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cals eaten vs cals burned

Hi everyone! New to this website, but wanted to see what I'm doing wrong. I've been working out 4-5x a week for 2-3hrs each time. According to my Polar watch, I burn approx 600-800 cals when I go. How many cals should I be taking in, compared to burning out? Is there a ratio? Also, I really only have the last 10-15 to lose and I understand they're the hardest. Any recs?
Thanks and good luck!


Mon. Nov 5, 5:19pm

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My advice is to be uber-diligent about what you eat! It makes all the difference in losing those last few pounds.



Monday, November 05, 2007, 5:51 PM

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how many calories do you usually eat in a day?

Monday, November 05, 2007, 6:01 PM

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Just be careful with the polar calories from watch - they are a guide only. It is a complex device, but it works with general principles of intensity and duration.
Best way to think about it is as bonus removal. I always aim to burn a total of no less than 2000 cal per week and watch what I eat and it keeps me where I want to be.

Monday, November 05, 2007, 7:33 PM

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Just remember, you burn calories with everything that you do. Just by your usual activities (i.e. sleeping, walking around a bit, going to work, etc.) you probably burn at least 1200 cals a day, if not more. Then add in the calories you burn from exercise, and that's the total that you burn per day. The machines usually overestimate, so your best bet is to use a heart rate monitor to determine how many additional calories you burn.

Then, figure out what rate you want to lose weight. If you want to lose 1lb/week, you need to eat 500 cals per day less than you burn. So, if you burn 2000 calories in a day, eat 1500 cals/day, and you'll lose 1lb/week. To lose 2lbs/week, cut 1000 cals per day.

Several people on this site say you should not eat less than 1200 cals/day. This is mostly true, but may not be accurate if you are very short/petite. In this case, in order to burn 1000 more calories than you eat, you need to be burning at least 2200 cals/day.

The only true way to know how many calories you burn per day w/o exercise is to get your resting metabolic rate tested by a nutritionist or doctor. The other unofficial way to do it is to count your calories, and find out if you're gaining, losing, or maintaining. The number of calories you eat per day if you are maintaining your weight is then your base. Subtract 500 from that number, and you should be losing 1lb per week.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007, 3:12 PM

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what are you doing that you only burn 800 cals in 3hrs? Light jogging burns 500+ cals in a half hour for myself and I'm 20lbs from goal. Something is wrong with the calculations or you're not exercising that hard.

3hrs of working out 5 times a week is excessive. Sounds obsessive if you ask me.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007, 8:28 PM

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