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How to Calculate Calories Burned from Exercise

When incorporating exercise in to your weight loss plan, most people want to know how many calories are being burned. Coming up with a way to calculate this is very difficult, especially since the numbers used in the formula change as you lose weight. The heavier you are, the more calories you burn, therefore, what you burned at 200 pounds during a 30 minute walk, will be less at 150 pounds. In addition, the more muscle you have the more calories you burn, which make the calculations even more difficult.

Since this information is important to most people on a weight loss plan, try one of the following methods to calculate this for you or get a good estimate.

1. Use a formula and figure it out on your own. This is a scientific and technical approach and very difficult to use.

The formula is:

Time of exercise X (MET X 3.5 X your weight in kg) / 200

The MET stand for the metabolic equivalent for each activity, or the amount of oxygen used during an activity. This is why you will often see level of intensity in most of the automated devices and online.

As you can see, this is very difficult and most people are unable to use this formula.

2. Purchase one of the devises that measures your calories burned. This is obviously easier to do however they are not 100% accurate. They do not all take in to account your age, weight and MET. They will give you an estimate which may be all you need to keep motivated. Since the quality of the devises sold varies, it’s suggested you check with a personal trainer or someone in the field to get a recommendation.

3. Use a standard chart. These can be found online by simply searching calories burned chart or using the website referenced below. This is the simplest way, however, you still are only getting an estimate.

Many people use the calorie counter on the equipment they are working on, like a treadmill, however, these too are only estimates. Unless they use your age, weight, height, and can measure your oxygen usage, they are not able to calculate the exact number of calories being burned.

When you consider that 1 pound equals 3500 calories, the variation in estimates is about 1 pound lost over a few weeks. Getting an idea or estimate is still helpful in knowing when to increase your intensity or time working out and will help keep you motivated.

For an online calculator, visit:


For a chart calories burned during common activities at varies weights, visit: