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Calorie difference between MFP and Polar activity

frenchbabe5frenchbabe5 Member Posts: 1 Member Member Posts: 1 Member
I'm new to MFP and think the app is great for foods but I'm confused about why there is a loss of calories when the info is transferred from my polar flow app direct to MFP. For example today Polar says I burned 746 calories and yet MFP translates that amount into 519.
Any clues?
Thanks for any responses :)


  • Bookworm1860Bookworm1860 Member Posts: 53 Member Member Posts: 53 Member
    I'm having this same issue, it used to work just fine.
  • heybalesheybales Member Posts: 17,942 Member Member Posts: 17,942 Member
    So mostly sleeping time for that 746 calories?
    Or a workout in there?
    That's what Polar saw.
    BMR level burn for the sleeping part.

    MFP before sync estimated BMR x your selected activity factor - so at least 1.25 x BMR if you selected Sedentary.

    So for the block of sleeping time - MFP is ahead of reality in estimating calories to 7:50am.

    So a sync should lead to negative calorie adjustment - until the day progresses.

    Since MFP doesn't show a place for daily calories burned so far - where are you getting the 519 figure - what exactly does the field say?

    Many have misunderstandings with devices that sync.
  • dougiidougii Member Posts: 658 Member Member Posts: 658 Member
    All of this is relative and none of it is accurate. MFP is notoriously high when it comes to calorie burns; I believe the food tracking is fairly good. I run on a TM with a Garmin 220 w/chest strap HR monitor, an iPhone with Nike+Run Club app, and the TM stats. None of them gives me the same distance, pace, or calorie burn. If I were you I would take the lower number and go with it for a bit. Once you see how your body is reacting (gaining/losing weight) you can make some adjustments to fine tune the numbers if you so choose.
  • Bookworm1860Bookworm1860 Member Posts: 53 Member Member Posts: 53 Member
    Syncing between the apps doesn't, or at least didn't, use MFP's burn estimates at all. It simply transferred over the time and calorie burn from Polar to MFP. Up through January 21 the calorie burns matched what Polar said. Now they are lower. Today I was the gym for over 2 hours. Polar says I burned 663 calories, MFP is only showing 525. Percentage wise they are substantial differences. Thursday it was 777 vs 638.
  • melissasue182melissasue182 Member Posts: 2 Member Member Posts: 2 Member
    Hopefully MFP will fix it soon
    edited February 2018
  • melissasue182melissasue182 Member Posts: 2 Member Member Posts: 2 Member
    I’m having the same issue. It was working before without any issues. I just manually correct the number after syncing unfortunately. Will have to do that until MFP fixes the issue.
  • heybalesheybales Member Posts: 17,942 Member Member Posts: 17,942 Member

    That's right - Polar actually syncs over a workout with attached calorie burn already.

    If MFP was smart, they would subtract from that figure how many calories they already expected you to burn that your eating goal is based on - so they would only add what you truly did above and beyond accounted for.

    So 2 hrs with 69 cal diff per hour.

    If you selected Sedentary on MFP, that would mean base burn of 55 cal/hr, or 1325 daily.

    Is 1325 about your Mifflin BMR shown on MFP Tools - BMR calculator?

    @frenchbabe5 - you have a difference of 227 cal on that workout - how long was it for?
    edited February 2018
  • Bookworm1860Bookworm1860 Member Posts: 53 Member Member Posts: 53 Member
    @heybales That does seem to be what it's doing, the adjustment remains roughly the same calories/time across workouts. I can see the reason for doing it but it would have made sense to tell us they were making that change, I assume it's not just Polar they made the change with.

    Since I don't eat based on it but I use it as a place to track intensity of workouts (not everything comes from Polar) it diminishes its use for me. :/
  • heybalesheybales Member Posts: 17,942 Member Member Posts: 17,942 Member
    Frankly, if they did it on imported workouts - they sure better have done it on the database logged workouts - which could have been corrected years ago per that suggestion I made.

    I'll have to see if it appears they did. Tad harder to prove after the fact though, without knowing what the original database amount might have been.

    And yeah - they really should have announced it for any device users that sync in workouts - Polar, Garmin, some apps. (Fitbit doesn't though).
  • aokoyeaokoye Member Posts: 3,497 Member Member Posts: 3,497 Member
    It's interesting because MFP overestimates the number of calories I've burned cycling (indoors at least) compared to my Garmin and TrainerRoad. During my last TR workout, which was on a smart trainer that has power, TR and Garmin said I burned 917 calories over the course of 90 minutes (I was doing vo2 max intervals). For the same miles per hour ballpark MFP estimated 1131. That's not a huge overestimation, however last night I did what for me is an easy steady state spin at the end of the evening while watching the olympics. Garmin said 410 calories over the course of the 45 min. MFP says 707 calories for the same average ballpark speed (15 mph) MFP was estimating based off of my weight (208lbs) and average MPH where as the garmin was estimating based off of power (152 average watts).

    Thankfully for whatever reason MFP doesn't adjust the Garmin calorie data, at least not for me.
  • heybalesheybales Member Posts: 17,942 Member Member Posts: 17,942 Member
    Can't use the MFP database entries for outside cycling speeds that expect wind resistance on an indoor bike that is giving you speed readings.

    It should be wrong, much more effort to hit those speeds with air resistance, and much higher calorie burn.

    Also, you shouldn't be re-entering a workout on MFP if you already have one syncing in.
    You can start an entry just to see, but why create a double entry if Garmin workout came in.

    Just make a wall post about the workout with much more interesting info.
  • elrosenbergelrosenberg Member Posts: 3 Member Member Posts: 3 Member
    Any updates from folks on this issue? My polar flow / polar HR calories are materially higher than what is showing in MFP - even though MFP is ONLY connected to that one polar device. I only wear my HR monitor during active workouts (i.e. the 35 minutes of cardio + 30-60 min of resistance/strength) so shouldn't be deducting significant calories for "at rest burn" during that 60-90 period
  • heybalesheybales Member Posts: 17,942 Member Member Posts: 17,942 Member
    So you are receiving in synced workouts from Polar, but Polar says you burned X, and MFP says you burned X-Y?

    Always some amount less?

    Because I don't believe MFP is adjusting anything, that would be more likely Polar adjusting what it sends for some reason.

    And this is an actual workout you are comparing, not the Adjustment that happens to be in the Exercise Diary, right?
  • kmflaniginkmflanigin Member Posts: 2 Member Member Posts: 2 Member
    Im having same issue. Record 200 calories burned on Polar. Sync to MFP and it will be 160 ish. Seems to be aroud 20% loss each time. Is it possible that it is a)not transferring calories but transferring activity and time and calculating calories in MFP? Or is it dropping out some of the calories burned that are below a certain level of physical activity?
  • heybalesheybales Member Posts: 17,942 Member Member Posts: 17,942 Member
    The MFP API's are pretty simple, though some options are available.

    For workouts - the sender has time stamp, duration, and calories burned - and then the description to pick from MFP database is up to them.

    What does your line in the MFP Exercise Diary say about the workout?

    And for the line that is for the Adjustment, when you go into more details on that one, can you include screen shot?
  • AlejandroDecapAlejandroDecap Member, Premium Posts: 1 Member Member, Premium Posts: 1 Member
    This is also a problem I am facing.
  • jweidner33jweidner33 Member, Premium Posts: 83 Member Member, Premium Posts: 83 Member
    I think this is working as intended. When Pilar pushes the workout to MFP, calories are being subtracted based to prevent double counting. MFP gives you credit for being alive.

    A 60 minute workout may yield 600 calories burned but sitting on the couch could also burn 60. So the net difference would be 540. Interestingly, Garmin doesn’t do this. Just my polar.
  • heybalesheybales Member Posts: 17,942 Member Member Posts: 17,942 Member
    If there is a workout that MFP knows about - whether manually entered or synced from a tracker, MFP assumes the tracker knows about it and it is contained within the Daily Calorie Burn the tracker also sends.

    After all, daily burn should include workouts.

    Since the tracker is counting Gross burn for any chunk of time, it works correctly when the workout is set to Gross.

    If you have a NET workout on MFP that syncs over to the tracker, it'll be replacing it's Gross burn for that chunk of time with a NET burn, missing the BMR level calories.

    Doesn't amount to much either way, but it is more correct for workouts to be Gross when tracker sync is involved.

    NET would be at least closer to correct if MFP was on it's own. Actually, a tad less than NET would be more correct.

    And this whole method is why Apple direct syncs are so screwed up. They play by their own rules.
    Their daily burn doesn't contain workouts, or extra activity above sedentary level.
    But they send the workouts over.
  • allother94allother94 Member Posts: 497 Member Member Posts: 497 Member
    My polar and MPF numbers are never in sync. I go with MPF so I can eat more. Maybe that’s not optimal...
    edited December 2019
  • LietchiLietchi Member Posts: 1,158 Member Member Posts: 1,158 Member
    I also have a Polar tracker. I've always assumed that Polar counts the total calories during a workout, and MFP takes the number of calories burned on top of the basal metabolic rate, hence the lower number of calories taken into account in MFP.
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