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How many calories?

By Anne Keckler | October 3, 2007

Many clients want to know how many calories they are burning each time they exercise. If their goal is weight loss, they want to know that they are burning more calories than they are consuming so they can make progress.

It’s not easy to accurately determine the caloric cost of an activity because it is determined by rate of exertion and your current weight. The newer machines that ask for you to input your weight are probably more accurate than the ones that just give everyone the same number.

If you want to know the caloric cost of an activity without a machine to tell you, here is a formula you might use:

1. Convert body weight in pounds to kilograms by dividing by 2.205.

2. Convert walking or running speed from miles per hour to meters per minute by multiplying by 26.8.

3. Determine the VO2 for walking or running at the specific speed and grade like so:
VO2 = (0.2 ml/kg/min x horizontal velocity) + (0.9 ml/kg/min x vertical velocity) + 3.5 ml/kg/min

4. Convert VO2 from milliliters to liters.

5. Determine liters of oxygen for the total body weight by multiplying VO2 in liters by weight in kilograms.

6. Convert liters per minute to kilocalories per minute by multiplying liters of oxygen for total body weight by 5kcal per liter.

7. Determine the total number of calories expended in one session by multiplying the kilocalories per minute by the number of minutes in the session.

If this sounds like a lot of work, it kinda is! And this only really applies to walking, running, and jogging. The same principle applies to dancing and other activities, but we’d need to determine the VO2 for each one of those activities.

The good news is that none of this is necessary in order to prescribe and implement a program for weight loss. We only need to determine how many calories you are consuming now, and then decrease that a little while simultaneously increasing your activity level. We will also watch your macronutrient ratios to ensure minimal muscle loss, and maximum fat loss.

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Topics: Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

One Response to “How many calories?”

  1. Sandy Says:
    January 29th, 2008 at 11:20 am

    This is the part I always hated about dieting. But it is a necessary part – counting calories. So this is also very informative.


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