The calorie counter on workout equipment could ruin your diet

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - Did you grab an extra cookie as a treat today because you went to the gym and the treadmill said you burned 300 calories?

If you believe the calorie counters are accurate on exercise equipment, guess again.

We lift, lunge and run to feel the burn and burn those calories.

"Calories in versus calories out," is Carola Gumucio's mantra, which means dedication to time at the gym.

She spends an hour-and-a-half at the gym five to six days a week.

Sometimes she runs and sometimes she walks, but the key for her is watching the number of calories burned during her workout.

Bad news is, using the calorie calculator on your workout machine might be their recipe for a diet disaster.

Personal trainer and group fitness director, Lynette Laufenberg, at Ultima Gym in Wellington says the numbers  on the workout machines are just guidelines and some of the factors that affect people's calories burned, like metabolism, are not always taken into account.

Lufenberg adds that burning calories in a workout is important, but it's more than just programming weight and age.

The calorie calculator on the machines can't tell if you are doing your work out the correct way.

For example, when walking on the treadmill, if you are putting weight on your arms, you won't be burning the calories that the machine says you are.

Many people will also put the treadmill at a steep incline, but they are not getting a good work out if they are holding on for dear life.

If you like watching those calories add up on your treadmill or stair climber, factor in a 20 percent margin for error.

Experts say the best way to accurately determine how many calories you are burning during your workout is to measure your heart rate during your cardiovascular exercise by wearing a heart monitor.

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