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SLYSAM SparkPoints: (43,184)
Fitness Minutes: (110,991)
Posts: 1,474
1/2/13 2:44 P

Oh Tandymac, this is just a comment on your fitbit allowance, nothing to do with Spark. I've been using a fitbit for about three years and Spark a bit longer. Is your fitbit food plan based on "sedentary"? If so, you might like it better if you change it to "personalized". With personalized it will average your past few days calorie burn then deduct your goal deficit from that number. With either setting, the confusing thing is fitbit is intended as an activity tracker so your allowance will change throughout the day as it tracks activity so at the end of the day it is just calories in/out as fitbit estimates it. With the sedentary setting, it somehow estimates what you would burn sedentary then subtracts whatever deficit you asked for. Mine is always below 1000 at the start of the day if I am set for a one pound a week loss. It always goes up though. But I don't like seeing the low number, so I have it on "personalized" which tends to start me between 1200-1500 depending on how active I have been over the past few days. That actually is in line with my Spark range, though Spark can go a little higher.

But when all my settings are fine and match each other on both accounts. I seem to do fine eating towards the lower end of my Spark range on less active days and the higher end on very active days. I also do fine if I end up within my fitbit range for the day (a 50 calorie range so smaller than Sparks).

SLYSAM SparkPoints: (43,184)
Fitness Minutes: (110,991)
Posts: 1,474
1/2/13 2:30 P

Spark pulls over all our "fairly active" and "very active" minutes from fitbit. I think the calorie burn it pulls over might just be the total for those activity levels--including our bmr during those minutes. It doesn't sound like your total calorie burn on fitbit is very high at all if it sets your allowance for 1000 calories. The fitbit allowance is simply deducting the deficit you ask for from your total burn. So if you are set for a one pound a week loss, it sounds like fitbit is tracking your calorie burn as 1500 a day. I think it helps if your Spark and fitbit loss goals match. In my case, I set my Spark weight loss goal date for the same as the day where fitbit predicted I would reach goal. Now my Spark range includes my fitbit allowance (the fitbit allowance is at the lower end of it on a sedentary day and higher end on a more active day). There is a little trick to entering the right weekly calorie burn goal though because the stats Spark is pulling seem to include bmr (or calories Spark already would be counting). I just set my goal for about 1000 calories less than the weekly calories burned Spark is pulling over, then I ignore the "burning too many calories" warning.

There are other nutrition tracking sites that sync with fitbit that handle this differently, I've tried them all before Spark was able to sync with fitbit. Those other sites compare what their formula estimates a user would burn (excluding exercise) then it only credits the exercise calories as the calories beyond that level. People on those sites often complain that their fitbit calorie burn is "too low". Those sites are a little different as they both add exercise calories on top of the daily allowance though. I wish Spark would do something similar with our weekly calorie burn, though maybe it is too complicated to code (not the adding on to our allowance part but just to exclude the bmr or other calories Spark already counts in our allowance). I don't mind counting fitness minutes at those levels, it is just the reported exercise calorie burn that is a little inflated.

SPARK_COACH_JEN Posts: 65,753
1/2/13 12:42 P

I know of others who have problems with the Fitbit overestimating their "daily activity" calories. You might consider deleting this entry from your fitness tracker and just adding in your exercise calories burned to know how much you should be eating.

Hope that helps,

Coach Jen

1/2/13 10:48 A

I work in retail, so I have don't have a hard time getting in my 10,000 steps most days. But it seems that my fitbit (which is synced with my SP) is drastically over estimating my calorie burn. I have been reducing what the device says I burned by 2/3 and I am considering reducing that further to 3/4. I want to make sure that I am eating the right amount for the calories I burn.

Fit bit also has me on around 1000 calories a day- totally unacceptable to me.

I plateaued around October- and then backed off dieting altogether for the holidays (it was just too hard with my work schedule and all the wonderful holiday goodies), and not surprisingly I gained 6 lbs and 2 inches. It's time to get back on track! Is there a way to adjust the calorie burn to be more accurate?

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