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Fitbit, Nutrition goals, and a Plateau

Thursday, August 15, 2013

I went to sleep last night feeling a bit guilty about my recent performance in terms of eating well, and a weight plateau for the last few weeks to match.

I bought a Fitbit right around the time that Sparkpeople introduced the ability to integrate your calories burned through exercise into your nutritional goals. I thought it was great--both of these things combined to create a more accurate picture of what I was really taking in and burning off. I am also motivated by any new tracking gimmick in my life!

Before these two things came into my life, I was sticking to my SP calorie range (for the most part), no matter what exercise I was putting in, and I was seeing a steady 1 - 1.5 lb per week loss from that method. I wasn't hungry (most days), and I ate all over the place within my range. I didn't much account for the exercise I was doing in my eating goals, since it was not often intense calorie-burning, mostly a lot of walking and toning.

Since I started tracking my steps I feel like I'm being tricked into believing I'm exercising more than I was before, when not much has changed. It's kind of amazing how much we tend to trust numbers on a page, even when our common sense is trying to tell us we know better!

In addition, my SP calorie range already incorporates whatever non-exercise steps I take in my mostly sedentary lifestyle (outside of actual excercise) so when the range is adjusted based on each step tracked on my fitbit, it's going quite high*.

So, although technically I am eating within my new daily fitness-integrated calorie range, the bottom line is:

Before: average about 17 miles/week and 1375 calories/day = success
Since: average about 17 miles/week and 1800 calories/day = plateau

So... yeah. Seems pretty clear to me!

I've switched back to the old nutrition tracker, which I hope will help keep me closer to what I think my true range should be (1300 - 1500). Here's to hoping I am able to adjust!

*--There is a problem with the relationship between fitbit and Sparkpeople in that SP is overstating the calories burned on the fitbit fitness entry.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Hm... good luck figuring it out, MFaber3, and let me know what you learn! Bodies are such particular things... I know protein, sodium and water intake have also had an effect on whether I lose or not too; sometimes it's not just the basic equation of calories in vs. calories out. Maybe some science experiments are needed ;)
    1707 days ago
    Funny, I'm wondering about the FITBIT vs Calorie tracking too. My problem is I've been on the plauteu for so long, even before I changed to the new SP setting.

    I'm wondering if I should be eating closer to what the new numbers are and not the stated resting range.
    1707 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.