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Why Are The Calories So High On Fitbit? Is It Wrong?

Have you ever checked the calories burned on your Fitbit and felt a sense of achievement when you found out that you burned more than 2,000 calories in a day?

Well, the calories burned on Fitbit are usually higher than the actual number. You may have realized this when you stayed all day in bed and still found the calories to be 2,000+.

So why are the calories so high on Fitbit? Read on to find out why your Fitbit calories are so high and whether Fitbit shows accurate calories burned.

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Why Are Your Calories High On Fitbit?

  • Your Fitbit is tracking too many steps.
  • Incorrect age, height, or weight data in your profile settings.
  • You may not be taking the total BMR into account. 
  • The tracking system needs to be restarted.

For many reasons, Fitbit shows a higher calories-burned count than any other tracking device.

Firstly, the Fitbit tracker does not always read your movements accurately. Fitbit uses green light sensors to read your daily step count. These sensors can show inaccurate results due to various factors, such as your stride, the kind of terrain you are walking on, whether you are carrying weight, and even your skin color!

Sadly, if you have darker skin or have tattoos, the green light will have trouble reading your blood underneath the skin. To learn more and if there are any possible fixes, please read my article.

Secondly, most people wear Fitbits around their wrists. The sensors read your activity data based on how frequently you move your arms. Unfortunately, the sensor often mistakes a random arm movement with a walking step. As a result, you have hundreds of steps on your tracker that you did not take, resulting in a high calories-burned count.

Thirdly, your Fitbit cannot accurately measure all the physical activity you do in a day. For instance, it may not read your biking or swimming data accurately. Your activity level and sleep quality can also influence the accuracy of the estimated calories burned. 

Moreover, the calories burned on your Fitbit also consider your BMR (base metabolic rate) calories. These calories are burned daily whether or not you perform any activity. Your Fitbit calculates these by using your age, height, and weight data.

Since the calories may be too high on Fitbit, you should not completely rely on it if you want an exact calories-burned count, but you can still use a Fitbit as a useful tool for keeping track of your activities. 

Moreover, the calories burned on your Fitbit also consider your BMR (base metabolic rate) calories. These calories are burned daily whether or not you perform any activity. Your Fitbit calculates these by using your age, height, and weight data.

Is Fitbit Accurate for Calories Burned?

Fitbit is not 100% accurate for calories burned, but Fitbit is the most precise smartwatch. According to a BBC article, the Fitbit Charge 2 was exact in testing calories burned while running, underestimating by 4%, but with walking, it overestimated calorie burn by more than 50%.

When tracking your activities, Fitbit measures them through various factors. These include your heart rate when performing an exercise, your basal metabolic rate, height, weight, age, and sleep health.

No fitness tracker is 100% accurate with calorie burn count. Still, Fitbit is one of the most accurate trackers out there that has come a long way in improving its tracking technology, rather than solely focusing on the cosmetic aspects of its trackers like the Apple Watch.

According to this BBC article, Fitbit was studied scientifically to test its accuracy.

According to the results, some Fitbit models are more accurate than others. For example, when it comes to the Fitbit Charge 2, the calorie-burned data is more accurate for running rather than walking. On the other hand, the Fitbit Surge only has an error rate of 25%, making it the most precise model.

No matter which Fitbit model you have, you can try to improve the accuracy of calories burned by restarting your tracker. 

If restarting does not fix the issue, you can reset your Fitbit tracker completely. To do so:

  1. Unlink your Fitbit from your account.
  2. Reset your Fitbit to factory settings.
  3. Link your Fitbit back to the Fitbit account.
  4. Reset it.

By doing so, the tracking system of your Fitbit tracker will get a much-needed reset and may show more accurate results. Once you have reset your Fitbit, monitor the calories burned against your daily activities to see if the results are changed. Hopefully, the calories burned now wouldn’t be off the charts.

Are you wondering how Fitbit calculates your average steps every day? Then, read my article to find out how Fitbit calculates your intermediate steps and how you can reach your daily step count.