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More Comments About Synching Nutrition and Fitness Trackers

Thursday, October 17, 2013

As I wrote yesterday, about 3 weeks ago I synched my nutrition and fitness tracker so that my exercise affects my calorie range on a daily basis. After I did that, I found the tracker was giving me too many calories. So I went back in and changed from "light active" to "sedentary" for my activity level (from Start, click on Account Preferences, and in the first screen choose "activity level"). Even though I stand and play a lot with my grandkids and do a lot of housework each day, the tracker was just giving me too many calories. I felt pretty certain I would gain on the level given, because I know I maintain around 130 pounds pretty well at the 1500-1800 calorie range when I am averaging 350 calories burned (during workout) per day.

Also, the tracker gives too many calories for working out on the elliptical trainer which I did yesterday for 45 minutes. Really it needs to be like running and walking where there are many intensity levels available. I use elliptical as an easy workout between runs, so I'm getting about 140 - 160 steps per minute and usually use no incline nor resistance. So I may start manually adding that activity instead of relying on the standard SP number now that it impacts my calorie range.

Weight stabilization: I weighed 126.8 this morning, which is fine by me as long as I have a 125.2 weigh in to balance out my average at or around 126.0.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Good that you are following how well you know your body. There is no one size fits all. Metabolisms differ, body weight enters in, intensity is hard to measure. Trackers are a guide, decent estimate at best. I just can't be obsessed about all the numbers anymore. I count calories and activity minutes and that's working for me. If I start to creep up I tweek there. Keep up the good work!
    1649 days ago
    Glad I don't tinker with all those trackers or should I say, I pay no attention to them. I have too many other things to do so maybe when life shows down, I'll get into that.
    1650 days ago
    Other discrepancies I've found are for hiking cross-country--per my Garmin, the SP tracker gives me an extra 100 calories or so burned. Horseback riding is the same, although I can't measure that directly and have to go with my gut. I like to think of the tracker as a baseline, but I rarely if ever eat the amount of calories it gives me , even on a hard workout day. There is one thing going for it: my brain relaxes when it knows I can have more calories to eat whereas I would probably tend to feel guilty about 'overeating', even though I was hungry. Weight loss can be a mind game!
    1650 days ago
    Sounds like you and MOBYCARP saw similar things with "too much calorie credit" for some activities. I think the same is true of me (slow swimmer) and swimming "general".
    1650 days ago
  • _LINDA
    All very interesting! I agree with the elliptical results, as one size does not fit all. Just the speed alone makes a big difference never mind adding resistance too, as well as using the arms or not.
    What was interesting was my GPS watch agrees with the Spark Fitness Tracker for precise calories burned over distance and time. Guess that is a little more universal.
    Heart rate monitor is the only way to go for accuracy as was mentioned.
    Sorry, I just can't see you as sedentary!! But you have to go with what feels right..
    Your steady scale results show you are on the right track!
    1650 days ago
    Interesting that you, Watermellen and I all KNOW we are being "given too many calories. I wonder what the Spark gurus would say about that?
    1650 days ago
  • FROSTY99
    1650 days ago
    Yup, Spark consistently "gives me" too many calories: I know I can't eat that much and stay at the weight I want . . .
    1650 days ago
    Very good! May it work for you.
    1650 days ago
    I appreciate your sharing your experiences. I've thought about linking but I don't think I'm going to at this point.
    1650 days ago
    I agree with Amanda....a heart rate monitor would be the way to get the most accurate calories burned.
    1650 days ago
  • -AMANDA79-
    Maybe a heart rate monitor to more accurately track calories burned during workouts?
    1650 days ago
    It is so hard to figure out if all these devices actually help us or just give us too much unneeded information. I am amazed at how high the number for calories burned is from the spark tracker - I should be fading away to nothing pretty soon at the rate they tell me. It also differentiates between "workout minutes" and "exercise minutes". The exercise minutes are very high and I don't know how anyone could do that much in a day. I'm wondering if I am spending more time tracking and less time doing these days.
    1650 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.

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