How can I calculate Energy eaten vs. Energy burned off?


New Member
...I am assuming it is possible to calculate it somehow?

It would help me a lot if I knew how far I need to ride to burn off certain for example:

1 orange = up and down the drive
1 mars bar = Around the M25



Ride It Like You Stole It!
South Manchester
Well, calorie burn depends upon how hard you go - I work on 800-1000 calories per hour at a high output/workout on the bike....

So a big mac would probably take almost an hour to work off.......... and be 'calorie neutral'

Sure someone on here will know !


I think they are general figures,like an hours hard cycling 400 kals,i cant remember the figure ,but its somewhere round there.Someone else might be able to give the actual number?


New Member
right now it's important that I understand how long I must suffer tomorrow as penance for x 2 packs of Mc V's choccie digestifs:blush::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:


Legendary Member
N Ireland
Yes, don't worry too much about the matter. Weight loss/gain isn't as simple as 'cals in v's cals out', or so I'm assured by the members of the forum.

Just count it as a treat and get back into your normal routine.


Just call me Chris...
As above :rolleyes:

Calorie burn rate is pretty complex and dependant on effort, weight and lots of other factors.
Don't forget that if you're calorie counting, do it over a weekly time period rather than daily. Then, if you have a "heavy day" you just need to cut back on that amount of extra calories throughout the week and it won't even matter at the end of it.

Sounds to me, by your threads, that you're doing pretty well at shifting the pounds anyway?

2 packs of Mc V's choccie digestifs:blush::biggrin::rolleyes:B)
I'd blame Lord of the Teapot, go and have a rant in his thread :rolleyes: :biggrin:


New Member
yes that was my intention...I just thought that if I got a little more 'scientific' I might be less inclined to binge on the bloody things in the first place. But ironically there is some kind of weird reverse pyschology going on here...I enjoy riding so much that eating bad food means I get rewarded with a ride...:rolleyes:


Just call me Chris...
Ahhhhh, I see exactly where you're coming from, I have the same problem myself.

If you want a good idea of the suffering needed, I find the gym very good. If you use a X-trainer for example that you can enter your stats on, it shows how depressingly slowly those little Kcals get burnt.

If you really want to suffer, have a go on that machine that you sit at and peddle with your hands, that things an absolute killer and the calorie burning is pretty low. Makes you even think about how many flies you swallow on a ride :rolleyes:

Best of luck anyway, your progress is inspirational :rolleyes:


Über Member
This is a very simple one. Any heart rate monitor will tell you the quantity of calories burned. You use this on your rides and also keep a food diary and just look up the calories for food items using google.


New Member
yep - as above - a good HM will know your personal details (size,weight, age sex VO2max if known) and provide a Kcal figure - This figure is often disputed for accuracy on these forums, but I guess they are as good as it gets.

I have a Garmin edge 305 and it knows a lot of detail about me when I am out on the bike. My age, weight, sex and heart rate along with speed, altitude and total climb - it calculates Kcal expended over the ride from that info.

It's not the easiest to determine your total calorie requirement though - search for basal metabolic rate on the web and there are numerous methods of calculating your calorific requirement if you were sat still all day - some others that calculate your BMR with an anticipated 'office job' type lifestyle. Find one you like the look of, calculate your BMR and add any Kcals burned though exercise on your Heart monitor and there you go - the amount you have burned that day(ish..)

for intake - there is nothing to beat a comprehensive eating diary. I started creating one last year around september when I started cycling. It became a little obsesive I have to admit, weighing food etc and using the web to find out details of foods etc. It worked mind. I went from 13st6lb in september 06 down to 10st10lbs by december - reducing my waist size from about 35" down to nearly a 30" jeans! I'm still there now, although it fluctuates around the 11st mark which I am happy with as I looked a bit drawn under 11st..


New Member
Bury, Lancashire
Bigtallfatbloke said:
I didnt know that...thanks.. i will investigate HM's
Aye, but you do also use KCals when not wearing yer HR monitor! Just being alive makes up the majority of your total KCal expenditure no matter how much exercise you do - the number of KCals used in your daily exercise for an hour or a few hours a day is still very small compared to what you use just being alive all day and night.

Who calibrates these computers/HR monitors and how do you know they are accurate? Let's just say that you will only ever have a rough estimate of your total KCals used per day/week etc.

Incidentally, I've no choice about what I eat today (unless I got out on the bike through central Manchester this lunchtime but I've no lock with me anyway) as I forgot to bring me trousers to work, so I'm sat here in my cycling tights! I have some cereal in the office but no milk left, so Ive had a small bowl of that without milk on it, plus an apple that was in my desk. I think I'll be pretty hungry when I get home!
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