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Using Fitbit Calories to determine ranges?



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SIRENALEANNE
SparkPoints: (36,655)
Fitness Minutes: (39,841)
Posts: 733
8/22/13 9:23 P

SLIMMERKIWI Well some days I'm more active then other days but today my Spark Range is 1,956 - 2,306 and my fitbit range is Sedentary range is within 50 cals of 1551 and personalized range is within 50 cals of 1770. The fitbit only gives you wiggle room of 50 cals below or over. So I've been following the fitbit range. I seem to do better with the fitbit range then the sparkpeople range.



AZULVIOLETA6
SparkPoints: (57,060)
Fitness Minutes: (67,433)
Posts: 2,749
8/22/13 5:14 P

What would happen if you followed the Spark range, did purposeful exercise and ate real food for a couple of weeks? Have you tried that approach?

How is reaching 180 a ten-pound loss? Your tracker says that you started at 184 and that you are still at that number...



SLIMMERKIWI
SparkPoints: (128,228)
Fitness Minutes: (32,621)
Posts: 21,435
8/22/13 4:58 P

Out of curiosity, what is your SP range, and what is the Fitbit range?

Kris



SIRENALEANNE
SparkPoints: (36,655)
Fitness Minutes: (39,841)
Posts: 733
8/22/13 4:40 P

I am constantly under my spark people cal range. I'll have one splurge day though. I've noticed the sparkpeople calorie range is way different then the fitbit cal range, The lowest ranges are about a 300 cal different. I do notice that when I'm more strict and use the fitbit range over the spark range that I see more results. Does anyone else have this issue?



FTSOLK
Posts: 1,207
7/1/13 7:27 A

Thing is, I do like having a set number of calories to eat each day. If I am super active one day (like my trip into NYC later this month), I'll use the Fitbit data as a guideline.



WILLOWYGIRL
SparkPoints: (5,361)
Fitness Minutes: (16,538)
Posts: 103
6/30/13 11:18 P

I use a Fitbit as well. I find its calorie ranges to be far more helpful than SP. It reflects when I've sat on the couch all day and it reflects when Ive gone on a 5 mile run and been really active. I think I need to see that when I plan out my day and make food decisions. Sparkpeople has a good range, but it is not as tailored and I like the personalized daily range.

Therefore, I have been using Fitbit's calorie tracker. I don't like it as much as the Sparkpeople tracker, but until Fitbit and Sparkpeople decide to get a little more on board with one another, that's what I'm doing.



CORTNEY-LEE
SparkPoints: (51,997)
Fitness Minutes: (45,634)
Posts: 3,063
6/30/13 10:49 P

I agree that it is trail and error sometimes, so I think giving it a few weeks and seeing what happens is a good idea.





SIMONEKP
Posts: 2,495
6/30/13 7:50 P

This is all trial and error so try your method for a few weeks and if it doesn't work, reevaluate.



TOGEMON
Posts: 244
6/30/13 7:18 P

Okay, that makes more sense then if you're doing 30 minutes of exercise a day! Sure, I think the extra calories are reasonable then. I'd say do what makes the most sense to you and what you feel more comfortable with. You can always adjust the calorie range later if it doesn't work for you.

And my icon's a character from Digimon (Togemon, in fact!) but she DOES look like the gyroids :D I had forgotten about those since I don't play Animal Crossing.



FTSOLK
Posts: 1,207
6/30/13 6:53 P

Walking around the mall for two or three hours can be considered a workout, but I don't strap on a heart rate monitor whenever I go shopping. Therefore, I don't count it as a workout in my tracker- even though it is 120-180 minutes of constant walking.

I do, however, wear a Fitbit to help me track the extra movement I do. So, while I don't strap on my HRM or log it in as a workout, little walks around the mall, or marching in place in front of the TV to try to get that last 2,000 steps before midnight, they do count towards my daily calorie burn.

I only strap on the HRM for purposeful workouts like workout videos, the Wii fit, jump roping, riding my scooter, etc. I let the Fitbit handle everything else.



NIRERIN
Posts: 11,851
6/30/13 6:34 P

if you are doing smaller workouts that should be counted as workouts then why are you not counting them as workouts?



FTSOLK
Posts: 1,207
6/30/13 6:13 P

Togemon- Your picture there reminds me of those gyroids from Animal Crossing.


I do about 20-30 minutes of purposeful exercise a day with a heart rate monitor strapped on me. In addition, I make sure I take a minimum of 10,000 steps a day. That means I'm constantly walking around and moving. Often, some of my walking bursts should be counted as a workout, but they aren't.

My ranges for Sparkpeople based on subtracting 1,000 calories from my Fitbit average and then subtracting 250/adding 100 like Sparkpeople calculates it) comes to 1,500-1,850 calories per day after rounding up to the nearest 10 calories. Sparkpeople originally gave me 1,200-1,550 calories. Considering how much I constantly move and my exercise, wouldn't that extra 300 calories per day be reasonable?



TOGEMON
Posts: 244
6/30/13 4:37 P

It sounds like Fitbit is overestimating how many calories you burn a day. Have you calculated your BMR separately? Mine is about 1400. I know yours will be different since we aren't the same weight or height (I assume), but you would still have to be burning over 1000 calories a day in addition to your BMR. 10,000+ steps a day is good (better than I do!) but it won't give you the same kind of calorie burn that actual exercise will.

My Spark range is 1200-1550 calories a day and I'm pretty sedentary (sigh). But I think the 1700-1950 sounds like a good starting place for you based on your food tracker. If it is accurate, at one point you were eating an average of 3000 calories a day, so trying to go too low too fast may encourage you to keep binging. You should still lose weight just through cutting 1000+ calories a day.

tl;dr: this may not be the answer you want, but I don't think you're getting as much activity as Fitbit leads you to believe, if you're not doing "purposeful exercise." However, I think 1200-1550 is too low a range to jump to all at once. When you are able to CONSISTENTLY eat at the 1700-1950 range, then you could try moving lower.



FTSOLK
Posts: 1,207
6/30/13 2:40 P

I just don't feel that the SP tracker accurately reflects my activity level. I don't do much as far as purposeful exercise is concerned, but I do try to get 10,000 or more steps per day. I understand that the Fitbit and HRMs are just estimates, but it's the best I have to go by.

According to Sparkpeople's ranges, to lose 2 pounds per week, I'll need to eat around 1,200-1,550 calories per day. According to Fitbit and my daily activity, I burn around 2,700 calories a day on average. That means even on my high calorie days, I'm still at a deficit larger than 1,000 calories. I have suspected this may be relating to why I keep binging. I may not be eating enough.

The other method I have considered is setting up my ranges based on how Spark does it. Therefore, if I need to eat 1,700 calories a day to lose 2 pounds per week, I'll set my goal range to 1,450-1,800 calories per day to start instead of 1,700-1,950 calories per day.

The Sparkpeople method subtracts 250 calories from your weight loss target to give you your lower end of your range, and adds 100 calories to the upper end. My method is giving me the difference between losing 1.5 pounds in a week and losing 2. I do like how the Sparkpeople method gives me a slightly larger range to balance between, and it will be easier to transition that formula into maintaining my weight. I'm a little torn on how I'm going to figure out my methods of calculation at this moment.

Edited by: FTSOLK at: 6/30/2013 (14:41)


SLIMMERKIWI
SparkPoints: (128,228)
Fitness Minutes: (32,621)
Posts: 21,435
6/30/13 3:19 A

My understanding is that Heart Rate Monitors aren't a good tool re calories burned because there are loads of factors which the monitor can't take into account to determine the calories burned. They are good for determining if you are working out with your heart rate in the appropriate zone, tho'!

Be careful with the fitbit, because I have come across many who are using that to determine the calories. The SP ranges take the basic metabolic rate into account when it sets your range, so you could be 'double-dipping' with the calories burned.

Just reading your post, I kinda feel like you are complicating things for yourself. The SP Nutrition Tracker and the Fitness Tracker are excellent together and interact with each other. They tell you when/if you are under-eating. Just make sure that you have all the information in there correctly, as in your current weight, height, an honest appraisal of the exercise you do. Also be realistic about the time frame to lose the weight by - don't be aggressive with the time frame. ALSO make sure that you are realistic with the weight you want to attain.

Kris



FTSOLK
Posts: 1,207
6/30/13 1:29 A

I'm looking at switching back to Sparkpeople for tracking food, but I'm interested in figuring out a a way to set a custom calorie range based on my Fitbit calorie burn.

I'm considering averaging out my Fitbit calorie burn (using a HRM for workouts) every 2 weeks to figure out about how many calories I burn per day, and then subtracting 750-1,000 (1.5-2 pounds) calories from that to determine my deficit.

Suppose I burn 2,500 calories a day on average. That would make my range 1,500-1,750 calories per day, and because I'll be taking averages every 2 weeks, I'll be able to keep up with changing calorie burns and workout routines.

After I lose about 10 pounds (a weight around 180 pounds), I'll be just above or at the top of the overweight range. At that point, I'll drop my deficit goal to 500-750 calories per day (1-1.5 pounds per week). After losing another 30 (150 pounds) I'll go for a 250-500 calorie deficit (0.5-1 pound per week).

Does this sound like a good plan? I was thinking about looking at my highest and lowest calorie burns and using those as the endcaps of my ranges, but I think averaging out my calorie burn would be better.

And my average burn last week was around 2,700 calories, so I am definitely staying above the 1,200 calorie minumum.



 
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