commute · cycling · diets · fitness · weight loss

Bixi, I love you! But why the calorie counting?

The info Bixi shares with you

I shared the info Bixi shared with me after biking around the city recently and complained about the calorie counting.

Why on earth do they share calorie information?

Friends chimed in and we had an interesting conversation. Why do I care about calorie info? Can’t I just ignore it? What’s my objection?

Nicole wondered if it motivates some people to bike maybe it’s not such a bad thing, as long as they don’t obsess about it. While they are thinking about calories, they are still getting the bigger benefit of movement, after all.

I’m still not a fan. Why? I think this covers the main points.

First, I hate calorie counts because they’re part of the association of exercise with weight loss which I really hate. I’ve had a go at this topic many times here on the blog but probably the best version is here.

Second, there’s no way it’s accurate. Thanks Miles for that point.

Third, some people find it triggering. If there are people that the calorie info attracts, there will also be people with a history of disordered eating who avoid Bixi for its calorie counting talk. Thanks Audra for this reminder.

Also, it might just completely miss the mark. As my friend Daniel, the only Montrealer in on the conversation pointed out, people use Bixi because it’s convenient.

“For the most part, Bixi has just become a vital part of Montreal’s public transport infrastructure. There are tons of trips for which Bixi just is the most efficient choice…I think a lot of people have adopted them just to have that extra degree of flex in their public transport palette.”

I think it might be cool to share info on the effect of your bike ride on your carbon footprint. How much less carbon did you use biking instead of driving? Yes, it’s not always doing to be accurate but likely not less so than calorie counts. It might not be motivational for everyone but at least it won’t put anyone off.

So my vote is ditch the calorie count, Bixi.

Bixi Sam

What do you think of calorie counts?