Do you want to become fit, get more sleep, and keep up with your daily health?
You don’t have to take any scientific test for this. All you have to do is wear one of the Fitbit gadgets on your wrist, and know all about your overall health!
Fitbit fitness trackers can read your oxygen level, calculate your heart rate, daily calorie burn, and stress level, and even answer texts, play music, and pay for groceries!
But are the numbers reliable? How accurate is the Fitbit calorie burn anyway?
Let’s find that out!
What is Fitbit?
As a human race, we are inclining more and more towards the betterment of our health and environment. A company that focuses on such a mission is Fitbit. They have introduced a series of fitness smartwatches, bands, and other accessories to keep track of your weight, heart rate, steps, and so much more.
It can take records of your daily activity- walking, jogging, swimming, or cycling. When you wear the Fitbit gear, you can watch your fitness progress on the Fitbit app through your mobile phone and even manually log the activity.
The Fitbit Charge line has a touchscreen, mobile notifications, ECG tracker, EDA scan for stress management, automatic exercise detection, information tracking, built-in GPS, and water-proof features. These attributes make this line the most expensive and the most advanced Fitbit gear in the market.
On the other hand, the Fitbit Inspire line comes with a heart rate detector, sleep tracker, and notifications for calls and texts from your mobile phone. As you can see, the Charge has more features than Inspire.
Next, let’s get to know the Fitbit Ace wristband. This device can track the sleep, steps, and other physical activities of children. Your child can wear it in the shower but not the pool as it is only splash-proof. Furthermore, this band can receive notifications, texts, and calls when connected to a mobile phone.
Also, there are Fitbit Versa and Sense. They are both equipped with a heart rate tracker, sleep tracker, calories burned, steps taken, stairs climbed, and other activities.
Previously popular but currently discontinued lines are the Fitbit Lite, Blaze, and Ionic. They are as good as the newer models in performance, but the designs are pretty outdated.
The newer lines include better features. Still, Fitbit Ionic came with dust-proof, water-proof, and damage-resistant glass.
How Accurate is Fitbit Charge 2 Calorie Burn?
It has been found that the Fitbit Charge 2 underestimated the calorie burn measurement by 4% while running. Practically, that is nothing.
However, the overestimation was around 50% during walking. Therefore, the accuracy of the measurement differs based on the activity.
You can improve the accuracy of the calorie burn by re-adjusting the data you have input for your BMR. Just go to the Fitbit app on your mobile phone and re-check the details, like your height, weight, gender, etc.
Did you know that even when you are sleeping, sitting down, and breathing, you are burning calories? That’s why the readings are high during walking, even though you are doing minimum work.
How Accurate is Fitbit Inspire HR Calorie Burn?
The calorie calculator works the same way in Inspire HR just as the Charge 2. There have been issues with the device showing a high number of calorie burn even though not much movement was made.
Just like with Charge 2, the calorie burn tracker on the HR records the ‘silent’ calories burned during sleep, resting, breathing, and doing nothing. It’s just how your body works.
How Accurate is Fitbit Versa 2 and 3 Calorie Burn?
Usually, Fitbit Versa 2 and 3 display highly accurate numbers when it comes to calorie burn. Versa is more upgraded than Inspire only in terms of several app uses, and the inclusion of Spotify, Alexa, and Google Assistant.
Other than that, their tracking abilities regarding calorie burn, heart rate, sleep, and other physical movements are almost the same. Hence, you may see the device displaying an extra 27% of calorie burn.
This error is largely due to the gadget resetting at midnight. So, when you wake up, the device shows an estimate of the possible calorie burn for the day. Additionally, remember that you burn calories even when you sleep.
How Accurate is Fitbit Lite, Blaze, and Ionic Calorie Burn?
It appears that most Fitbit gadgets tend to show a higher number when it comes to calorie burn, even Lite, Blaze, and Ionic. The first reason is the amount of calories you are burning while you are on rest. The other is because of this simple formula.
Total Daily Energy Expenditure= Fitbit caloric value – BMR)*0.75 + BMR
Fitbit devices are using this formula to calculate your total daily energy expenditure or your total calorie burn.
How Fitbit Calculates Calories Burned?
The brand simply uses an accelerometer to calculate the steps, exercises, jumps, and other movements you make throughout the day. The movements are translated into a digital estimation after the device configures an algorithm to search for any sign of motion.
Then the device compares your basal metabolic rate (BMR) with all the activities of the day to figure out an estimate of the calories you have burned. Additionally, the 3-axis accelerometer can determine the frequency, intensity, patterns, and duration of the steps you take.
To calculate the distance traveled, the gadget measures the stride length of the individual according to his or her height and gender. With the Fitbit Charge, the GPS feature helps track the step count automatically.
The device can also calculate the number of floors climbed with an altimeter sensor along with the barometric pressure. One floor is recorded as 10 feet or 3 meters. So, all of these are put together to find an accurate measurement of your calories burned.
Which Fitbit Model is Better?
Every model is different from the other with a few common attributes. Take a look at the table below to compare the most popular Fitbit series.
|Feature||Inspire 2||Charge 4||Versa 2||Versa 3||Sense|
|Water resistance||50 m||50 m||50 m||50 m||50 m|
|Heart rate tracker||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Distance and steps tracker||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Skin temperature sensor||Yes|
|App, text, and call notifications||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Active zone minutes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Battery life||10 days||7 days||6 days||6 days||6 days|
To Sum Up
There you go. Now you know why the Fitbit device is overestimating calorie count even though you haven’t been doing any heavy workouts. Regardless of novel features in recent years, most Fitbit gadgets are of premium quality with satisfactory performance.
At the end of the day, it’s your decision to choose your favorite Fitbit. But if you want my opinion, Fitbit Sense is my number one recommendation because of its stress tracker, multiple app usability, and skin temperature sensor.
But as you know, higher performance requires higher battery usage. That’s why Sense has a lower battery life compared to Inspire and Change.
Anyway, I’m just glad I could explain the calorie burn accuracy issue to all of you. Enjoy counting steps!