How Many Calories Do I Burn During Exercise, and does it matter?

After exhausting research and multiple extensive studies with top astrophysicists, I have finally come to the answer of how many calories are burned during exercise. Ready? The Answer is…. it depends. Yes, on so much. What is your current basil metabolic rate, resting heart rate, body weight, gender, age, current stress load, mother’s maiden name (just kidding)? Look, all we can do is either live with averages, wear a fitness tracking device, or google it. Truth be told… here’s a rough estimate… you will burn between 3-5 calories per minute lifting weights, and 8-13 calories per minute doing cardio. However, this is your best bet, wear a fitness tracking device, or look up a calorie calculator online. It won't be perfect, but nothing is. Great, now I have data. What do I do with it?

Before you jump on the fitness or nutrition trendy bandwagon, start with the basics. Track your calories eaten with an app and track your calories expended. Find out what your resting calories are (again from an app). Now do the math! Calories in minus calories out. The negative number should equate to weight loss, a positive number will mean weight gain. If you want to lose weight (fat), you have to be in a calorie deficit. That’s just science. So, be as close to accurate as you can. If you don’t want to do that much work, then start with this…. Eat quality food in moderate portion sizes, drink water, and exercise (any exercise). If that stops working, then start to sweat the details.

Ryan Golec | Director of Movement and Education at Performance EDU Fitness