How to Track Calories Burned During Exercise on an iPhone

Smartphones, like the iPhone, can be convenient tools to help you manage your weight loss. You can download a variety of applications — many of which are free — that help track the calories you take in from food, as well as tracking the calories you burn through exercise.

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A woman looks at her iphone while stretching a the gym. (Image: dolgachov/iStock/Getty Images)

Selecting an App

The first step in tracking calories on your iPhone or other smart phone is to select a health and fitness app. There are a variety of both free and paid apps to simplify the process for calculating calories burned and enable you to keep a record of your workouts. The best of these apps allow you to track calories burned during physical exercise by providing a comprehensive list of thousands of different physical activities.

Gathering Measurements

To accurately assess the amount of calories you are burning, many apps require some measurements, such as height and weight. For height, you can probably use your height as it appears on your driver's license. Because weight changes more frequently than height in adults, you should weigh yourself to get a current measurement. According to Suzanne Hiscock, an ACE-certified Lifestyle & Weight Management Coach, you should weigh yourself at the same time of the day and under the same conditions when stepping on the scales daily or weekly.

Using the App

Once you have downloaded the tracker app of your choice from the iTunes app store, and have collected all necessary personal data, you will have to enter the data into the app during the one-time setup process. After the setup, you can begin tracking your calories burned by selecting your exercise from a list of activities. In many such applications, your workout and the foods you eat will be entered into a daily-progress summary, to help you track your weight loss.

Food Tracker

While tracking the calories you expend during exercise is important, you should also use your weight-loss app to track how many calories you are taking in. One pound of fat equals 3,500 calories of unused calories, according to the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition. In order to lose weight, you need to control how many calories you are taking in as well as how many you are burning, so that you can create a caloric deficit that burns some of the unused calories. Most applications list thousands of foods to help you record your daily caloric intake. This can help you maintain an efficient, well-rounded approach to losing weight.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES U.S. PharmD: 100 Fabulous iPhone Apps for Your Health and Fitness Fit Watch: How Often Should I Weigh Myself? President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition: Exercise and Weight Control