You could choose to measure your calorie burn by calorimetry, but that is a lot of work for a fitness enthusiast who wants to shed a few pounds of chunky belly fat. There are plenty of calories monitoring watches in the market, including Apple watches, Samsung, Letscom HR and Fitbit. We often cast doubt on the accuracy of these smart wearables, so how do I know if my Fitbit is underestimating my energy expenditure or not? If you’ve got a Fitbit tracker, you would want it to give an accurate calories value for various reasons – checking your weight loss, or calories burned walking 5000 steps daily. That’s not all, but It that is it. Follow me now, let’s go find out how accurate is Fitbit calorie burn tracker.
An activity determines our health and the more activities you do, the more you get fit and healthier. If you decide to take a 5 minutes gentle walk down the road, on your home treadmill, that improves your health, than if you did nothing.
If you further increase your walking activity to over 10 minutes, it is more beneficial and better than the 5-minute walk. To simply say it loud, you improve your body health the as you increase the intensity level of the activity.
It is through these our daily activities that you can be able to quantify and monitor your everyday energy expenditure in the same way you check your heart rate, blood pressure and stress.
You can use a variety of methods to calculate the number of calories you burn doing an exercise–you can get it by calorimetry or by reading it from calorie counter smartwatches.
Are calories trackers accurate?
Dr Rhys Thatcher at Aberystwyth University set out in 2019 to test the accuracy of some popular activity trackers. For BBC Wales Consumer affair program, he selected top selling activity trackers like Fitbit Charge 2, Letscom HR and Letsfit.
The 12 participants walked on a treadmill at different speeds–4mph and 8mph for 10 minutes. Walking, he discovered that at a pace of 4mph, the Fitbit calorie watch overestimated the amount of calories burned by 53.5% while the others were close.
At a high treadmill speed, Fitbit predicted energy expenditure in a close range–with about 4.3% underestimation, while the other fitness tracker was far off.
In another research to test the accuracy of wrist-worn commercial calories devices for tracking heart rat and energy expenditure, Fitbit Surge was selected as part of the wearables under examination.
Assessed for indirect calorimetry and telemetry, Fitbit and the rest of the smart trackers showed less error In estimating calories burn during cycling and highest error for walking.
The researcher concluded that these smart watches may measure heart rate with good laboratory sensor-based methods, but they offer a poor estimate for calories burned during physical activity.
Fitbit is one of the best fitness trackers, and the best-performing trackers among the wrist-based tracking devices tested, including the Apple Watch. But how accurate is Fitbit calorie burn measurement? How accurate is Fitbit Charge 2 then?
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So How accurate is Fitbit calorie burn calculator watch?
There is no very accurate Fitbit calorie counter and how accurate are Fitbit calories is something you should only sparingly use the result in your fitness progress analysis. You have probably seen from the many reports that Fitbit calories burned aren’t accurate, or have very close accuracy for all activities.
But there is something observable in the reports. Fitbit calorie accuracy has minor error when you are doing high-intensity activity. The first research reported that Fitbit calorie counter device has under 5% error for underestimating energy expenditure when treadmill was running at 8mph.
In the second case involving cycling and walking, Fitbit Surge together with Microsoft Band, PulseOn, and Samsung Gear S2, apple watch, got a good chance at being right in calorie burn accuracy, during cycling(more intense than walking).
Read more: Does fitbit track blood pressure?
So does Fitbit track calories burned accurately?
No, not really, but its calorie burned counting estimations are very useful for cardiovascular health and general body fitness.
Dr Thatcher recommended that we should not overly look into the accuracy of activity trackers as the Gospel truth. According to him, how accurate is Fitbit calories burned, is not very important when you’re considering their health benefits.
Activity trackers Like Fitbit calorie counters watches, are definitely useful in our health and fitness progress. They help play a big role in improving our health.
We all like to see our progress; you have to interpret the data coming out of them with care but results of calorie counter on Fitbit are not direct measurements.
How accurate is Fitbit in helping you gauge your progress is, more important than how accurate is Fitbit calories measurement. You should therefore use the estimates only to compare your activities today with that of yesterday, compared the activities of the current week to that of last week, in order to see progresses.
Fitbit calorie counters might not be accurate, as expected, but they are great motivational tool that will guide most health-focused and fitness people choose which exercise program to engage on.
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Using your Fitbit Calorie tracker
You now know that Fitbit track calories burned, but it counts it accurately. However, there are several things that likely affect your Fitbit calorie burn accuracy.
Input data, including your height, age, weight, gender, and age, should be correctly contribute to your result but they don’t promise accurate calorie output, if the Fitbit calorie calculator is error prone.
These Fitbit calorie data just help users in comparing calorie figures for different activity levels. Because of your weight gain after few weeks, your calories results today will quite differ from that of the past few days or weeks.
Don’t worry if your Fitbit charge 4 or Fitbit Charge 5 is not perfectly accurate. One most important thing to note is that if you enter wrong information, the accuracy of Fitbit calories will be more chaotic than it should be.
Read more : Does elliptical machine help you lose belly fat?
Fitbit Charge 5 – the most accurate Fitbit calories burned monitor watch?
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Charge 5 is more advanced of the Fitbit fitness trackers and it suits most fitness enthusiasts and athletes who want a modern activity band. The design covers most of the basic fitness tracking features, including–step counting,
The Fitbit charge 5 is equipped with onboard GPS tracker, making it ready for outdoor geolocation tracing and geo fencing (smart restriction for teen kids under parental control). The features in this tracker and almost parallel with those of Fitbit Versa 3 smartwatch.
It is acceptable that Fitbit is pretty slow to add more features into charge 5, but for dedicated fitness performance, the watch does just good. It may develop a bit of syncing problems, but when you discover that the Fitbit won’t charge, here is how to resolve if your Fitbit is not charging.
For more, Check our Full review of Fitbit charge 5
Fitbit Charge 5 is the latest upgrade, and most accurate Fitbit calorie tracking watch with the following advanced features:
- Calories burned tracking
- floor climbed,
- heart rate,
- swim tracking,
- advanced sleep monitoring, and
- Active zone minutes
- active hour activities.
Other Fitbit calorie calculator watches.
- Fitbit Sense
- Fitbit Charge 4
- Fitbit Charge 3
- Fitbit Versa 3
- Fitbit versa 2
- Fitbit Surge
- Fitbit Insire HR
- Fitbit Luxe wellness watch
- Fitbit Iconic
Although study at International Journal of cardiology has found that Fitbit trackers are the most accurate calories trackers around, because they measure total calories burned, most scientist seem to warn that these results should be taken carefully.
Their reason is the fear of underestimation or overestimation of the number of calories actually burned in muscles. As such, all these your Fitbit are not very perfect at counting calories burned, but trust me, they are a perfect wearable calorie counter with a better baseline to guide your fitness progress.
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What are other most accurate calories tracker watches?
There is a claim that Stanford University had developed an accurate calorie burned monitoring wearable which instead wears on your leg. This means it does not use the wrist-based heart rate data.
It is understandable that legs are more mobile and active than wrists, and that is seen in how much we move than swing arms. The device comes with sensors, wires, and straps designed to go around your legs, for better calories calculation.
Here are some top calorie counter watches
- Apple watch series 7
- Letscom HR
- LetsFit Hr
- Garmin Vivoactive 4
Read more: How To Set Time On Fitbit Fitness Tracker( + Date, Time zone)
Apple vs Fitbit calorie burned
Apple watches and Fitbit smartwatches have pretty much in common when you consider health and fitness tracking. Both Fitbit and apple watch are well known smartwatches with fitness and health monitors but which is better Apple or Fitbit calorie burn accuracy?
Fitbit is better as step counter
Fitbit is more accurate for tracking steps than Apple, according to professional athletes. Fitbit has a built-in step counter, which apple watch doesn’t.
Fitbit can tell your actual steps during the day and it will count step per mile as you walk. This is different for apple, because you can’t just look at your wrist and see your step counts on apple watch face.
Apple watch tracks steps with focus on calories burned per step. With apple watch, you can easily estimate how much calories you burn in a 10,000 step walking slowly.
Both are not 100%, since they still record steps if you are resting, or wear the watch on dominant wrist. Check how Many Calories Do You Burn In 5000 Steps Walking?
Apple watch or Fitbit accurate in counting calories burned?
Similarly, apple watch and Fitbit can measure the number of calories you burn doing activities in an entire day. The two smart calorie trackers–Fitbit and apple watch, use Basal metabolic rate(BMR) and activity level to determine the total energy expenditure you have each day. So if you have a focus to lose those chunky belly fats and get a flat tummy, these devices are a better choice to set your weight loss goals.
However, Apple watch needs you to provide some personal information like weight, sex, age, in addition to BMR, to count calories burned on average.
One advantage with Apple watch calorie tracker is that they record, distinguish and provide your energy expenditure into “Active calories” and “Resting calories”. Move Ring also uses this calorie counting technology, but it only measures your “Active calories.
Fitbit, on the other hand, starts to record your total daily calories burned, only from midnight. This is great if you are considering a total number or how much calories you burned while sleeping (resting) and when doing a physical activity.
If you are one of those people who don’t care about checking their number of calories burned when resting, or sleeping, Apple calories counter is a better option, as it will show your Active calories (calories during exercises).
If you love total calories, your body consumes through an entire day. Fitbit calorie tracker watches could be the ideal option.
Read on : The Best Heart Rate Monitor Watches
Are apple watch calories accurate than Fitbit?
So is the apple watch calorie counter accurate? No, really, not 100 percent accurate. They also have a false positive, like other watches. Apple or Fitbit, there is no clear winner.
Their calorie calculations are precise to some extent but not 100% accurate. They both provide detailed insight regarding individuals’ physical activities and overall health.
Which is a better calorie counter watch then–Fitbit or apple
They are awesome as progress smart tracking tools. However, Fitbit tracks or records more calories while Apple divides into Active and resting calories.
Finally, Apple watch makes a food smartwatch and a fitness tracker, but if you are totally fitness focused like outdoor running, biking, a dedicated device like Fitbit is best option.
Read More : What Cardio Machines Burn The Most Calories?
Now, how accurate is Fitbit calorie burn counter then? As regards Fitbit calories burned accuracy, it needs improvement, and one should use the trackers with caution for calories burned calculations.
I found fun in watches especially when I started having difficult time select wearables for my skinny 5.5 inch wrists.
Because of the amazing toolds embedded inside trackers and smartwatches, I fell in love with fitness.
Today I love to go out for gym workouts with my friends. Now am part of a sizable fitness community and I feel lucky.