Weight Loss
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Do heavier people burn more calories when exercising?


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I was just wondering. I know the calories burned for exercise are usually an estimate, but for example- would a 300lb woman walking for an hour at 3mph burn more calories than a 120lb woman doing the same? I imagine so, but could be wrong. If I'm right though, is there anywhere that calculates more accurately what an individuals burn would be- or would it be so small it wouldn't really matter?

(It's a slow day at work & I'm thinking too much as usual!)

20 Replies (last)

Yep, the heavier person will burn more calories because they have more fat to lug around with them the entire time. 

I'm 90% sure that CC takes your weight into account when calculating your calories burnt.  I remember a thread a while ago where someone complained that as she lost weight the calories she burnt according to the exercise database went down, even though her activity was the same.  Maybe someone can back this up?

You are both correct.

This is why I get a little annoyed (probably too strong a word) when people post something like "how many calories did I burn doing this?" or "did you know that you burn this many calories doing this?" We can't look it up for people, because our activity browser uses our own last logged weight to calculate it, and what you burn doing something is different than what I burn.

 

Ahh..so CC is probably the most accurate online calculator for me. Thats brilliant- thanks!

It never hurts to ask, eh!

Original Post by irishmum:

 

It never hurts to ask, eh!

Nope, never :)

So if I'm understanding this correctly, CC's exercise burner is tailored to us individually by the weight we put in for ourselves?  If this is true then that is so awesome!!  I never knew that.  Good to know.  It would just make me love this site even more!

Of course they do because they're carrying more weight around. The exercise counter is tailored to take account of your weight - if you are lighter you'll burn less calories in the same amount of activity.

I figured they did, but most online activity calculators don't ask your weight so I was curious as to how accurate they were. Now I (& others!) have discovered that CC does take your weight into account. Brilliant.Smile

That is why when you step on most machines (bike, elliptical, treadmill) they ask you for your weight... so it can better evaluate the calories burned. If you want to have to exact number for you, there are calories burner calculators that you can stick to you to see what are YOUR numbers...

i concur. which is why i get a little frustrated when some people say they will add in exercise when they lose more weight. they are losing (or not losing) out on one of the best times that they will burn lots of calories. more bang for the buck.

Yes they do, but also keep in mind that someone who is 180 lbs. with a body fat of 25% will burn significantly fewer calories than someone of the same weight who only has a bf of 10%. Muscle is where the calories are burnt so the more you've got, the faster you burn.

I had no idea about this! Wow, just makes me love CC even more than I already did. :)

Original Post by ncxcrnnr:

Yes they do, but also keep in mind that someone who is 180 lbs. with a body fat of 25% will burn significantly fewer calories than someone of the same weight who only has a bf of 10%. Muscle is where the calories are burnt so the more you've got, the faster you burn.

This topic is something I have been wondering about myself but with a slightly different spin. Would 2 individuals of the same sex that weigh the same and with the same amount of body fat burn the same amount of calories doing the same exercise? I'm thinking that if one of them is in better shape, they would not have to exert as much effort to do the exercise, therefore the heart rate would be lower and therefore wouldn't they burn less calories? My hunch is in order to calculate calories burned you have to consider the heart rate, but I could be wrong.

Original Post by ncxcrnnr:

Yes they do, but also keep in mind that someone who is 180 lbs. with a body fat of 25% will burn significantly fewer calories than someone of the same weight who only has a bf of 10%. Muscle is where the calories are burnt so the more you've got, the faster you burn.

 The difference between these two people would be about 80 calories a day at best.

Original Post by scottwin:

Original Post by ncxcrnnr:

Yes they do, but also keep in mind that someone who is 180 lbs. with a body fat of 25% will burn significantly fewer calories than someone of the same weight who only has a bf of 10%. Muscle is where the calories are burnt so the more you've got, the faster you burn.

This topic is something I have been wondering about myself but with a slightly different spin. Would 2 individuals of the same sex that weigh the same and with the same amount of body fat burn the same amount of calories doing the same exercise? I'm thinking that if one of them is in better shape, they would not have to exert as much effort to do the exercise, therefore the heart rate would be lower and therefore wouldn't they burn less calories? My hunch is in order to calculate calories burned you have to consider the heart rate, but I could be wrong.

 Hmmm - good questions - but based on ncxcrnnr's example, I would think maybe it would be the same?

Say one man is 200 lbs with 25% body fat is out of shape, and so his heart and what little muscle he does have has to work much harder to do the same exercise as the 200lb pure muscle man, who is very fit, has a much lower resting heart rate, and doesn't hardly make any effort when he does the exact same exercises as the "fat" man.    Does that make any sense?   Melkor, where are you???

All of the tables and algorithms are based on averages and no one is average.

Original Post by trhawley:

All of the tables and algorithms are based on averages and no one is average.

you lot are certainly not average.

This is a little off topic, but I noticed that the cc estimate for burned calories from exericse seems a bit too generous. For a while, I was on a plateau, then I received a bodybugg as a present. I was a little surpised at how many calories cc says I burned while exercising versus the calories burned recorded by the bodybugg. The bodybugg basically told me that I'm not burning as many calories as I previously assumed. I've made adjustments to my eating to reflect an appropriate deficit and slowly started losing weight again. I also question how accurate the bodybugg is, but it's all I have at this time, so I'll just go off of it.

Just food for thought for everyone out there.

Physics will give a simple answer. The more energy expended, the more calories burned. Simple as that. A person going up a flight of stairs will have twice as much as a person half that size. Simple physics. Ever see an obese person late for class? Sweat Hog City by the time he gets to his seat.

I don't think CC is taking personal weight and age into account with the estimates. I have a treadmill at home and it gives me around the same estimates that cc does, but I am pretty sure it doesn't ask for age/weight, etc. It's just a generic estimate. 

Original Post by bugaloos:

I don't think CC is taking personal weight and age into account with the estimates. I have a treadmill at home and it gives me around the same estimates that cc does, but I am pretty sure it doesn't ask for age/weight, etc. It's just a generic estimate. 

I don't think so, I think it's based on your weight. I've been logging my exercise for several months while I have lost over 30 pounds and I've seen the "calories burned" estimate drop each time I've registered a lower weight.  It's not a big difference for a pound or two, but it does change with weight.

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