Help please....

Hi, I'm just wondering if anyone knows what gadget maybe best for me... I'm looking for something that tells me calories burnt whilst exercising - maybe even including steps etc through the day to see if I'm active enough when I'm not actually consciously exercising. I'm not wanting to spend a fortune on it although I'm open to sugI've gestions, dunno enough about these things to know what I'm even buying so I thought I'd ask the experts =). Thanks in advance.

Replies

  • You're looking at two different devices.

    1) A fitbit or similar pedometer to track steps.
    2) A Polar or Garmin HRM (Heart Rate Monitor) to estimate calories.

    If you don't care about accuracy as much, the Fitbit will basically estimate your calories as well, although a dedicated HRM will do a much better job.
  • So I'm looking at quite a bit of money to get two separate devices then... What kind of price am I looking at for HRM and does it matter if its cheap? I get really confused with HRM, do they all come with chest straps or is it a watch. Some just say watch...? =S
  • The most accurate HRMs come with a chest strap. Price depends on how "fancy" you want the HRM to be. I bought a very basic New Balance N4 HRM from REI for about $55, and use it everytime I exercise. I also use it in conjunction with my FitBit One because it seems more accurate at calculating exercise calories, and the FitBit isn't that great at determining calories burnt during non-step related exercises.
  • zooktography
    zooktography Posts: 588 Member
    you could get an hrm monitor for the cals, but they have apps for your phone that can track maybe not the steps you take, but the distance you walk each day using your gps :)
  • jonnythan
    jonnythan Posts: 10,167 Member
    In my opinion, the Fitbit is more accurate than an HRM. HRMs are not good at estimating calories for most people, especially if you're not a very fit person to begin with. Heart rate isn't a very good proxy for calories burned, especially if you don't know your VO2max and can program it into your device.

    My Fitbit has been extremely good for me. I've followed its calorie burn recommendations for about 5 months and have lost exactly the weight I'd expect to have lost based on its predictions.
  • What fitbits / HRM's you guys got? I'm not looking for anything particularly fancy just something that can see how lazy I am during the day lol and to calculate how many calories I'm burning running, doing insanity and classes etc.
  • jonnythan
    jonnythan Posts: 10,167 Member
    What fitbits / HRM's you guys got? I'm not looking for anything particularly fancy just something that can see how lazy I am during the day lol and to calculate how many calories I'm burning running, doing insanity and classes etc.

    I use a Fitbit One. This is what I've been able to do with it over the past several months:

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  • Sounds like you need a Fitbit. They are great in my opinion.
  • Which fitbit? there is several and I don't really get the difference in them... That graph, what have you aimed for with your fitbit to get those results. I'm currently trying to lose weight for my wedding next year but struggling =S

    Would fitbit track calories from insanity?
  • I have a fitbit one. It measures distance travelled, cals burnt, steps taken, sleep time.
  • jonnythan
    jonnythan Posts: 10,167 Member
    Which fitbit? there is several and I don't really get the difference in them... That graph, what have you aimed for with your fitbit to get those results. I'm currently trying to lose weight for my wedding next year but struggling =S

    Would fitbit track calories from insanity?

    All the Fitbits basically do the same thing. The Zip is the cheapest; it has a replaceable battery that lasts several months. The One has a rechargeable battery that lasts about 5 or 6 days between charges; it also tracks floors climbed, which is great. The Flex is wrist-mounted. IMO the Flex is problematic and I recommend not getting it, since the wrist is a poor place to measure body movement from.

    I recommend the One. It's a great device.

    Anyway, I have synced MFP and Fitbit. I log my food in MFP. Fitbit adds a calorie adjustment to MFP. I basically aim to end each day having eaten about 500 calories less than the Fitbit estimates I've burned. Actually I lowered that recently to about 375 I think because I only have a few pounds left to lose.

    I think the Fitbit would do pretty good tracking calories burned during Insanity. It doesn't do very well at strength training because you're not moving much. I log weightlifting as an activity on the Fitbit website to add a few extra calories per session (like around 50 per hour). HRMs vastly overestimate lifting calories
  • That sounds great! I love how your working it with this! You eating clean and really well or just making sure calories are 500 under? Does it calculate calories burnt from classes or insanity as opposed to walking/running?
  • jonnythan
    jonnythan Posts: 10,167 Member
    That sounds great! I love how your working it with this! You eating clean and really well or just making sure calories are 500 under? Does it calculate calories burnt from classes or insanity as opposed to walking/running?

    I think "clean" is a nonsense word.

    I have macronutrient goals. I make sure to hit my protein, fat, carb, and fiber goals and I make sure to eat veggies to fill out micronutrient goals. My diary is open, feel free to look at it. I eat a lot of ice cream, fast food, etc. But I also eat home-cooked food too.

    And yeah, the Fitbit is good at measuring calories during any activity that involves you moving your body while on your feet. It's not good for something like cycling or skating or swimming. But you can still log those calories on the Fitbit or MFP sites.
  • I had a Fitbit One, but it fell off on a run (man was I bummed!), so I'd HIGHLY recommend getting a leash for it (you can get one cheap on Amazon). I'd had the Ultra before that, and liked it a lot. But I needed the HRM to get my workout cals accurately. I had a Timex T5G971, but now I have a Garmin Forerunner 410 (more turbo than you're looking for). The Fitbit Ultra is great for all of the normal day-to-day type stuff, but a HRM with a strap really will be more accurate. You can also log workouts in here to get a sense of the calories burned. Regardless of which method you choose, it's still an ESTIMATE. Just be aware of that.
    I also eat clean (check out cleaneatingmag.com), to answer your question.
  • I had a Fitbit One, but it fell off on a run (man was I bummed!), so I'd HIGHLY recommend getting a leash for it (you can get one cheap on Amazon). I'd had the Ultra before that, and liked it a lot. But I needed the HRM to get my workout cals accurately. I had a Timex T5G971, but now I have a Garmin Forerunner 410 (more turbo than you're looking for). The Fitbit Ultra is great for all of the normal day-to-day type stuff, but a HRM with a strap really will be more accurate. You can also log workouts in here to get a sense of the calories burned. Regardless of which method you choose, it's still an ESTIMATE. Just be aware of that.
    I also eat clean (check out cleaneatingmag.com), to answer your question.

    Could you recommend a HRM? I'm aware it will still be estimated but I'm hoping a little bit more of an accurate one =). I've been doing classes and insanity and just want something to show roughly what I'm burning. Thank you for your help =)