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Do Daily Calorie Expenditure Calculators Include your Training Workout or is it Additional?

eebee's picture

Spring is here and I'm talking about calories again! It's way beyond time to try to shed some Winter flab, and as I conveniently forget my approximate daily caloric requirement each year, I run to the online daily calorie expenditure calculators. Inevitably I feel like I'm wasting my time and that nobody really knows how close those numbers are. I conclude that if I'm hungry I'm probably losing weight. 

On my calorie-expenditure search, the question usually pops up somewhere as to whether we are supposed to add a separate amount of calories (for any workouts that day) to the daily amount needed, or if it is already included in the calculation. That is, do we add say, 600 cals (from skating one hour) to the 2,500 cals the calculators say we need to maintain our weight for our particular average activity level?

I knew I'd have trouble explaining this. 

Most online calorie calculators require input for age, sex, weight and 'activity level'. The 'activity level' field always gives me fits because as we've already hashed out here in the past, outdoor inline skating may not be represented in the choices, or isn't specific enough to fitness or perceived effort levels.

Aside from this hitch, it's unclear whether once you've put your so-called 'activity level' into the equation and your daily calorie expenditure amount magically pops out at the end, that this is your lot? Do you have to just buckle down and hope it doesn't rain that week so you can workout like you told the calculator you would? Or can you slap 600 cals onto that amount each day a la carte, on the off chance you did get to skate? But did the activity level already account for your 4 x week training skates?

I found a daily calorie expenditure calculator that appears to clear up this query by separating the two issues of daily maintenance at your present activity level and your workout type. Yay! They even have a skating/skiing section among the activities. Although I'm a bit suspect at the result because after I plugged in my data and picked 1 hour of inline skating, it spat out somewhere around 3,400 cals. The other calculators tell me I need 2,200.

From my past food journals and training logs, I'd say somewhere between those two figures is about right.


roadskater's picture

Thanks and I'm confused about too

Thanks for the references and for sharing your ponderings on this subject. It's usually pretty disappointing to realize how few calories might fry up in an hour of roadskating even on moderate hills (and do any calculators consider hilliness along with mph in skating I wonder?). I think many times in the summer I end up taking in more calories than I burn, which is something some of the less-sugared electropackets address meguesses. Anyway thanks for being on patrol for new and better calculators to quantify our efforts and justify or discourage our caloric intake vis-a-vis our muscular efforts.

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