Welcome to the new Community design. We know there are some big changes to get used to as well some challenges and bugs. Please check out our post about New Updates To The Community as well as Outstanding Bugs. We will continue to collect feedback and bug issues and will work to make improvements.

Looking for calorie advice/help

LadyOdd Posts: 26 Member
I'm brand new to fitbit. Just got it yesterday. I have it synced to mfp, but I am curious about the calories. I have been off and on mfp for a few years now. I believed that the calorie goal was set to lose weight even if I was not very active. I had previously lost 50 lbs just by sticking to the calorie goal, very little exercise. Mfp has my calorie goal at 1800. Fitbit seems to be much lower, as today it is telling me I only have 1055 calories available to be in the zone. I am confused how this works. Should I stick to my usual 1800/slightly under or only have the 1055. Any help would be appreciated.


  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 19,322 Member
    When they are synced - both work similar - if you selected the same weight loss rate, say 1 lb weekly, or 500 cal deficit.

    MFP estimates your daily burn based on NO exercise expected - and your selected activity level, right or wrong.

    Fitbit estimates your daily burn based on 2 options: Sedentary which for them is barely above sleeping, or Historical which uses weekday/weekend averages - and then corrects itself as your device syncs calorie burn to your account. Rest of the day is at the base rate.

    With MFP synced - it also corrects itself with that same Fitbit daily calorie burn - and estimates rest of the day at it's burn rate (which is different than Fitbit).

    So driving to a destination - don't attempt to take 2 routes our you'll be confused and aggravated likely.
    Use MFP for food related goals and logging (if syncing is occurring correctly), and use Fitbit for movement related goals and logging.

    If the deficit is set the same between the 2 - they'll end up the same end of the day.
    But during the day - use MFP.

    So the reason why Fitbit is lower, whether using sedentary or historical setting right now, midday estimates of daily calorie burn are really low. Take a deficit off for eating goal - and lower than MFP would be.
  • thielke2015
    thielke2015 Posts: 212 Member
    @heybales I’m having difficulty understanding the bit ‘ if the deficit is set the same between the 2 they will end up same end of the day day ‘
    Can you explain this please
  • Mslmesq
    Mslmesq Posts: 1,001 Member
    First, I think you should update your mfp. Make sure it has your correct weight and current goals. I'd also set it for sedentary and then just eat your extra fitbit exercise calories it gives you.

    I'd just follow mfp for food logging and calories.

    I just went through this. Seems easiest way and it's what I did.
  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 19,322 Member
    @heybales I’m having difficulty understanding the bit ‘ if the deficit is set the same between the 2 they will end up same end of the day day ‘
    Can you explain this please

    Because Fitbit is sending new daily calorie burn to MFP after every 100 cal increase since last sync.

    But both estimate to the end of the day differently for total calorie burn.

    So while you could view a current stat on each app saying you've burned this much right now - the eating goal based on the end of day estimate will always be different until .....

    There is no end of day estimate because it is the end of day.

    For more in depth, see the 2nd page of the FAQ in the stickies for how MFP estimates to end of day.

    For Fitbit, 2 options you can select in your eating goals: Personalized or Sedentary.
    Personalized is based on historical weekday or weekend daily burn calories.
    Sedentary is based on barely above BMR.
    That daily is divided by 1440 for a per minute burn.
    The minutes from current time to end of day are calculated on that, added to current burn, and deficit taken.

    MFP does the same, but the rate of burn is your activity level, which is 1.25 x BMR for sedentary at minimum.