Fitbit glitch?

I’ve been using my Fitbit for 10 weeks and it’s proven very accurate. Today, I ran 4 miles and walked one, and it gave me 67 calories burned for that workout. For almost the same workout two days ago it gave me almost 500! I have checked all my settings and they’re what they’ve always been. My calorie adjustment is usually 5-600 calories and today it’s under 200! So I’m in the red and I shouldn’t be. When I add exercise manually then it subtracts them from my Fitbit adjustment.

Has anyone encountered anything like this? Is it just a glitch that will work itself out tomorrow?

I’ve already tried unpairing the apps and starting over... same result.

I’d be grateful for any tips or suggestions.
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Replies

  • melissa6771
    melissa6771 Posts: 894 Member
    You can edit the excercise in the Fitbit app and change the calorie burn to the 500 that it was before.
  • PAV8888
    PAV8888 Posts: 13,525 Member
    Your Fitbit adjustment is not an exercise adjustment. It is a complete day tdee adjustment. Your exercise may have been the same but quite possibly the rest of your day wasn't.

    It really is not that big of a deal to have the occasional red day!
  • witchaywoman81
    witchaywoman81 Posts: 280 Member
    PAV8888 wrote: »
    Your Fitbit adjustment is not an exercise adjustment. It is a complete day tdee adjustment. Your exercise may have been the same but quite possibly the rest of your day wasn't.

    It really is not that big of a deal to have the occasional red day!

    This. Compare the number of calories Fitbit says you burned on those days to what MFP thinks you’ll burn. That’s your answer to the different calorie adjustments.

  • emilysusana
    emilysusana Posts: 416 Member
    PAV8888 wrote: »
    Your Fitbit adjustment is not an exercise adjustment. It is a complete day tdee adjustment. Your exercise may have been the same but quite possibly the rest of your day wasn't.

    It really is not that big of a deal to have the occasional red day!

    I understand how the adjustment works and what it represents. I’ve taken 14000 steps today and Fitbit is giving me under 200 calories for an adjustment. Usually with that many steps over the course of a day I get more than 600. The steps are right, the calories are wrong. But I checked and they’re wrong on the Fitbit app too.
  • emilysusana
    emilysusana Posts: 416 Member

    You can edit the excercise in the Fitbit app and change the calorie burn to the 500 that it was before.

    I tried this, but then my Fitbit adjustment went to like -340! They really don’t want me to have these calories I earned!

  • emilysusana
    emilysusana Posts: 416 Member
    [quote="

    It really is not that big of a deal to have the occasional red day![/quote]


    I know this is true but I’ve worked really hard on logging accurately for 10 weeks. I really wanted to keep my data reliable. I know one day can’t throw everything, but it irks me to break the streak!! I’m just hoping it’s back to accurate again tomorrow.
  • witchaywoman81
    witchaywoman81 Posts: 280 Member
    edited March 2019
    You can edit the excercise in the Fitbit app and change the calorie burn to the 500 that it was before.

    I tried this, but then my Fitbit adjustment went to like -340! They really don’t want me to have these calories I earned!

    Do you have negative calorie adjustments enabled? How big of a deficit are you shooting for each day (250, 500, 750, or 1000 calories)? How many calories have eaten compared to how many Fitbit says you earned? Is the deficit what you expected? Mfp doesn’t care about your steps, per se, only the calories.
  • melissa6771
    melissa6771 Posts: 894 Member
    You can edit the excercise in the Fitbit app and change the calorie burn to the 500 that it was before.

    I tried this, but then my Fitbit adjustment went to like -340! They really don’t want me to have these calories I earned!

    Just to be clear, I meant edit them for that excercise. If the run is in Fitbit, edit the details for the run.

    I know one day in the red isn’t a big deal for you or for anyone but I do get where you want to be accurate at the same time
  • PAV8888
    PAV8888 Posts: 13,525 Member
    edited March 2019
    Double check the times of your various exercises.

    Have you change time zones recently? This seems to always throw Fitbit and mfp off for me for that one day.

    Edit the particular exercise that seems to have mis-registered on Fitbit not on mfp, and adjust it as appropriate.

    look through your list of exercises on Fitbit and make sure that none of the mfp exercises have remained behind over writing your Fitbit detected activity.

    Give up scream and shout and call Fitbit tech support asking for help if none of the above seem to work!

    I'm assuming you're working on the Fitbit web site as it seems to be more authoritative than the app, at least for me.
  • emilysusana
    emilysusana Posts: 416 Member
    PAV8888 wrote: »
    Double check the times of your various exercises.

    Have you change time zones recently? This seems to always throw Fitbit and mfp off for me for that one day.

    Edit the particular exercise that seems to have mis-registered on Fitbit not on mfp, and adjust it as appropriate.

    look through your list of exercises on Fitbit and make sure that none of the mfp exercises have remained behind over writing your Fitbit detected activity.

    Give up scream and shout and call Fitbit tech support asking for help if none of the above seem to work!

    I'm assuming you're working on the Fitbit web site as it seems to be more authoritative than the app, at least for me.

    Thanks for the tips!

    I did change time zones... I switched into EST for about 24 hours and now I’m back on central time. That’s interesting to know that can throw things off!

    I can’t figure out how to adjust the workout through Fitbit. But I did see the source of the error. Today’s run is showing up as burning about 1 calorie/minute (even less at moments) while my runs on other days show up as between 10 and 11 calories/ minute!

    I’ve restarted my Fitbit so perhaps tomorrow it will be back to normal. Fingers crossed!
  • emilysusana
    emilysusana Posts: 416 Member
    You can edit the excercise in the Fitbit app and change the calorie burn to the 500 that it was before.

    I tried this, but then my Fitbit adjustment went to like -340! They really don’t want me to have these calories I earned!

    Do you have negative calorie adjustments enabled? How big of a deficit are you shooting for each day (250, 500, 750, or 1000 calories)? How many calories have eaten compared to how many Fitbit says you earned? Is the deficit what you expected? Mfp doesn’t care about your steps, per se, only the calories.

    I do have negative calorie adjustments enabled.

    My daily burn is usually around 2200, and I eat about 1450 on average. This has proved accurate based on 10 weeks of carefully logged data— I’ve lost 1.5 lbs/week right on the nose. Today was not an atypical day... i definitely ate at a deficit. But I’m in the red...

  • emilysusana
    emilysusana Posts: 416 Member
    Here are two screenshots showing approximately the same amount of activity, but totally different affect on calories.


    vyf37lplav1f.png

    qzeigwu3r4nh.png
  • PAV8888
    PAV8888 Posts: 13,525 Member
    I did change time zones... I switched into EST for about 24 hours and now I’m back on central time. That’s interesting to know that can throw things off!

    Fitbit can be set to change times zones with your phone. MFP has to be changed manually. In the interim things get confused and the adjustments out of whack.

    Haven't worried about it enough to do more than observe that my travel days tend to be a little bit off. I suspect that MFP doesn't handle the shorter/longer day correctly.

    That said, if the exercise itself didn't record correctly, you then know your answer. You could "crib" from a previous exercise and manually adjust it.
  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 18,842 Member
    I’ve been using my Fitbit for 10 weeks and it’s proven very accurate. Today, I ran 4 miles and walked one, and it gave me 67 calories burned for that workout. For almost the same workout two days ago it gave me almost 500! I have checked all my settings and they’re what they’ve always been. My calorie adjustment is usually 5-600 calories and today it’s under 200! So I’m in the red and I shouldn’t be. When I add exercise manually then it subtracts them from my Fitbit adjustment.

    Has anyone encountered anything like this? Is it just a glitch that will work itself out tomorrow?

    I’ve already tried unpairing the apps and starting over... same result.

    I’d be grateful for any tips or suggestions.

    So your Fitbit gave you 67 calories for the workout then.

    Running 4 miles and walking one though - Fitbit giving 500 sounds rather inflated - that one sounds incorrect actually.

    Could it have been using HR-based calorie burn and read a very incorrect HR prior.

    And now it's missing the HR readings and giving a small calorie burn.

    What if you manually add the workout on Fitbit's site instead, using it's database entry, but matching the start/duration time of the existing Activity Record?
    Don't worry, it's not double entry even though the Activity will stay the same, your manually added Workout Record will overright the daily data.
    How many calories did the database method estimate with total distance and time?
  • PAV8888
    PAV8888 Posts: 13,525 Member
    It is not impossible to have the same steps and very different numbers for total energy expenditure.

    Leaving aside which one would be more "true" of a burn, think and try two classic examples and see how they would give you different values.

    Stand for almost 24 hours and shuffle around, but try to do so taking a dozen steps at a time before stopping and only registering between 500 and 1000 steps an hour (average about 625)

    vs.

    Wait till 22:00 and go out for a 2 hour walk. But sit down and sleep or read or work on your computer or watch tv all day other than going to the bathroom.

    Both days will be around 15k steps.

    The second ought to be and will be a much lower total burn.
  • emilysusana
    emilysusana Posts: 416 Member
    heybales wrote: »

    So your Fitbit gave you 67 calories for the workout then.

    Running 4 miles and walking one though - Fitbit giving 500 sounds rather inflated - that one sounds incorrect actually.

    Could it have been using HR-based calorie burn and read a very incorrect HR prior.

    And now it's missing the HR readings and giving a small calorie burn.

    What if you manually add the workout on Fitbit's site instead, using it's database entry, but matching the start/duration time of the existing Activity Record?
    Don't worry, it's not double entry even though the Activity will stay the same, your manually added Workout Record will overright the daily data.
    How many calories did the database method estimate with total distance and time?

    I agree that 500 sounds inflated. When I first started using the Fitbit, I left 250 calories on the table every day (didn’t eat then back) since it seemed so high. But after 10 weeks of consistent logging and Fitbit wearing, I was losing .5 lb/week more than my expected rate, so I realized it was shaking out to be dead on.

    The issue isn’t inaccuracy in general. It was this one day where the same workout was giving me way different results. From Fitbit.

    I do think it was the time zone change issue mentioned above. I noticed it tracked my sleep inaccurately as well. I restarted my Fitbit last night and I think today all’s well again. I also managed to trick MFP and Fitbit into letting me have the calories from the run by adding the run manually to yesterday’s log through MFP and then completing my day again. The calories are still there lol!

    Thanks for the suggestions and tips everyone.
  • emilysusana
    emilysusana Posts: 416 Member
    edited March 2019
    PAV8888 wrote: »
    It is not impossible to have the same steps and very different numbers for total energy expenditure.

    Leaving aside which one would be more "true" of a burn, think and try two classic examples and see how they would give you different values.

    Stand for almost 24 hours and shuffle around, but try to do so taking a dozen steps at a time before stopping and only registering between 500 and 1000 steps an hour (average about 625)

    vs.

    Wait till 22:00 and go out for a 2 hour walk. But sit down and sleep or read or work on your computer or watch tv all day other than going to the bathroom.

    Both days will be around 15k steps.

    The second ought to be and will be a much lower total burn.

    Agreed. But in this case, I lived more or less the same day. 4 mile run, 1 mile walk on the treadmill, followed by a day of teaching and taking care of my kids. Probably roughly the same amount of shuffling around.

    Also, my Fitbit is not smart enough to know the difference between the two scenarios above. It’s a Flex 2 and doesn’t have a HR monitor. It’s estimating my energy expenditure based on steps.
  • emilysusana
    emilysusana Posts: 416 Member
    edited March 2019
    PAV8888 wrote: »
    I did change time zones... I switched into EST for about 24 hours and now I’m back on central time. That’s interesting to know that can throw things off!

    Fitbit can be set to change times zones with your phone. MFP has to be changed manually. In the interim things get confused and the adjustments out of whack.

    Haven't worried about it enough to do more than observe that my travel days tend to be a little bit off. I suspect that MFP doesn't handle the shorter/longer day correctly.

    That said, if the exercise itself didn't record correctly, you then know your answer. You could "crib" from a previous exercise and manually adjust it.

    I don’t know what you mean by “crib” nor do I know how to manually adjust. I messed with it a lot last night and couldn’t see any mechanism for adjustment. I did figure out how to add a run through MFP and then close out my diary for that day before it started deleting from my Fitbit adjustment. I guess maybe that got Fitbit and MFP to stop communicating about yesterday? Anyway, all’s well that ends well. Thanks for the insight about the travel. My biggest fear, that my Fitbit was forever broken or going to forever withhold hard-won calories, seems to not to be coming true!
  • PAV8888
    PAV8888 Posts: 13,525 Member
    You could create the same exercise on Fitbit. You could have used as a template (calories, distance) your past Fitbit exercise. Your manual entry would have adjusted the detected entry.

    You achieved same by entering it on mfp (if you look on Fitbit you will find your MFP exercise sitting there)

    Your Flex absolutely detects shuffling all day from hard walk via accelerometer and step cadence (and time between steps and jarring on landing)

    Arguably the lack of HR data may make it more accurate and less prone to overinflate.
  • emilysusana
    emilysusana Posts: 416 Member
    PAV8888 wrote: »
    You could create the same exercise on Fitbit. You could have used as a template (calories, distance) your past Fitbit exercise. Your manual entry would have adjusted the detected entry.

    You achieved same by entering it on mfp (if you look on Fitbit you will find your MFP exercise sitting there)

    Your Flex absolutely detects shuffling all day from hard walk via accelerometer and step cadence (and time between steps and jarring on landing)

    Arguably the lack of HR data may make it more accurate and less prone to overinflate.

    I’ve somehow missed how to manually adjust or enter a workout on Fitbit. Is this through the app or the website? I’ll check it out again and try to figure out how to do it. Could come in handy if ever I forget to wear my Fitbit for a workout.