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Calories burned

Old 09-22-23, 08:14 AM
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Jklotz
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Calories burned

I got some power meter pedals. Now my Wahoo Roam is reporting about 1/2 of the calories burned vs before I had the power meter installed for the same ride. As a guy who'd like to drop a few pounds and is using cycling to do that, I'm perplexed. Which one is the closest to being correct?
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Old 09-22-23, 08:44 AM
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PM's give a better estimate of Calories burned. Other ways to calculate Calories can vary wildly depending on the person and circumstances. So maybe your Wahoo now uses the PM data in the Calorie figure they report since you've added it to the system.

Or are you just seeing a difference in the Calories and kilojoules that is now displayed by your device?
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Old 09-22-23, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Jklotz
I got some power meter pedals. Now my Wahoo Roam is reporting about 1/2 of the calories burned vs before I had the power meter installed for the same ride. As a guy who'd like to drop a few pounds and is using cycling to do that, I'm perplexed. Which one is the closest to being correct?
Close estimate of Kcals is here:
https://www.welovecycling.com/wide/2...d-on-the-bike/
if the power meter is able to give 'average wattage'
or
(Avg Watts/per hour) x 3.6 = Kcals
so avg watts of 200 ridden for 45 min x 3.6 = 540 Kcals
average Kcals available in 1 lb. of Human Fat is approx 3500 Kcals

Best way to figure weight loss, take your weight, nude, at same time of day, once or twice a week, compare. I prefer to do this just after waking.
then compare to tape measure reading (using metric tape measure) in key places...
We're all way better at BSing ourselves than actually exercising weight control...
Ride On
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Old 09-22-23, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Jklotz
I got some power meter pedals. Now my Wahoo Roam is reporting about 1/2 of the calories burned vs before I had the power meter installed for the same ride. As a guy who'd like to drop a few pounds and is using cycling to do that, I'm perplexed. Which one is the closest to being correct?
Regardless of what your device says, the keys to weight loss are more exercise and lower calorie intake. You can get lost in the weeds of trying to count calories in both your food and your exercise. To lose weight, you will need to be hungry most of the time and knowing whether your device gives you a specific number won't change that one bit. Beyond that, it is important to point out that devices that are not tied to a power device are notorious for over-estimating calorie expenditure. And even those with a power meter have to assume a biological efficiency of the rider to convert power numbers into calories. Lots of places for a number that doesn't apply to you coming out on your screen.

Last edited by KerryIrons; 09-22-23 at 09:17 AM.
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Old 09-22-23, 09:20 AM
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I'm always a bit suspicious of any data put out by a fitness app. I mean, they're very accurate with time and distance, but health and training stats are just estimates.

Garmin tells me my estimated VO2 max is around 45 or 46. I'm like, "Okay, cool!" Then it says I'm in the top 15% for my age and gender, and I think, "Seriously? Me?" It goes one step further and says "Your Fitness Age is that of an excellent 20-year-old." At that point my 53-year-old self says, "No way. They're just trying to keep me using their products."
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Old 09-22-23, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Broctoon
I'm always a bit suspicious of any data put out by a fitness app. I mean, they're very accurate with time and distance, but health and training stats are just estimates.

Garmin tells me my estimated VO2 max is around 45 or 46. I'm like, "Okay, cool!" Then it says I'm in the top 15% for my age and gender, and I think, "Seriously? Me?" It goes one step further and says "Your Fitness Age is that of an excellent 20-year-old." At that point my 53-year-old self says, "No way. They're just trying to keep me using their products."
Excellent point. There is a significant incentive for devices to tell you that you are burning more calories than you really are. Exercise bikes and treadmills are perfect examples of this. They give you ridiculous numbers but they make you feel good.
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Old 09-22-23, 09:52 AM
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The only metric that matters is whether your pants are getting tighter or looser. Rest is "third-hand commentary."
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Old 09-22-23, 12:29 PM
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Don't be fussy about the accuracy of the Calories burned. That number you calculate for food you consume isn't really accurate either. That small 149 gram apple you may have recorded doesn't always contain 78 Calories.

The numbers they provide for Calorie content for produce and other things are just averages. And sometime the products actual Calorie amount varies widely depending on ripeness and other circumstances and conditions.

It should suffice that if you gain or don't lose weight, you either need to do more exercise or eat less. No rocket science and no exact knowledge of Calories needed. Just pick the way to obtain the numbers you want to track and don't get overly concerned why another thing tells you different.

Last edited by Iride01; 09-22-23 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 09-22-23, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Jklotz
I got some power meter pedals. Now my Wahoo Roam is reporting about 1/2 of the calories burned vs before I had the power meter installed for the same ride. As a guy who'd like to drop a few pounds and is using cycling to do that, I'm perplexed. Which one is the closest to being correct?
Believe your power meter pedals before any program or bike computer which notoriously inflate calorie numbers.
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Old 09-22-23, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by cyclezen

Best way to figure weight loss, take your weight, nude, at same time of day, once or twice a week, compare. I prefer to do this just after waking.
then compare to tape measure reading (using metric tape measure) in key places...
We're all way better at BSing ourselves than actually exercising weight control...
Ride On
Yuri
Best (and cheapest) way to do it. Just get yourself a new bathroom scale if you think the old one is inaccurate and weigh you self regularly (1Xweek is enough for me). An inexpensive old fashioned spring scale will work fine, you don't need something fancy with an LCD display or bluetooth connection. And be aware of what you are consuming, including any snacking. If you eat less you save money on food, and that offsets the cost of a new bathroom scale. Win-Win.
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Old 09-22-23, 02:56 PM
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Calories burned, as others have pointed out, is a complex equation. Any equation will be more accurate the more information you give it. Before, whatever thing you were using to figure out the amount of calories burned was making a lot of assumptions. Now it's got one less thing to assume, making it that much more accurate.
So, answer your question, I'd be willing to bet money it's more accurate now than before.
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Old 09-23-23, 03:49 PM
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Power meter over app calculated numbers.

Are you trying to just lose lbs or fat lbs? If the later, you would need to find out your body fat # pre trying to change it 7 then do periodic body fat # follow-ups.
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Old 09-24-23, 12:19 PM
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Calories burnt while working out is not how we loose weight....
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Old 09-24-23, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by wheelreason
Calories burnt while working out is not how we loose weight....
Speak for yourself.

My weight goes down when I ride more, goes up when I ride less.
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Old 09-24-23, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by wheelreason
Calories burnt while working out is not how we loose weight....
I began cycling, after a 15 year hiatus, about 3 months ago. I've since lost 12 lbs without changing my diet much at all. Course' I never did tend to over eat and my job requires I sit at a computer for most of the day, so I suspect it depends a lot on the circumstances. As always. YMMV

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Old 09-24-23, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by wheelreason
Calories burnt while working out is not how we loose weight....
Wait, what? We donít lose weight by burning more calories than we take in? How, then?
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Old 09-24-23, 05:29 PM
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I’m a firm believer in calorie counting for weight loss. 2.5 years nearly 97 pounds as of today, my low was April when I crested 100 lbs…..but that made me sound fat, lol weigh every morning that I can.( if I’m home I weigh myself) I’m 6’1 and 55, my goal is 185. (It was 200) I may re evaluate again and try to be at 180.

you simply can’t out run or out ride a fork. It’s not the calorie itself, the calorie is simply a unit of measurement, and yes you have to burn a few more calories than your body needs to maintain itself.
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Old 09-24-23, 05:33 PM
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laxatives, kale, eggs, & prune juice. Those calories won't know how to hold on [in] !
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Old 09-24-23, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Broctoon
Wait, what? We donít lose weight by burning more calories than we take in? How, then?
That's not what I said. Cycling burns approximatelly 400-1200 calories per hour depending on intensity. Excersice is important in order to maintain or loose weight for various reasons, but the actual calories burnt, while certainly part of the equation do not themselves lead to weight loss.
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Old 09-24-23, 07:49 PM
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Old 09-25-23, 02:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Jklotz
I got some power meter pedals. Now my Wahoo Roam is reporting about 1/2 of the calories burned vs before I had the power meter installed for the same ride. As a guy who'd like to drop a few pounds and is using cycling to do that, I'm perplexed. Which one is the closest to being correct?
Measuring power should give you a more accurate calorie burn, but I would double check what parameters you have input into your Wahoo, particularly your weight. I donít have a power meter on my mtb, but estimated calorie burn is pretty close to what I see on my road bike with a PM for a similar perceived effort. Itís certainly not double!
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Old 09-25-23, 06:11 AM
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I'm no expert, but I think that it doesn't really matter which is more "accurate". What matters is that you have a consistent way to measure your calorie expenditures so that you can determine empirically the effects of any changes that you make (in diet, duration of exercise, intensity of exercise, amount of sleep, etc.) on your weight change.

Short term, that can help you to determine what works and what doesn't, and to determine how much change (broadly speaking) you can expect. Long term, of course, everything changes. Your body adapts, seasons change, you get older, and so on. Again, though, having a consistent measure can help you spot those changes as well, and you can take them into account.
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Old 09-25-23, 07:11 AM
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Power Meters Generally....

Originally Posted by Jklotz
I got some power meter pedals. Now my Wahoo Roam is reporting about 1/2 of the calories burned vs before I had the power meter installed for the same ride. As a guy who'd like to drop a few pounds and is using cycling to do that, I'm perplexed. Which one is the closest to being correct?
Power meters should give you the most accurate information. They are not infallible though, so just use them as a general guide.....and leave plenty of wiggle room. I say this as someone that has experienced just how crap Garmin's Rally power meter pedals truly are. Calibrated and riding the same loop for a few months, they at least gave me what I thought was good baseline information, ie, I typically rode at about 187 watts, and on this one loop, that equaled about 700 calories. That was a true statement until a couple months ago when it started shaving 70 watts of every ride. Same loop, same cadence, faster time....70 watts less. Garmin has been unresponsive, aside from having me update the software on my head unit, which did nothing. At any rate, it makes following doctors orders more difficult. They have advised me eating 2000 calories a day when I don't ride, and about a 500 calorie deficit on days when I do. Given that my weight loss is miniscule, and longer/harder rides might be 1600 calories effort....or maybe they are 2800....I have no real way of knowing any longer, but know when my scale goes up by a pound after a ride like that...I guessed wrong, and ate too little.
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Old 09-25-23, 08:09 AM
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Pizza and oranges make me fast...
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Old 09-25-23, 08:38 AM
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Believe the PM. It is giving you a real measurement of the amount of work performed on the ride. The only uncertainty in estimating the number of calories consumed to perform that work is the efficiency with which your muscles convert chemical to mechanical energy and that doesn't vary much across healthy people. The fitness app is just guessing, based on numerous assumptions.
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