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Confused by steps calorie allowance

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Hi,

I just got the updated app recently and love it! I really like the way it counts your steps and gives you extra calories for them. I'm a bit confusedthough, because for instance this morning I ran 3.5 miles, which i thought burned around 100 calories a mile, but with that and the other steps I've done so far today it's only given me an extra 160 calories. Why is that?

I haven't been logging my exercise (mainly running) because a) I know MFP overestimates it and b) I don't know if I should be when it counts my steps anyway.

Help!

Replies

  • Liftng4Lis
    Liftng4Lis Posts: 15,151 Member
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    Sorry, this is unclear. What are you using to count your steps?
  • aplcr0331
    aplcr0331 Posts: 186 Member
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    Overestimate your food calories and underestimate your exercise calories. Done.
  • DeborahKilpatrick
    DeborahKilpatrick Posts: 80 Member
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    My iphone 5s has an inbuilt pedometer, which MFP links to. It's really cool, but I probably am majorly underestimating my exercise calories by not logging it and going by the step count.
    What I'm confused about is, is a step a step whether you're running or strolling? I just don't know if I really am only burning an extra 160 cals on a day when I've run over 3 miles. I do eat slightly over my 1200 limit most days and am still losing 1 or 2 lb per week so it seems to be working - I'm just interested to see if anyone knows why the calories you get back for steps are so low.
  • Mistapholeezkat
    Mistapholeezkat Posts: 80 Member
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    Things like fit bit flex and other pedometers just count steps and will give you estimated calorie burned as if you were walking. You obviously burned more running, which is why fit bit HR or other devices which detect your heart rate and effort will show more calories burned for the exercise.
  • WalkingAlong
    WalkingAlong Posts: 4,926 Member
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    Things like fit bit flex and other pedometers just count steps and will give you estimated calorie burned as if you were walking. You obviously burned more running, which is why fit bit HR or other devices which detect your heart rate and effort will show more calories burned for the exercise.
    That's not correct. All the Fitbits use accelerometer data and can tell if you're running vs. walking, and estimate calories accordingly.

  • jwalters1805
    jwalters1805 Posts: 11 Member
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    I think it might depend on what you have your activity level set to. If your set to lightly active it will only give you extra calories above that setting. Idk. I got frustrated trying to use the step counter so I just stick to a set calorie goal everyday.
  • Mistapholeezkat
    Mistapholeezkat Posts: 80 Member
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    Things like fit bit flex and other pedometers just count steps and will give you estimated calorie burned as if you were walking. You obviously burned more running, which is why fit bit HR or other devices which detect your heart rate and effort will show more calories burned for the exercise.
    That's not correct. All the Fitbits use accelerometer data and can tell if you're running vs. walking, and estimate calories accordingly.

    I did not know that! I thought they counted steps and without the heart rate couldn't tell "how" you were getting the steps. Thanks!
  • Ready2Rock206
    Ready2Rock206 Posts: 9,488 Member
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    With the fitbit - and I'll assume this works the same way - you get extra calories when you burn more than MFP already assumes you'll burn in a day. So for example you may have burned 300 calories in your run, but MFP already assumed you'd burn some calories being alive and all so it only gives you the extra 160.
  • Sandcastles61
    Sandcastles61 Posts: 506 Member
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    I discovered the stride length dilemma a couple weeks ago when I started tracking my steps..., the calorie burn for walking depends on height, weight and stride length. I was blissfully going with the 2000 steps = 1 mile = 100 cal. I was so disappointed to have to recalculate all my numbers. :s Based upon my 5' height and current weight it takes me 2514 steps to burn the same 100 cal. someone with a 2000 step rate burns. The really sad news for me is when I hit my goal weight..... I'll need double the 10,000 steps (over 20,000 steps!) a day to hit the 500 cal. mark. Wish I had better news for both of us :(
  • Sued0nim
    Sued0nim Posts: 17,456 Member
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    Also you have to hit your basic activity level...so for example with my fitbit I need to move 2500-4000 steps dependent on intensity in order to reach MFP sedentary level...beyond that I get positive calories

    And I generally eat most of my fitbit allowance
  • Liftng4Lis
    Liftng4Lis Posts: 15,151 Member
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    I have the jawbone up24 and with negative calorie adjustments enabled, plus putting my activity level to sedentary, it does the rest for me.
  • editorgrrl
    editorgrrl Posts: 7,060 Member
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    I really like the way it counts your steps and gives you extra calories for them. I'm a bit confusedthough, because for instance this morning I ran 3.5 miles, which i thought burned around 100 calories a mile, but with that and the other steps I've done so far today it's only given me an extra 160 calories. Why is that?

    You can learn more in the Jawbone UP Bracelet group: http://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/group/13420-jawbone-up-bracelet

    Your UP total burn is your TDEE (aka your maintenance calories). Your adjustments are the difference between your UP total burn & your MFP activity level. (Click on an adjustment to see MFP's math.)

    Log non-step exercise (like swimming or biking) in the UP app. And enable negative adjustments: http://www.myfitnesspal.com/account/diary_settings