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Fitbit calories burned?

2018memyselfandI2018memyselfandI Posts: 8Member Member Posts: 8Member Member
I'm almost at my goal weight and will be entering maintenance soon. My question is does anyone use their Fitbit calories burned as a guideline for maintenance calories? Or should I be using the plan laid out by MFP?
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Replies

  • reflectionofmereflectionofme Posts: 248Member Member Posts: 248Member Member
    I have also been wondering about this. I set my lifestyle to to sedentary on MFP and let my Fitbit account for all the extras. It's so confusing.
  • TavistockToadTavistockToad Posts: 35,819Member Member Posts: 35,819Member Member
    I'm almost at my goal weight and will be entering maintenance soon. My question is does anyone use their Fitbit calories burned as a guideline for maintenance calories? Or should I be using the plan laid out by MFP?

    Have you used it for your weight loss?
  • 2018memyselfandI2018memyselfandI Posts: 8Member Member Posts: 8Member Member
    I've used it daily to be sure I burn enough calories to have 1000 calorie deficit a day.
  • TavistockToadTavistockToad Posts: 35,819Member Member Posts: 35,819Member Member
    I've used it daily to be sure I burn enough calories to have 1000 calorie deficit a day.

    So then why not use it for maintenance?
  • WinoGelatoWinoGelato Posts: 13,326Member Member Posts: 13,326Member Member
    Yes I do, I find it to be a solid estimate of my TDEE, which is higher than MFP and other calculators predict. Used it while losing and in maintenance for a few years now.
  • firecat1987firecat1987 Posts: 801Member, Premium Member Posts: 801Member, Premium Member
    i'm almost in maintenance and i plan on looking at my average burn from prior weeks and also looking at my fitbit to figure out maintenance. It's been working pretty well with keep a deficit
  • heybalesheybales Posts: 17,072Member Member Posts: 17,072Member Member
    I have also been wondering about this. I set my lifestyle to to sedentary on MFP and let my Fitbit account for all the extras. It's so confusing.

    Doesn't need to be.

    You are allowing MFP to correct itself with potentially more accurate info.

    That adjustment is the correction between what Fitbit says you burned for the day as a total - and what MFP thought you'd burn for only the daily activity level you selected.

    The difference could be exercise, more active, more tired, or combo.

    If you have some inherent trust of MFP, then trust it trying to correct itself with better data than you guessing from 4 levels.
  • TolstolobikTolstolobik Posts: 78Member Member Posts: 78Member Member
    I have also been wondering about this. I set my lifestyle to to sedentary on MFP and let my Fitbit account for all the extras. It's so confusing.

    Are you truly sedentary? The reason why I'm asking is because I did that in the past as well. Then I learned that MFP uses NEAT to estimate my daily caloric needs. I am on my feet most of the day. On an average day, my sitting time is at meals, driving somewhere, coffee date with a friend which is about once a week. I anchor myself to the couch around 7 or 8 and go to bed between 10 and 11. I set my activity to lightly active and let my Fitbit add additional step based exercise calories. I do walk intentionally 10,000-15,000 steps a day. I believe MFP gives me more calories for that day then it would if I said my activity at not very active (sedentary). Heybales and WinoGelato please correct me if I'm wrong.
    edited April 8
  • heybalesheybales Posts: 17,072Member Member Posts: 17,072Member Member
    You are almost correct @Tolstolobik - the end result at the end of the day would be the same.

    And if every day is about the same you learn to know about what the eating goal is going to be around, final adjustments in the evening in either case.

    Your method gives bigger base and smaller adjustments, other method smaller base and bigger adjustments.

    One negative for your method is if you are home and hit the couch early and bed - then those remaining 4-5 hrs when you last look are figured at burning Lightly-Active rate by MFP.

    The next morning Fitbit will inform MFP you burned BMR rate actually - so you are 0.4 x BMR per hr over your goal if you hit your eating goal at that 7-8 pm.
    BMR x 0.25 would be smaller adjustment.

    In either case, there too you can learn what that correction will be and leave that much in the green the day before.
  • TolstolobikTolstolobik Posts: 78Member Member Posts: 78Member Member
    heybales wrote: »
    You are almost correct @Tolstolobik - the end result at the end of the day would be the same.

    And if every day is about the same you learn to know about what the eating goal is going to be around, final adjustments in the evening in either case.

    Your method gives bigger base and smaller adjustments, other method smaller base and bigger adjustments.

    One negative for your method is if you are home and hit the couch early and bed - then those remaining 4-5 hrs when you last look are figured at burning Lightly-Active rate by MFP.

    The next morning Fitbit will inform MFP you burned BMR rate actually - so you are 0.4 x BMR per hr over your goal if you hit your eating goal at that 7-8 pm.
    BMR x 0.25 would be smaller adjustment.

    In either case, there too you can learn what that correction will be and leave that much in the green the day before.

    Thank you heybales! So what you're saying is that it doesn't matter what activity level I select the adjustment will be the same in the end? Maybe I didn't give it enough time to test it out. In the past when I selected sedentary the adjustment was smaller for me.
    edited April 8
  • TolstolobikTolstolobik Posts: 78Member Member Posts: 78Member Member
    heybales wrote: »
    You are almost correct @Tolstolobik - the end result at the end of the day would be the same.

    And if every day is about the same you learn to know about what the eating goal is going to be around, final adjustments in the evening in either case.

    Your method gives bigger base and smaller adjustments, other method smaller base and bigger adjustments.

    One negative for your method is if you are home and hit the couch early and bed - then those remaining 4-5 hrs when you last look are figured at burning Lightly-Active rate by MFP.

    The next morning Fitbit will inform MFP you burned BMR rate actually - so you are 0.4 x BMR per hr over your goal if you hit your eating goal at that 7-8 pm.
    BMR x 0.25 would be smaller adjustment.

    In either case, there too you can learn what that correction will be and leave that much in the green the day before.

    So what you're saying is that it doesn't matter what activity level I select the adjustment will be the same in the end?

    I might change it to sedentary if that's the case. Somedays my step count is lower and as you say the adjustment surprises me in the morning. Do you think it's a good move to do that?
    edited April 8
  • heybalesheybales Posts: 17,072Member Member Posts: 17,072Member Member
    That side of the day is another good example.

    If you wake up after 6-7 hrs, MFP has been estimating BMR x 1.4 burn rate so far.

    Fitbit on first sync will say BMR rate for those hours.

    Negative adjustment should occur. Will occur with BMR x 1.25 Sedentary too, just not as big.

    Just depends on what you can work out easier for what the day will be.
    And how flexible that last meal and snacks afterwards might be.

    If it's been working so far, and you've looked at prior day's eating goal to see what occurred and not just missed it - no need to change.
    If you discover always in the red by a decent chunk, at least that amount should be about the same and you can plan on it.
  • PAV8888PAV8888 Posts: 5,864Member Member Posts: 5,864Member Member
    The final figures equalized at midnight will be the same.

    In your case, the absolute size of the adjustment will be larger if you're sedentary than if you're active.

    11-15K steps is probably between active and very active in MFP speak and that would be the level from which your final adjustment would be minimized in terms of absolute size.

    HOWEVER, you go to bed early and plonk yourself on your couch at 19:00.

    This means that at 19:00 you will have a HUGE adjustment because MFP looks at all the calories Fitbit told it you've spend so far, and then expects you to continue at, as a minimum, your selected base activity level all the way to midnight--which you're not going to!

    MFP thinks you will spend BMR x1.25; x1.4, x1.6, x1.8 for each minute all the way to midnight!

    But Fitbit will only assign BMR level calories for any 5 minute period it doesn't detect movement.

    So your adjustment will shrink by BMR x .25 (or .4, or .6, or .8) for the time you are not moving.

    That said... you do get a feel for things as time goes on and there is no right or wrong in terms of what suits you better.

    If you're not sedentary and are choosing how to setup integration.... some people will prefer the adjustment off sedentary (day doesn't start with a large negative and day doesn't end with a large drop; but the total adjustment is relatively larger).

    And some people will prefer an adjustment from closer to their activity level (if you wake up late you will have a large negative adjustment. If you go to bed early you will have a larger drop; but your total adjustment size will be less than if were adjusting off sedentary)
  • BattyKnitterBattyKnitter Posts: 503Member Member Posts: 503Member Member
    For the past 6 weeks of losing I've kept a spreadsheet of my daily calories consumed and what Fitbit estimates I burned, it also calculates my deficit to see how much I should have lost and I compare that to how much I actually have lost. It's been incredibly accurate, I'm actually losing a tiny bit faster. So I plan on continuing this spreadsheet for a few months into maintenance and I expect it to give me a good idea of my maintenance calories.
  • TolstolobikTolstolobik Posts: 78Member Member Posts: 78Member Member
    heybales wrote: »
    That side of the day is another good example.

    If you wake up after 6-7 hrs, MFP has been estimating BMR x 1.4 burn rate so far.

    Fitbit on first sync will say BMR rate for those hours.

    Negative adjustment should occur. Will occur with BMR x 1.25 Sedentary too, just not as big.

    Just depends on what you can work out easier for what the day will be.
    And how flexible that last meal and snacks afterwards might be.

    If it's been working so far, and you've looked at prior day's eating goal to see what occurred and not just missed it - no need to change.
    If you discover always in the red by a decent chunk, at least that amount should be about the same and you can plan on it.

    So thankful for your knowledge on this topic and willingness to share it!
  • TolstolobikTolstolobik Posts: 78Member Member Posts: 78Member Member
    PAV8888 wrote: »
    The final figures equalized at midnight will be the same.

    In your case, the absolute size of the adjustment will be larger if you're sedentary than if you're active.

    11-15K steps is probably between active and very active in MFP speak and that would be the level from which your final adjustment would be minimized in terms of absolute size.

    HOWEVER, you go to bed early and plonk yourself on your couch at 19:00.

    This means that at 19:00 you will have a HUGE adjustment because MFP looks at all the calories Fitbit told it you've spend so far, and then expects you to continue at, as a minimum, your selected base activity level all the way to midnight--which you're not going to!

    MFP thinks you will spend BMR x1.25; x1.4, x1.6, x1.8 for each minute all the way to midnight!

    But Fitbit will only assign BMR level calories for any 5 minute period it doesn't detect movement.

    So your adjustment will shrink by BMR x .25 (or .4, or .6, or .8) for the time you are not moving.

    That said... you do get a feel for things as time goes on and there is no right or wrong in terms of what suits you better.

    If you're not sedentary and are choosing how to setup integration.... some people will prefer the adjustment off sedentary (day doesn't start with a large negative and day doesn't end with a large drop; but the total adjustment is relatively larger).

    And some people will prefer an adjustment from closer to their activity level (if you wake up late you will have a large negative adjustment. If you go to bed early you will have a larger drop; but your total adjustment size will be less than if were adjusting off sedentary)

    So helpful PAV! Thank you for taking the time to explain this concept! I think setting it to sedentary will work best for me because I like to see smaller adjustments the next day.
    edited April 8
  • reflectionofmereflectionofme Posts: 248Member Member Posts: 248Member Member
    I have also been wondering about this. I set my lifestyle to to sedentary on MFP and let my Fitbit account for all the extras. It's so confusing.

    Are you truly sedentary? The reason why I'm asking is because I did that in the past as well. Then I learned that MFP uses NEAT to estimate my daily caloric needs. I am on my feet most of the day. On an average day, my sitting time is at meals, driving somewhere, coffee date with a friend which is about once a week. I anchor myself to the couch around 7 or 8 and go to bed between 10 and 11. I set my activity to lightly active and let my Fitbit add additional step based exercise calories. I do walk intentionally 10,000-15,000 steps a day. I believe MFP gives me more calories for that day then it would if I said my activity at not very active (sedentary). Heybales and WinoGelato please correct me if I'm wrong.

    No I am not truly sedentary but I was hoping the info from my Fitbit would make MFP calories more accurate. I have read through all the comments and think I'll keep things as they are for now.
  • 2018memyselfandI2018memyselfandI Posts: 8Member Member Posts: 8Member Member
    Thanks for all of the information. I'm thinking I'll trust what Fitbit says I burn and eat to that for maintenance. I'll make up a spreadsheet with all the info to track and go from there. 10lbs to loose still so I will hopefully have it all figured out by then.
  • PAV8888PAV8888 Posts: 5,864Member Member Posts: 5,864Member Member
    Remember that your last bit can be much slower!

    I may even know someone who spent a year hapilly losing 11.1lbs based on their weight trend :blush:

    Here is a sample spreadsheet you might find useful to play with:

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1VDmqNpLPu7sbQSochUJNXdp2F7AN15AGgkvS3zLw1GU/edit?usp=drivesdk

    @heybales used to have an even more awesome self correcting one for TDEE but I don't remember if it was geared to working with all day tracker devices.

    I just mentally adjust my goals to account for the fact that my Fitbit is a tad high on my higher walkies days. So I knock off the higher of 200 Cal or 5% of TDEE from my totals whenever my tdee exceeds 3,000
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