I am not sure how to rate my exercise (light, moderate, or heavy). Would it be possible to list the range of calories burned for light, moderate, or heavy exercise in an hour? This would help me determine my activity level as many of the exercise machines in my gym give me this information. I exercise on a stationary bike for 24 minutes on level 7 of 12 and it reports to me I burned 220 calories. I then do stretching for 15 minutes and lift weights for 21 minutes. I rated that as one hour of moderate exercise. Does that sound correct? Or would this be closer to light exercise? At 36 years, 5 feet 5-inch, female, 176 pounds, 7 hours sleep, 1-hour moderate exercise and the rest very light/sedentary. I have a goal of losing 2 pounds per week the results seemed reasonable at 1,530 calories a day.

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    I have questioned several exercise machine companies (Nautilus, Universal and Nordic Trak) on how they determine calories burned per hour per pound that they report on their visual display and they are unable to provide any information on how they calculate this.

    Calories burned per hour of exercise is dependent on the person’s level of fitness, muscle mass as well as body weight and length of time. While exercise machines can record your body weight and time, they cannot assess your level of fitness or percent body fat.

    So rather than using the calories burned per hour as an estimate, use the text descriptors to determine your activity level. Biking would be moderate activity for 1/3-hour, stretching would be light and lifting weights moderate for 1/3-hour times how many days per week you exercise at this intensity for this length of time.

    Using the estimate of 1,530 calories per day to lose 2 pounds per week, follow this level for a couple of weeks and record your daily food intake and weight once a week. If you have not lost the predicted amount of weight, then re-do the calculator with a more conservative activity estimate.