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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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I think obsession is bad, period. So yeah, I think somthing is wrong when you're obsessive about the gym.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007, 10:40 AM

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Most people I know who spend 2-3 hours at a time at the gym are weightlifters, and they aren't lifting the entire time. Maybe that's the case here. If so, the calories burned sounds about right too.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007, 12:50 PM

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Please let this be a supportive website.

I need it, others do as well.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007, 4:19 PM

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I think 10:40 had a point - it's not good to be obsessive about anything. Even gym use can go too far. I know because I moved from bulimia to exercise bulimia, where I wouldn't eat anything unless I had worked out for a minimum of 2 hours that day. Moderation in all things is good!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007, 5:07 PM

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I am always amazed at the responses here - we all have variations in life and need to understand that just because something seems obsessive for one - isnt for another.
If we are talking about obsession due to mental depenance then yes that is an issue. But if you just like doing something that is good for you and get a kick out of it - then that is definitely healthy.
I was reading an article yesterday re the dangers of becoming obessed to exercise. More than 6 hours a week becomes an issue for some. But then again - those that eat too much, smoke, drink everyday and I could go on and on are also flirting with greater dangers.
Moderation and non-harmful behaviours should always be encouraged and not discouraged in this day and age when it is too easly to get involved in bad behaviours.
Enjoy life - it is better than the alternative!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007, 7:17 PM

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500 cals burned by doing 30 minutes of light jogging? That number seems really high to me. The most I ever burn in a half hour in about 200-250. And I really work it. 600-800s in 2-3 hours sounds about right.

I agree that obsession is not good, but I often spend 2 hours a day at the gym and I love it. I feel full of energy and very balanced. When I was bragging to my husband about working out so much he just shrugged and said most teenagers involved in team sports exercise about the same amount. Of course it's all about mindset, but 2 hours of excerise a day sounds awesome to me.

I would say be sure to eat enough to fuel those long workouts. It really all depends on your age and gender but I would say maybe around 1500-1800 calories a day.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007, 7:43 PM

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Im a teacher that yesterday spent nearly 5 hours riding ( at low intensity becuase of the students) 1956 cals. We rode 80km (Approx 56 miles for you all in the States) and would love to do it everyday - spending time exercising and being outdoors is great.
Today at work I wish I could do it again - oh thats right tomorrow I ride back with them - yippee!!!


Wednesday, November 07, 2007, 8:15 PM

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In addition to calories in/calories out, I find that getting in my water makes a HUGE difference. If the weight is hanging on, focusing on water has helped me in the past. I can't imagine having the time to work out 2-3 hours a day--if you can do it, more power to you.

I'm new to the site--is there a place to check calories burned? I know its a function of variables (weight, intensity, etc). I use Cathe Friedrich DVDs at home and would LOVE to have a ball park guess of what I burn.


Thursday, November 08, 2007, 4:52 PM

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