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The case for not tracking exercise calories 🥓😎

Updated: Oct 3, 2023

I have something I really, really need to get off my chest.

I NEVER track the calories burned during my workouts. Honestly, I could care less. And neither should you.


Here's an analogy.

Tracking calories burned during exercise activity is like giving yourself a goal for the amount of total body hairs you want (or don't want) and only then only counting the hairs on your left arm.


Because you DON'T JUST burn calories exercising. Just like you DON'T only have hairs on your left arm. (I happen to have a lot on my right arm🤣).

You "burn" calories all day and all night

You "burn" calories eating food

You "burn" calories doing chores

You "burn" calories brushing your teeth

I "burned" calories typing this blog post (typing quite feverishly I should note)

You "burn" calories all day every day

Your total calories (energy) used throughout the day make up about 90% of your total calories burned.

So WHYYYYY are we putting SO.MUCH.FOCUS on the measly 10% of daily exercise calories?

And even worse, our smart watches are usually wrong. Have you ever tried to count the hairs on your left arm? You'll probably overestimate or underestimate. And that's what your watch is doing, too: counting the hairs on your left arm. Remember that.

So when you exercise, focus on your [strength] G O A L S and N O T calories burned.

If you DO want to know what your total daily energy expenditure (total daily calorie allowance) is, here's a helpful article to help you ESTIMATE it.

Your estimated total daily energy expenditure helps to inform you on how many calories you need to eat to maintain your bodyweight.

Okay, rant over.



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