Between our phones, smart watches and even the equipment themselves, it seems that we are always haunted by the number of calories we ‘burn’ throughout the day.
Not only can this be quite harming to our idea of health as we are encouraged to only focus on the numbers rather than how we feel, but it also gives us the wrong idea as to how much energy we need during the day.
Most obviously, they are super inaccurate. For example, my watch told me I had burned 45 calories during the exercise, whereas the machine had told me I had burned 127 calories.
Now I know better than to rely on these tools to dictate my intake, but I also noticed it made me feel bad for not burining enough. I don’t calorie count, but having this number in my face makes me more inclined to. If you find looking at these numbers stressful, please remember that they are highly inaccurate and avoid them if possible – your workout should never be to burn a certain number of calories anyway.
These trackers either highly overestimate how much you burn, or highly underestimate it. There is no way you can determine your energy requirements purely based on your heart rate – there are some very special (and expensive) pieces of equipment that measure this, used predominantly for research.
According to my watch, I should be on around a 1200 calorie per day diet – which is probably enough to keep me alive for general bodily funcitons of breathing, digesting, pumping blood, let alone fuel me for any exercise I do. I would become very malnourished very quickly if I ate to that!
So my advice, is to not watch your calorie expenditure via technology. Every single body is different in its metabolic processes – there is no way one type of watch can track them all! They are very generalised and won’t give you an accurate picture of what your burn. Basically, it is super inaccurate.
More to the point, you shouldn’t feel the need to burn everything you eat anyway. Food should be enjoyable and nourishing, exercise should be fun, it shouldn’t be about the calories. This is a slippery slope towards disordered eating (speaking from experience) and there is so much more to life than this. If this is you, then please ditch the technology.
If you’re concerned about your calorie intake and would rather not rely on fitness trackers, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. My passion is helping those who want to live a life free from restriction and stress around food and exercise.
Live life on your terms – not your fitness tracker’s!