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Calorie tracking and GPS watches

4 watchers
Jul 2016
8:41am, 27 Jul 2016
25815 posts
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Hi there, purchase advise requested please.

My missus logs calories (manually) in Livestrong (I think, though she could possibly swap to MyFitnessPal or other). These sites (and many others) have food databases so you can accurately count calories in your meals and snacks. But she then adds in calories burned manually.

Our GPS watches show calories burned for different activities. Presumably reasonably accurate, as it knows type of activity, distance, pace, sometimes heart rate, elevation etc.

Can you upload these activities from Garmin device (or Fitbit, Tom Tom etc.) directly to Livestrong, MFP or other calorie counting database?

Thanks super Fetchies! :-) G
Jul 2016
8:59am, 27 Jul 2016
819 posts
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I know you can link your gamin connect account to MFP and that transfers your 'calories burned' straight in to your daily calorie goal :-)
Jul 2016
9:00am, 27 Jul 2016
29224 posts
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I'm pretty sure you can sync MFP to your Fitbit, so you have calories etc and steps all in one place, not sure about GPS Garmins but then usually you don't wear one of those all the time. Though Mr fleecy said he preferred his Garmin tracker (tracker, not GPS watch) to his Fitbit, and you can sync that with MFP as well. You can get a Fitbit with GPS but it's enormous. It depends what she's looking for really: what's more important to her: steps or individual activities? You could always log both...
Jul 2016
9:20am, 27 Jul 2016
16169 posts
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I'm not sure that the calorie tracking on those Fitbit things (or their equivalents) is accurate. Mrs D's cousin reports burning 2000 calories when walking 6 miles. When Mrs D points out that she has only burnt 500 running 3 or so miles, said cousin got quite cross. I guess that calorie usage could be over the entire day, and she does wave her arms around when she talks, and she talks a lot.

I have heard of cases of weight gain when using these devices as the wearers think they are burning more calories than they are and so believe they can eat more.
Jul 2016
9:29am, 27 Jul 2016
1514 posts
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I suspect Diogenes may have a point.

Also the concept of calories as regards to weight loss is a flawed model.
There is a lot of complex factors at play, but if you want some good information I would suggest amazon.co.uk as a good basis for understanding.
Jul 2016
2:32pm, 27 Jul 2016
25816 posts
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Thanks guys re MFP. I was looking at Livestrong cos that's what MrsS(rrr) uses. I'll ask her if she can switch to MFP and then I can get her either a Fitbit or Garmin, her choice!

I think she knows that a 2 or 3 mile dog walk, even if it takes her an hour, is only 400 or 500 cals and wouldn't expect it to be more. If it comes up as 1500, then I'll take it off her and throw it in the bin!

To Dio's point re. misreading though, I think it may depend how you set activities up and how you read / interpret them. It could be correct that a person doing an active job, clocking up 10000 steps, plus a 6 mile walk (which is c. another 15000 steps - more than running, because walking steps are shorter than running!) plus the rest of sleeping and sitting down time could (for a larger, heavier person) be 2000 cals total. But not on top of one's "daily allowance" of 1500, but including that?

RIC, I accept that weight loss isn't just a matter of calories in less than calories out. But it's a good starting point!

Thanks all. :-) G
Jul 2016
4:07pm, 27 Jul 2016
3052 posts
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Dio: Fitbit takes into account BMR whereas the Garmin doesn't.
Jul 2016
4:21pm, 27 Jul 2016
891 posts
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It's entirely feasible to use 2000 calories to walk 6 miles - if your weight in the first place is particularly significant it takes more energy to walk than a light slip of a thing.

From anecdotal experience, the biggest reason for calorie counts on devices being nonsensical is that they haven't input their weight correctly (or at all) into the service that they are using, and I'm fairly sure that would be an important part of the equation for most devices.

They are all a complete nonsense though, IMHO! I suppose if you wear a device all the time it can give some indication of a calorie intensive day vs a non calorie intensive day, but in terms of the absolute number that they present I take it with a pinch of salt!
Jul 2016
4:43pm, 27 Jul 2016
24437 posts
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You can log food on the fitbit app so all the calories in and out are in one place. I log my manually i.e. a guesstimate of calories for each meal but it has a database and you can log details of actual food.
Jul 2016
4:51pm, 27 Jul 2016
9321 posts
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Keefy Beefy
I'm sceptical about the calorie estimates that come from the Garmin to Garmin to Connect to MFP but then I have often eaten back nearly all the additional calories (and hence stayed under the overall goal for the day despite eating more than would normally be allowed) but have lost weight, so... I do think the cycling calories are a bit excessive though.

It's a great feeling when you've maxed out your calories for the day and then you run and - boom! - in MFP another 500 cals to scoff :-)

About This Thread

Maintained by HappyG(rrr)
Hi there, purchase advise requested please.

My missus logs calories (manually) in Livestrong (I t...

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