Our expert says:
That is low, yes, but I'd caution against trusting those machines. At best, those are guesses. Normally, if you do intense exercise, you'll burn between 12 and 16 calories per minute. When starting out, it's often much lower than this because when we're unfit, we struggle to get the intensity high enough to really make an impact. That's why it's important to stick with it, and let yourself build fitness and then lose weight, in that order. But yes, 90 Calories in 20 minutes seems very low to me - I'd quesion the machine in that case.
It is true that to lose weight, you have to eat less than you use, but don't forget that even as you read this reply, you're burning energy. Not a lot, but you are. So in a day, you probably burn say 1600 to 1800 kCal even without exercise (depends how active you are in general living). Add exercise of 30 minutes, and you're looking at 200kCal, and so that's reasonable.
I think you need to be careful about making these measurements though, because it seems to be showing that if you can't make them accurately, then it's a waste of time, and so rather just focus on the principles, not the counting!
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