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Nutrition Tracker Set to Respond to Fitness Tracker

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Twenty days ago I reset my SP nutrition tracker to respond to my tracked fitness on a daily basis. Prior to that, from September 2009 until September of 2013, the weekly anticipated fitness activities for the week were used to calculate my calorie range on the SP nutrition tracker. There were 2 reasons I wanted to make the change. One, on my long run days I was hungry if I stuck to my calorie range and felt guilty if I didn't. Two, I had used the Weight Watcher tracking system where APs (activity points) are earned on a daily basis and I thought it was helpful both to manage hunger and to encourage activity especially on my non-run days.

So what do I think of this new option?

I'm not sorry I changed, but it is not as easy and seamless as I have come to expect on SparkPeople. Last Saturday after my 13+ mile run when I burned around 900 calories, I found that my calorie range was increased, but my carbohydrate, fat, and protein were not increased. So I ran out of carbs, fat, and protein before getting to my calorie range. So it can't work as displayed. We know that fat and protein are 4 calories per gram and fat is 9 calories per gram.

So I wrote the SparkCoach and asked what to do. The response verified what I had found, "When you sync your trackers, only the calories get adjusted, not the nutrient grams and ratios, so you'll need to increase those on your own. If you're doing a lot of running and training for big events like you describe, I'd recommend making sure you get a good portion (50-60%) of your added calories from carbs, which are your body's preferred source of energy for endurance exercise." In other words you cannot rely on the nutrition tracker alone, but have to do some of your own calculations.

Oh, well. I love SP, but it isn't perfect. I wonder if I got a Spark Activity Tracker if it would sync better.

Edit: For those following the weight stabilization efforts, 125.4 today.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Interesting! I was wondering how it worked and now I know!
    1682 days ago
  • _LINDA
    I noticed that about my calories, going way over the nutrients yet being in or under my calorie range, good observation!! I do like them being linked together as my workouts are fluctuating wildly right now depending on how bad I feel. There is no way to predict how much exercise I will get in a given week so this is great for me. Sparkpeople has done such tremendous work with their website and tools. I can only hope they will fix this problem..
    Thanks for pointing that out Marsha!!
    1683 days ago
    Glad I did not hook up with it. I calorie cycle and use there numbers for myself.
    1683 days ago
    I am looking forward to getting to the point where I look at the micronutrients! All I really care about now are calories, protein, and fat.

    I HAVE linked my nutrition tracker with the fitness tracker but take it with a grain of salt. Supposedly I burned over 1,000 calories on Monday doing a spin class and Pilates class? I DON'T THINK SO!
    1683 days ago

    Comment edited on: 10/16/2013 7:33:37 PM
  • FROSTY99
    Glad you were able to get some guidance-seems like you are making the necessary adjustments though.
    1683 days ago
  • GABY1948
    The weight is EXCELLENT...knew you could do it. As for the other, I have not changed and don't plan to now with this new information but I am sure they will eventually change that it probably involves huge programming changes.

    But I knew you would work it all out~ emoticon
    1683 days ago
    Glad to hear the weight stabilization is going well.

    Yeah, the fitness tracker and the food tracker should be in sync better. I stopped using it and am following another system...

    Still love SP and its trackers but the food was too many calories...and it wasn't working for me. I think it takes some tinkering to figure out what works best.
    1683 days ago
    I noticed that as well, which is annoying. Maybe someday they will fix it, or else I will just do the math on my own. Personally, I gained weight when I made the switch, so I've just gone back to the old settings for now until I get closer to my goal.
    1683 days ago
    Thanks for info... and as you said, there are enough other good, Free, SP activities anyway. emoticon
    1683 days ago
    I don't depend on the trackers. I just focus on healthy choices and that's working for me.
    1683 days ago
    I noticed that, too. No, it's not perfect but it is a good guideline.
    1683 days ago
    Haven't linked yet and am not sure I will: in my case because no matter how many calories my activities "say" I've burned, I know darn well that eating over 1500 calories leads to weight gain . . .
    1683 days ago
    I'm not sure myself.
    1683 days ago
    1683 days ago
    Good to know,although I don't sync the fitness tracker. Now even more reason not to. emoticon
    1683 days ago
    I don't think the Spark activity tracker would necessarily fix the problem with the macro nutrient adjustment. But it might change what gets tracked and how many calories it says you burned (as opposed to manual entry of your 13 plus mile runs). I don't know.

    However, your experience is making me think. I haven't linked them yet... still pondering. I'll let you know when I *do* decide to try it, since I have the tracker. Shared information makes us all stronger!

    1683 days ago
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