All gimmicks aside, losing weight is a fairly simple equation-you have to burn more calories than you consume. Exercise and work are the simple ways to burn more calories.
Many exercise devices and diet plans now help you keep track of the number of calories you burn. If you own an exercise machine with electronic tracking or even a pedometer, your device probably has the ability to estimate the number of calories you burned. Generally, you import your weight. The machine usually knows how long or intensely you exercised and makes a guess about how many calories that would require.
But how accurate are these estimates? First, everyone's metabolism is different. In reality, a 20 year old male might perform the same activity and burn a different number of calories than a 53 year old female. Second, most machines fail miserably at accurately measuring the intensity of your workout. Third, and most importantly, these estimates fail to take into account the fact that exercise affects your metabolism even when you aren't working out. In other words, you shouldn't be discouraged by a low number of calories burned at the end of a long workout. As a result of your workout, your body will continue to burn a higher number of calories even when you are resting.
Therefore, your estimate of calories burned is an important measure of how much progress you're making, but you shouldn't be discouraged with low numbers. The benefit of your exercise is much greater than you think.
healthstatus.com - This site lets you choose from a huge list of activities. By entering your weight and the number of minutes you spent, you can find out how many calories you might burn. The advantage is the number of activities you can choose from; the disadvantage is the fact that you cannot specify the intensity of your activity. The same site also has an ideal weight calculator.
caloriecount.about.com - Another helpful calculator lets you calculate your total caloric formula and what you would need to change to lose weight. By entering your gender, weight, height, and daily activity level, this calculator tells you how many calories you should be eating or how much your diet needs to decrease in order to lose weight.
webmd.com - For an even fuller understanding, this website incorporates more than 600 activities and lets you integrate it with a BMI calculator (body mass index), a food and fitness plan, and even a personal diet evaluation. This website also has the additional advantage of being a very reputable source.