calorie counts on GPS....how accurate can they be??

Dave7

Legendary Member
Location
Cheshire
I imagine they are based on what Mr/Mrs "average" would burn in a certain time over a certain distance.
However.........On Friday my friend (yes I do have one^_^) used his phone app' and over a 35 mile ride along the trans-penine way it showed we had burned 4200 calories.............which seemed way over the top to me.
Yesterday I did a 33 miler on the road (into Cheshire) and my Garmin-200 showed just 1200 calories........that sounded more accurate.
 

ianrauk

Tattooed Beat Messiah
They are guestimates.
 

uclown2002

Veteran
Location
Harrogate
All of these apps use a different algorithm to estimate calories burned depending on what information is known about the individual. However, as you stated they vary widely so can not be relied upon. You could get an accurate figure if you got wired up in a lab and were put through some tests.
Failing that, 30-40 calories per mile depending on effort is as good a estimate as any.
 

Rooster1

I was right about that saddle
I was due to go out on a curry+beer binge last Friday, so in preparation for this fatfest I burned 681 calories on a lunch ride. Somehow, I don't think this effort would have negated the Chicken Jalfrezi, Popadoms, Garlic Naan and three pints of lager.
 

vickster

Legendary Member
Not very. That said I use the 30 cal/mile guesstimate and that is close to Strava's guesstimate usually (but Garmin's guesstimate is way higher so I ignore, probably because of my weight)
 

Dogtrousers

Kilometre nibbler
They are precise, but they are not accurate.

That is to say they should be reproducible, the same/similar rides should give you the same/similar values but as to whether they give you a good value of the calories burned - probably not. So they're useful for comparing rides but not necessarily useful as input into an eating plan for a calorie controlled diet.

What I find them useful for is saying "cor, that's a big number. Chips tonight!"
 
OP
Dave7

Dave7

Legendary Member
Location
Cheshire
All of these apps use a different algorithm to estimate calories burned depending on what information is known about the individual. However, as you stated they vary widely so can not be relied upon. You could get an accurate figure if you got wired up in a lab and were put through some tests.
Failing that, 30-40 calories per mile depending on effort is as good a estimate as any.
Based on that then my Garmin would be reasonably accurate...........33 miles x, say 35 = 1155
 
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