.uk/the-dr...calorie-count/ This article is from July 2019 is the calories expended from Garmin is more accurate. Do you have other thoughts on this topic?

Are there other cycling apps that have a more accurate "Calories Expended" metric? Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-08-20, 11:49 AM
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Tracking Calories is always just going to be an estimate no matter what you use. Just pick one that seems close. If you want to get a power meter to use with your Garmin or what ever device you have, you'll have about the closest thing possible to an accurate Calorie count.

Calories determined from HR can't match the accuracy of a power meter, but some can be pretty close. You can't directly calculate the Calories burned from distance, time and HR. It's just an estimate.

As long as you consistently use the same source for your Calories burned while riding, you'll be okay in the long run. Know that weighing and tracking every Calorie you put in your mouth is probably more variable because those charts are all based on estimates too. So I always wonder why people expect perfection from their devices for Calories burned when they don't ask for that of their Calories consumed.
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Old 10-09-20, 04:24 AM
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For weight loss purposes, just use whichever source gives you the lowest estimate of calories burned per ride. As Iride01 said, they are all going to be inaccurate - for weight loss purposes, best to err on the side of underestimating.

What has worked for me over the years (a 225 lb cyclist generally averaging between 15-16 mph) is 40 calories per mile, which is roughly 10 calories per minute/600 per hour of riding. Strava usually seems to give me numbers that are usually pretty close to that.
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Old 10-16-20, 04:38 AM
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I go with 100 calories for every 5 km.

Strava is pretty close to that.
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Old 10-16-20, 07:19 AM
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Calorie burn for me depends on how hard I'm riding. I have a power meter so I have the benefit of a more accurate estimate than via HR. Yesterday was a tale of 2 rides for me. I did an indoor workout (a race on zwift) and I averaged 265w for an hour and burned 900 calories. Later in the day, I did a 60min ride with my 9 y/o around the neighborhood, averaging 13.2mph (his fastest ever, he's a heck of a little cyclist), and I averaged about 100w and burned 333 calories. Personally I believe average folks probably burn in the region of 300-500 calories an hour.
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Old 10-23-20, 10:20 PM
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After riding with a smart trainer with a power meter I had to get one for my bike. Calorie estimates, for me, from a HR monitor are always ludicrously high. If I used the calories from my HR monitor I'd never lose weight.
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Old 10-24-20, 06:20 AM
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Calorie burning estimates always vary wildly - for 1 hour of cycling, I've seen power meter-based estimates and actual lab testing report ranges from 300 to 900 calories per hour. Different by individual, different by same person on same course/test but different day or time of day, etc. YMMV - Your Metabolism May Vary.

If the goal is deciding how much food to carry on a tour where you might run out of food, good to err on the high side. For weight loss, good to err on the low side. Not really any tremendous need for high accuracy either way!

Originally Posted by guachi View Post
After riding with a smart trainer with a power meter I had to get one for my bike. Calorie estimates, for me, from a HR monitor are always ludicrously high. If I used the calories from my HR monitor I'd never lose weight.
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Old 10-26-20, 12:07 PM
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whatever is says you're burning, divide by 4
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Old 10-26-20, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Flip Flop Rider View Post
whatever is says you're burning, divide by 4

this is what I do too. There are some activities I know I burn 500-750 calories as it states because I am working my ars off but I still do the 25% method.

I use the MyFitnessPal app as well and worked wonders for me. Last 2 years with it and working out more I am down just about 90lbs. Trying to get to 100 before 2021. Might actually make it. The apps I would never pay for but I can say they are VERY helpful when calorie counting.
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Old 10-26-20, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by laparks View Post
If this topic has been discussed recently, please direct me to it. I searched through the forum but did not see it directly addressed.

I am using a Garmin 820 Plus and Strava on my iphone during rides. I enjoy riding for a number of reasons and now I am seriously working on losing weight. I am using MyFitnessPal to maintain a food log and capture exercise calories. It seems that my riding calories burned are interfacing to MyFitnessPal from both Strava and the Garmin.

I can delete one of the exercise entries from MyFitnessPal to determine daily Net Calories. However, I see that the number of calories from each source, from the same ride, is significantly different. A casual google search on why the differences brought me to: https://www.yellowjersey.co.uk/the-dr...calorie-count/ This article is from July 2019 is the calories expended from Garmin is more accurate. Do you have other thoughts on this topic?

Are there other cycling apps that have a more accurate "Calories Expended" metric? Thanks in advance.

Calories are just estimates with heart rate and such. A powermeter if you have one actually can get you closer but still no way of knowing how accurate they really are. Play it safe and underestimate the number by a lot. I use the 25% method.
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