Energy Balance


Gaining weight and losing weight are about the total number of calories minus how many calories you burn. Many people like to complicate the situation, but truly it is that simple. Here is a fun little tool that can help if you are trying to lose weight…The Bodybugg. I just got one for Christmas and I love the thing, even though I hate the stupid software. I have an iPhone 4 and ended up getting the BodyBuggSP. Now if the software that went with it worked like I wanted it to, it’d be a beautiful thing. I think the concept of BodyBuggSP is beautiful but Apex has not invested into the development of the app. (Sorry for the sidebar rant, but after 6 months of owning it, I don’t  suggest purchasing BodyBuggSP, get the other one with the watch display)

I’ve been utterly fascinated with calories burned. I knew I had a sedentary job as a scientist, but I was shocked at how much of the time my body is in base line status where I am only burning 0.1 cals/min higher than if I were sleeping!! It has also been interesting to note that I’m not achieving (sometimes even WITH exercise) a daily goal of 2250 cals burned/day. I might hit around 2100, but 150 calories can make a difference over time if I were to try to maintain my weight. Overestimating one’s daily intake by 150calories per day over a whole year would equal 15lbs of weight gain!

So now the interesting tidbits…EPOC: excess post oxygen consumption. It’s real? it’s fake? It’s only a net burn of 50 calories? It doesn’t matter? I’ve read a few things here and there and so here is where my experiment of one comes into play. Just because this is MY observation does not make it what happens if we were to do a big study on things, but I find some of the findings interesting.

Observation 1: Kettlebell class doesn’t burn THAT many calories

Ok…you’ve seen it, I’ve seen it the over reported ACE study that likes to say that kettlebells burn 400 cals in 20 mins or where some people then try to extrapolate that and say kettlebells burn 1200 cals an hour. The reality about the ACE study is that the protocol they use (a VO2 max protocol doing 15 sec snatch/15 sec rest) is not for beginners. So…my question then became, HOW many calories DOES an average kettlebell class burn?

The answer: a 45 min class…214 calories…not that many…

BUT here is the interesting part. During the next 45 mins of ‘afterburn’ I burned another 145 calories just walking around making dinner! So now we are talking. Also my baseline average went from being about 1.1 cals/min up to 1.2 or 1.3 which can add up with time having a little bit of an elevated baseline burn.

Stay tuned for more over analysis of EPOC, general calorie burning and discussions on kettlebells.


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