# Calorie Counter

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# Fitbit and exercise calories

Sorry fitbit experts, I am sure you have answered this before, but first, please let me know if what I am thinking is true.
Fitbit measures your steps, and based on your steps, MFP adds exercise calories. If you say you are sedentary, it will add calories sooner than if you are active.
If you record an exercise, MFP will record those calories as exercise calories, but it will deduct that many calories from the step calories, because it will assume that you are adding steps while doing the exercise.
If this is true, then here us my second wuestion; how do you adjust the exercise calories for activities that do not affect the steps? Today I rode 9 miles on a stationary bike. It did not record as any steps on the fitbit. I then walked 12000 steps. Now normally 12000 steps will give me about 400 calories. Today my 12000 steps recorded only about 140 calories and then recorded my stationary bike calories.
I know it isn't a big deal, I know how much exercise I did, but I just wondered if there is a way to add exercise calories that will just go on top of the step calories.

## Replies

• Member Posts: 17,782 Member
LynnJ9 wrote: »
Sorry fitbit experts, I am sure you have answered this before, but first, please let me know if what I am thinking is true.
Fitbit measures your steps, and based on your steps, MFP adds exercise calories. If you say you are sedentary, it will add calories sooner than if you are active.
If you record an exercise, MFP will record those calories as exercise calories, but it will deduct that many calories from the step calories, because it will assume that you are adding steps while doing the exercise.
If this is true, then here us my second wuestion; how do you adjust the exercise calories for activities that do not affect the steps? Today I rode 9 miles on a stationary bike. It did not record as any steps on the fitbit. I then walked 12000 steps. Now normally 12000 steps will give me about 400 calories. Today my 12000 steps recorded only about 140 calories and then recorded my stationary bike calories.
I know it isn't a big deal, I know how much exercise I did, but I just wondered if there is a way to add exercise calories that will just go on top of the step calories.

No to some of those ideas - wrong concepts on what is happening. Correct on some.

Unless you are not actually linking accounts and syncing.

But only selected in MFP app the Fitbit as your step source and that's it.
That's a whole difference inaccurate beast.

Outside of sync issues lately - do your meal totals show up in Fitbit?
edited June 30
• Member, Premium Posts: 409 Member
heybales wrote: »

No to some of those ideas - wrong concepts on what is happening. Correct on some.

Unless you are not actually linking accounts and syncing.

But only selected in MFP app the Fitbit as your step source and that's it.
That's a whole difference inaccurate beast.

Outside of sync issues lately - do your meal totals show up in Fitbit?

Yes my meal totals show up in my fitbit app.
Thank you

• Member Posts: 345 Member
MFP estimates your total daily calorie burn based on your stats (height, weight, age, gender) and your stated activity level.

When synced, MFP takes the Fitbit # and compares to what it projected and shows an adjustment for the difference.

Assume your BMR is 1800 daily which is 75 per hour. You choose sedentary and MFP expects you to burn a total of 2160 daily which is 90 per hour.

Fitbit uses your same BMR for when you're not moving but awards more calories when you are moving.

Say you wake up at 6am. Your Fitbit shows you've burned 75 x 6 = 450. MFP takes that, says there are 18 hours left in the day and decides you'll end at 450 + 18*90 = 2070, so if you have negative adjustments you'll see -90. Otherwise Fitbit adjustment will show 0.

Later in the day, you've done regular day stuff (activity) and also gotten in an hour run. At 6pm, Fitbit shows you have so far burned 1700 calories for the day. MFP takes that #, says 1800 + 6 * 90 (6 hours left in the day) = 2340 so you see a +180.

Each time you sync, MFP does those calculations.

When you log activity for calories, then THOSE logged stats are used instead of Fitbit for that bit of time. So if you log a bikeride of 400 calories from 6pm to 7pm, then MFP & Fitbit use that data instead of Fitbit's own for the 6m-7pm hour. It can look a little funky if you log it in MFP. Personally I would log it in Fitbit and let Fitbit send the cals over to MFP.
edited June 30
• Member Posts: 6,624 Member
ive used fitbit and mfp for years now. it can be tricky, if you dont understand how they work separately, and together (which was well explained above).

for ME, i log my food in mfp. i never visit the fitbit app. my fitbit is synched with mfp. for calories, i go by the fitbit. (keep in mind there is still a margin of overestimation, imo). i do LOG my exercise in mfp but edit it and set it to 1 calorie for the burn. that way, it doesnt try to double count it, but i still have it logged in mfp.

everyone is different, but doing that has been the most effective for me.
• Member, Premium Posts: 409 Member
Thank you all. That is a lot to work through, but I appreciate your insight