Weigh-Ins are on MONDAYS - Updated July 3, 2017

Surgery Date: October 20, 2009:

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

That's Not How I Roll

There is one thing that I see a lot of peeps doing that I've never done.

I don't count my exercise calories.

To each there own.


There are a lot of apps out there on the interwebs that tell you how many calories that you burn doing a certain exercise or activity.

For example, here are the stats from a FANTASTIC hike this past weekend:

I know how my  crazytown  brain works.

I know how I will cheat the system and these reeeeedonkulous thoughts will pop into my head.

It turns into a game of negotiations in my head:

"Well, you did burn 539 calories, that means you can eat a pack of pop tarts. BOTH of them. Put butter on them too!"


"Since you burned 539 calories, you could totally go to In-N-Out Burger. Right. Now. Yay!"

To sum it up: I get stupid in the head.

So when I began Zumba back in January 2010, I made a very conscious decision that I did NOT want to know how many calories I was burning.

Sure, the Zumba peeps love to brag about how Zumba burns over 1000 calories an hour. 

That is fantabulous.  I am jealous of your arm bands that tell you all those fun calories burned details.

But it's more important to me whether I exercise or not. 

Plain and simple.

For me it's whether I check that "Yes, I worked out today" box on my to-do list.

I do like knowing distances that I walk. (I do not run. Unless a dinosaur is chasing me, of course)

I do like to know how many minutes that I have exercised for.  That's kewl.

But I'm better off not knowing that calorie count on the exercise.

Cuz' I will eat those calories up in a heartbeat.

PS: How accurate are those calories burned totals anywho?


  1. How accurate are those calories burned totals? I'm kind of skeptical myself as to their accuracy. The machines at my fitness center allow you to input your weight. Supposedly the machines are set for 165 lbs. If you weigh more than that like in the 200's then the machines produce a faster calorie count per hour. If you weigh less than the machines produce a slower calorie count per hour. If Zumba produced a 1000 calories burned per hour, wouldn't that be the exercise of choice for the contestants of the Biggest Loser Show? Just asking:)

    1. Marc,

      I'm not going to answer for LBG, but I know for me, when it comes to calories burned, I use a heart rate monitor that is personally programmed to my gender, height, weight and age, so I can get an accurate calorie burn. I don't trust any of the machines in the gym because of the fact they don't know me from Suzie Creamcheese who is 110 or 200 or Joe Schmo who is 10% body fat and 6'6.

      But I agree with LapBandGal. Exercise calories are not carte blanche for me to eat a Big Mac and Fries. If I'm going to work my ass off with my trainer to burn 600 calories, it is for a reason. To get in better shape...not to eat my way back to where I started off before I went to the gym (and probably worse off due to the fatty foods). Just my thoughts!

    2. I completely agree with Steph. :)

  2. I do not do it either .... once I tried back in the day to do that AND count calories... and my head got fuzzy and blurry and it just ate at me ... all those numbers. When some one gave me permission to relax and enjoy working out, then I just stopped obsessing. I like exercise a whole lot more now because of it :)

  3. I totally agree! Those cardio machines are the biggest liars ever. Nobody is burning as many calories as they say--not even close! In my mind, I have differentiated between food calories and cardio-machine calories, because they are definitely not the same. I never add my exercise into the calorie equation either. :D

  4. I use My Fitness Pal to track my food and exercise because it is easy for me to use and it's always with me. It will tell me an estimate of how many calories I have burn based on my exercise and it tells me I have more calories I can eat. Do I eat those though? NO! I don't know how accurate that is and I am not going to go off track because of that.

  5. I agree with the mind games. I can totally see myself doing that I and I don't have room for that!

  6. I track them, but it's mostly for accountability. I play a different mind game...I take a 10 min stroll...not even a walk...then say to myself, "hey, I exercised!" So if I input that and it says I burned 13 calories...not even I can justify that as true exercise. So I shoot for an estimated 250/day min and then I can feel good about where I am...

  7. I have a heart rate monitor and I haven't used it in a while. I got it because I wanted to see if I was pushing myself hard enough and getting my heart rate up where it needed to be. I felt like I was pushing myself hard enough but wasn't sure. It helped me get an idea of how intense I needed to workout and when to back off a little.

    I don't need that anymore because I know my body better.

    I do record my workouts in myfitnesspal but I don't reward myself with a cheeseburger if I burned 500 calories. :) Seems silly to me.

  8. ooh! That is exactly how I think! I love knowing how much I have burnt, but I constantly have those thoughts about how I can have an "extra bit" because of zumba or "just a tad" because of combat! Our minds are terrible to us sometimes!

  9. Originally in my journey I did track calories burned, but much like you I have stopped doing so because I would use it to justify less than optimal food choices.

  10. I used to play that game when I was on Weight Watchers with the activity points. I'd turn something positive (my workouts) into something very negative by rationalizing and eating extra points since I earned them. I always felt like the whole process was like a hamster running on it's wheel getting nowhere fast... I like your view of things.

  11. I recently bought an Up Band and I really like it. I don't really use it to track calories burned during exercise, though that is always fun to see, but I like the fact that it tracks my sleep and wakes me up in a light sleep cycle and I like that it keeps track of how many steps I have walked. The past few weeks when I was studying for my boards I was pretty sedentary except for when I would go to the gym every day so it was nice to see how many steps I needed to get to meet my activity goal.
    I've never thought of the calories burned as extra calories to have for the day, though. In fact the days that I work out I feel less inclined to eat bad stuff because I'm like "I just busted my ass for an hour to burn x amount of calories. That junk is not worth wasting those calories on."

  12. I don't think calories ingested or burned are very accurate. There was an article I read that said food labels can be off by as much as 10 percent (either way), so I could think I am eating 100 calories but am actually eating 110 calories.

    I do log the calories I eat, and I try to keep within a certain range. I do not eat my exercise calories primarily because it is too easy to be wrong.

  13. I use the calorie burn as a guide only. A doctor friend told me I have to burn 3000 calories more than I take in per week to lose one pound. So I made that a math problem for me. I need to burn 4500 calories more than I take in to lose 1-1/2 pounds per week. That is working for me.

    I hope I NEVER go back to eating like my old self because I justified it with a workout. Maybe when I get to where I'm going, I'll quit counting like you. It makes sense to me. LBG you always make sense.

  14. I wear a Fitbit that links to MFP. I use MFP to track my caloric intake daily. I input my height and weight into MFP so I do think that the calories that it says I burn are accurate. But I rarely eat them. I just like knowing that they are there if I need them.

  15. I think you have to do what works for you! Tried and true. :)

  16. never have tracked exercise, never will. doesn't matter :) I got my body movin'! Should I be trackin' my nasty business with my guy? Maybe! LOL. Ok, maybe not.