Do you get on the elliptical, eyes glued to the calorie counter, repetitively moving your arms and legs until you hit 200 calories? 300 calories? However many calories were in that cookie you ate after lunch? I hate to tell you but those calorie counters cannot be trusted.
The truth is that many machines ignore important factors such as your gender, weight and body mass (fat mass vs lean mass), which makes a big difference, A 200-lb, out-of-shape man and a
145-lb fit woman do not burn the same amount of calories.
Cardio machines tend to overestimate calories burn by 10-20% and sometimes even more.
Similar to cardio machines, tracking your activity on a site like My Fitness Pal cannot be trusted. By My Fitness Pal cannot measure your actual exertion level. If you are just “marking” it in your Zumba class then you probably did not burn the 450 calories My Fitness Pal said you did. So if you eat the extra calories they gave you that you didn’t really earn, well, that may account for lack of weight loss. Maybe even weight gain!You only get out what you put into it. Who cares if you don’t know the steps. MOVE. Go all out. Have fun!
Bottom line. Don’t rely on a cardio machine to tell you how many calories you are burning. Be honest with hard you are actually working. If you want a better idea of how many calories you are burning, wear a good quality heart rate monitor and pay attention to how hard you are pushing yourself.
Whatever you do for exercise, be realistic about how hard you are working. If you don’t have much time, make the most of it.