Fitness
Moderators: melkor

# calories vs. Kcal

I have recently purchased an ellipical trainer and am wondering about the settings.

I am 48 y.o.; 165 lbs and according to the readout, in a 30 minute (fatburn -  level 5; at 10-12 mph) workout (sweating profusely I might add), I have completed 5 miles and burned 65 Kcal.

My thoughts...come on.  First off, I have a hard time believing I completely 5 miles when on the treadmill I can only complete 2 miles walking in 30 minutes, yet able to burn 200 cal.

Secondly I am pretty confident I could burn more than 65 cal doing a lesiurely walk, i.e. without working up a sweat.

Could there be a problem with the machine set up or is there a conversion for cal to Kcal?

Thanks.
4 Replies (last)
Its probably the machine.  Those machines aren't very accurate anyways.  My elliptical at home does that same thing.  I can not even be on it, but just moving the arms and it says calories are burned.. lol;  If you really want an accurate count of calories, your best bet would be a heart rate monitor I think... And as far as I know, Calorie and Kcalorie are the same thing...
First thing: what we typically call a "Calorie" in the world of dieting and nutrition is, scientifically speaking, a kilocalorie or kcal.

Now, if you were going 10mph, you would get 5 miles in 30 minutes. How exactly the elliptical calculates mileage, though, I'm not sure.

But I think you're right that that should burn more than 65 calories. It should definitely burn more calories than walking 4mph on the treadmill. Did the machine ask for your age, weight, and/or gender? If not, it can't possibly be calulating calorie burn accurately.
Shavenyak is correct, what we normally refer to as a "calorie" is technically a Kilocalorie or Kcal. Stretching way back to my Chem 101 days, 1 Kcal = 1000 calories (little "c") So, if we say we burned 65 Calories in the normal vernacular, we really mean we burned 65 Kcal or 65,000 calories (little c). Incidentally, 1 pound = 3500 Kcal or 3,500,000 calories.

All that aside, your machine is not making sense to me. If it's any consolation to you, my machine doesn't make any sense either. Someone else here suggested to me that a chest worn heart rate monitor is really the only way to truly know what we are burning.

Hope this helps and good luck with your fitness routine.

See the page on wikipedia about Calories.

The word starts with capital 'C' Cal is equivalent to kcal (small 'k' and 'c').

So 1000 calories= 1 kcal or 1 Cal.

4 Replies