640 calories burned?! That cannot be right!

shesthetype
shesthetype Posts: 45 Member
edited September 2016 in Goal: Maintaining Weight
So I recently purchased a FitBit to try and track my calories more accurately. I clean one house every day, averaging 2 to 2.5 hours. This includes scrubbing the bath, shower, toilet, wiping all surfaces, kitchen bench, etc, mopping and vacuuming. I used to assume I was burning 200 calories at most but my FitBit tells me I'm burning around 500 to 650 calories during this time (I log it as exercise). That sounds like a LOT considering I only get a wee bit puffed out during the vacuuming and mopping, yet it says I only burn 150 to 200 calories during 30 minutes of sweaty intense weight lifting.

Is my FitBit an evil lying device or does that sound right? I've only been using it for 3 days so far but I'm scared to eat any more than 2500 to 2800 calories per day in case it's wrong and I gain weight.

Thank you for any advice :)

Replies

  • bioklutz
    bioklutz Posts: 1,365 Member
    Everything was working fine before you got the FitBit, correct? You were not gaining or loosing weight? I would just keep doing what you were doing if that is the case.

    After a week is up go back and compare FitBit's daily calories to the calculator you are using. Are they similar? If they are don't focus on the number for a small block of time.
  • capaul42
    capaul42 Posts: 1,390 Member
    Strength training doesn't burn many calories. Even at my more intense sessions, I only burn about 100-150 calories.

    I found that fitbit gets more accurate over time, the longer you wear it, the more accurate the numbers get. That could just be me though. When I first got mine the numbers I got seemed very high. Currently I trust my to be 90% or more accurate.
  • girlinahat
    girlinahat Posts: 2,956 Member
    edited September 2016
    don't forget - Fitbit's calorie burn INCLUDES your BMR burns. So the calorie burn you are getting is not just related to the exercise you are doing, but ALSO includes the calories your body burns staying alive.

    If you log it as exercise as well, make sure you add the time you carried out the exercise. When I add exercise, I use Fitbit to log the exercise, and MFP to log calories. Otherwise there is a risk of double accounting.
  • mitch16
    mitch16 Posts: 2,113 Member
    There are many anecdotal articles about people's "fitbits making them fat" because it overestimates calories burned. It's a tool, but I'd take it with a grain of salt, especially if what you were doing before (which contradicts what the fitbit is telling you) was working.
  • CaptainJoy
    CaptainJoy Posts: 257 Member
    Your Fitbit is likely sensing the scrubbing and wiping movements as walking or running exercises. If I were you I'd put it in my pocket during house cleaning and manually add the estimated 200 calories.

    I had the opposite thing happen when I first started wearing mine. I spent a lot of time pushing a shopping cart at the grocery store but Fitbit wasn't picking up the steps. I was losing weight faster than expected so I started pulling the cart from its side. That fixed the shopping cart problem. My old flex also picked up a lot of steps from bumpy car rides. My Alta doesn't do that. It's a good tool but sometimes needs tweaking.
  • bfanny
    bfanny Posts: 440 Member
    Like someone said, I don't add the type of exercise I do, so I won't get double credit, I just let Fitbit do the calculations based on my Steps...I'd rather err on the side of caution ;)
  • TavistockToad
    TavistockToad Posts: 35,720 Member
    bioklutz wrote: »
    Everything was working fine before you got the FitBit, correct? You were not gaining or loosing weight? I would just keep doing what you were doing if that is the case.

    After a week is up go back and compare FitBit's daily calories to the calculator you are using. Are they similar? If they are don't focus on the number for a small block of time.

    this!
  • bfanny
    bfanny Posts: 440 Member
    One more thing at the end of the day I burn between 2,000-2,200 which is about right, for my age, weight, activity etc and to lose I need to eat around 1,500 cals and if/when I do it works...
  • SherryTeach
    SherryTeach Posts: 2,836 Member
    I would look only at what your fitbit says you burn in an entire 24 hour period and then compare that to what some reliable on-line TDEE calculators estimate for your age, height, and weight. Then look at your caloric intake for the same period. My fitbit is pretty accurate. If I eat about what my device says I burn, I stay the same weight.
  • snickerscharlie
    snickerscharlie Posts: 8,581 Member
    I let my fitbit calculate my calorie burn and don't add things like housecleaning as an exercise. The only time I'll make a separate entry for exercise is when I do water jogging, because I can't wear my fitbit in the pool. ;)
  • kgirlhart
    kgirlhart Posts: 4,693 Member
    I let my fitbit calculate my calorie burn and send the adjustment to mfp. I only log food in mfp and no exercise. I only log exercise in fitbit. That seems to work for me and I usually try to eat all of my adjustment. I have found it to be pretty accurate. When you logged the cleaning, did you log that in fitbit, or in mfp? If you logged it in mfp you might be double counting it if you have the two synced.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,534 Member
    So I recently purchased a FitBit to try and track my calories more accurately. I clean one house every day, averaging 2 to 2.5 hours. This includes scrubbing the bath, shower, toilet, wiping all surfaces, kitchen bench, etc, mopping and vacuuming. I used to assume I was burning 200 calories at most but my FitBit tells me I'm burning around 500 to 650 calories during this time (I log it as exercise). That sounds like a LOT considering I only get a wee bit puffed out during the vacuuming and mopping, yet it says I only burn 150 to 200 calories during 30 minutes of sweaty intense weight lifting.

    Is my FitBit an evil lying device or does that sound right? I've only been using it for 3 days so far but I'm scared to eat any more than 2500 to 2800 calories per day in case it's wrong and I gain weight.

    Thank you for any advice :)

    Your burn also includes your BMR...so I don't think it seems that far off...and I don't think you can compare a burn for 30 minutes of whatever to 2.5 hours of whatever.
  • ElJefeChief
    ElJefeChief Posts: 651 Member
    I've had huge success with my FitBit. I think you just monitor closely your weight loss (or maintainance) over time and adjust as needed. For my part, I think it's been more than accurate enough.
  • Tedebearduff
    Tedebearduff Posts: 1,155 Member
    So I recently purchased a FitBit to try and track my calories more accurately. I clean one house every day, averaging 2 to 2.5 hours. This includes scrubbing the bath, shower, toilet, wiping all surfaces, kitchen bench, etc, mopping and vacuuming. I used to assume I was burning 200 calories at most but my FitBit tells me I'm burning around 500 to 650 calories during this time (I log it as exercise). That sounds like a LOT considering I only get a wee bit puffed out during the vacuuming and mopping, yet it says I only burn 150 to 200 calories during 30 minutes of sweaty intense weight lifting.

    Is my FitBit an evil lying device or does that sound right? I've only been using it for 3 days so far but I'm scared to eat any more than 2500 to 2800 calories per day in case it's wrong and I gain weight.

    Thank you for any advice :)

    This is the problem with fitbits I always go on about. These kind of activites are set when you define your activity level within the site before setting up a calorie goal. IE if you have a desk job you choose lightly active, if you're cleaning for 2 hours of the day you go with moderatly active.

    I wouldn't eat back the fitbit calories ever unless you only wear it when you are doing actual exercise.
  • capaul42
    capaul42 Posts: 1,390 Member
    So I recently purchased a FitBit to try and track my calories more accurately. I clean one house every day, averaging 2 to 2.5 hours. This includes scrubbing the bath, shower, toilet, wiping all surfaces, kitchen bench, etc, mopping and vacuuming. I used to assume I was burning 200 calories at most but my FitBit tells me I'm burning around 500 to 650 calories during this time (I log it as exercise). That sounds like a LOT considering I only get a wee bit puffed out during the vacuuming and mopping, yet it says I only burn 150 to 200 calories during 30 minutes of sweaty intense weight lifting.

    Is my FitBit an evil lying device or does that sound right? I've only been using it for 3 days so far but I'm scared to eat any more than 2500 to 2800 calories per day in case it's wrong and I gain weight.

    Thank you for any advice :)

    This is the problem with fitbits I always go on about. These kind of activites are set when you define your activity level within the site before setting up a calorie goal. IE if you have a desk job you choose lightly active, if you're cleaning for 2 hours of the day you go with moderatly active.

    I wouldn't eat back the fitbit calories ever unless you only wear it when you are doing actual exercise.

    Yes and MFP knows that and adjusts the number that comes over from fitbit accordingly. My adjustments from fitbit are always spot on as I'm losing consistently at my planned rate and have been for months.
  • not_a_runner
    not_a_runner Posts: 1,343 Member
    For me, my Fitbit burn is not very accurate... I'm currently eating about 2300 calories a day and maintaining my weight, while my Fitbit says I'm burning WELL over 3000 calories every day.
    I like having the fitbit for other reasons though, so I just ignore that number. I know what's been working/how much I've been eating, and I use the Fitbit for motivation to keep moving and to time my workouts.
  • Christine_72
    Christine_72 Posts: 16,049 Member
    I try to eat no more than 50% of my exercise calories back. My fitbit likes to make me feel good by overestimating my burn and TDEE.
  • cerise_noir
    cerise_noir Posts: 5,468 Member
    I don't have my fitbit linked to mfp since I didn't want it to log my cleaning and add those calories. I basically use it to log purposeful exercise like jogging or long walks (which I do log in mfp), but not strength training.
  • ahoy_m8
    ahoy_m8 Posts: 2,979 Member
    If you're in motion the whole time, your Fitbit count sounds reasonable to me. Not sure how similar we are, but in 2 hrs I would walk 8 mi at a pace that doesn't "puff me out." And for me that's about 600kcal.

    As others have mentioned, fitbit includes your resting calorie burn, and that can cause confusion. E.g. Fitbit counts more calories when I walk 4mi slow than when I run 4 mi, and running is definitely more effort.