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September 27, 2012 8:33 AM
There have been a bunch of questions about the Fitbit adjustment, so I locked all of the other topics and would like to try to keep all the questions within this new topic. I'll post some explanations we've written about how the adjustment is calculated, as well as some answers to commonly asked questions.

UPDATE:

Sorry folks - we've been reviewing all of the data points that you've been providing, and after our review, we've decided to revert to our old way of calculating the adjustment. Our older method was definitely clearer to understand and after reviewing some of these cases, we've found that the old method actually led to more appropriate adjustments in some of these more unusual cases.

We've made the switch this morning so if you sync your Fitbit again, your adjustment for today should get updated. This change won't affect past entries, but it will affect new ones starting as of this morning (Sept 29).

Sorry again for the inconvenience. We'll continue monitoring the adjustments over the weekend. Let us know how it's working for you.

Hope you're enjoying MFP.
September 27, 2012 8:33 AM
UPDATE - we've reverted back to our old way of calculating the adjustment. I've edited this post to explain the old way for anyone who would like to know the details of how the adjustment works.

There have been a lot of questions about how the Fitbit adjustment works, so here's a quick explanation of how it's calculated:

1) Go to http://www.myfitnesspal.com/account/my_goals and note the "Calories burned from normal daily activity" number
2) Add to that number any exercise calories you've logged in your exercise diary, EXCLUDING any Fitbit adjustment. The total number is your MFP projected calorie burn for the day
3) Calculate your Fitbit projected calorie burn for the day using the following formula:

Fitbit projected calorie burn = Fitbit calories burned so far + ((minutes left in the day / total minutes in a day) * MFP calories burned from normal daily activity)

4) Your Fitbit adjustment is then:

Fitbit adjustment = Fitbit projected calorie burn - MFP projected calorie burn

5) Finally, at this time we do not allow negative Fitbit adjustments, so we bring your Fitbit adjustment back to 0 if it's negative.


To make this more tangible, here's an example of how to perform the calculation. Here are some example numbers:

- On your goals page (http://www.myfitnesspal.com/account/my_goals), your "Calories burned from normal daily activity" number is 2,000.
- You've logged 200 calories worth of exercise so far for the day.
- Your Fitbit shows that you've burned 1500 calories so far today
- You just synced your Fitbit and it's 12pm (noon)

Here's how we would calculate your Fitbit adjustment:

MFP projected calorie burn = 2000 + 200 = 2200
Fitbit projected calorie burn = 1500 + ((720 / 1440) * 2000) = 1500 + (1/2 * 2000) = 1500 + 1000 = 2500
Fitbit adjustment = 2500 - 2200 = 300

We're working on a page that will show you how the adjustment is calculated, including the numbers we have imported from Fitbit, but for now, hopefully the above explanation will help.
September 27, 2012 8:37 AM
Question: Fitbit seems to be double counting my calories!

QUOTE:


Thanks for the reply. I'm speaking about the adjustment we see in the exercise diary on MFP.

Just to summarize the issue reiterating my example:

--Today I ran, burning ~730 calories. I wore my FitBit Ultra during the work-out.
--Immediately after, I used the MFP app on my iPhone to log the type of exercise, the time I started, the duration of the exercise and the number of calories burned.
--Several hours later I returned home. My FitBit device synced with the FitBit server.
--I check the MFP app on my phone and see that I have burned an excessive amount of calories. I enter the diary and see that, not only are the calories I manually entered present (when I manually logged my exercise), but that there is a FitBit adjustment for nearly the identical number of calories.

What appears to be happening is that FitBit is ignoring the manual exercise I entered and adding the adjustment based upon the calories the device believes I burned during my work-out. In essence, my calories burned are doubled (or nearly so) within the diary. As such, I am showing that I can eat much more food than I actually should.


OK, I understand - this is a bug that we've been in communication with Fitbit about. They've told us that they are working on a fix, although I don't know what the status of that fix is. The symptoms of the issue are exactly as you described - you wear your Fitbit during some cardio activity, then log the exercise manually. The manually logged exercise is supposed to replace the calories tracked by your Fitbit tracker.

For example, if your Fitbit tracker thinks you burned 100 calories between 9am and 10am, but you know that you went for a bike ride during that time and actually burned 500 calories, then when you log your bike ride, Fitbit is supposed to replace the 100 calories burned with the 500 calories you logged manually, for a net gain of 400 calories. What appears to be happening though is that when you sync again, the 100 replaced calories come back, so your manually logged exercise now results in a net gain of 500 calories.

As far as we can tell, this issue isn't related to linking your account with MFP. As an experiment, you can try disconnecting MFP from fitbit, then logging your exercise directly on Fitbit.com, and seeing if you see the same results.

Do you mind trying that and letting us know what happens? Either way, we will continue to work with the Fitbit team, who've been very helpful, to try to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.

UPDATE ON THIS ISSUE

We've been told by Fitbit that this issue is now fixed, so the double-counting issue should no longer be occurring. Please let us know if you are still seeing any double-counting.
September 27, 2012 8:54 AM
I am still having problems and your explanation is complicated. Yesterday seemed pretty close, but this morning I have a 568 calorie adjustment (and rising quickly), and all I've done is get out of bed and sit here. What I don't understand is why this has worked fine for months, then suddenly in the past few days it's gone crazy, and I haven't changed anything.

Here is what I think I have set. I am on Medifast, so my nutritional goal is 1000 per day. I know this gets adjusted to 1200, but that shouldn't matter. My exercise goal is 750 calories/week. My normal activity level is set to lightly active.

Like I said though, none of these have changed. So something in the MFP or FitBit calculations has to have. What I need to know is how to I (or you) fix this? It's become pretty much useless at this point and I will probably have to disconnect MFP from FitBit, which degrades the value of MFP a lot for me.

P.S. Today I set my calorie goal in FitBit to 1000 also. Prior to today I have never set any goals in FitBit.
September 27, 2012 9:13 AM
I am pretty sure my issue is fitbit's problem. It suddenly changed my weight to 369kg, and although I returned it to 58.1kg, it still thinks my bmi is 135!

There is now no record of the sudden, random weight gain, but its effects persist. Today, every time I look at my weight on fitbit, it returns to 369kg. This is a new issue since the latest app upgrade and may be what is happening to other mfp users too.
  3333854
September 27, 2012 9:48 AM
QUOTE:

There is now no record of the sudden, random weight gain, but its effects persist. Today, every time I look at my weight on fitbit, it returns to 369kg. This is a new issue since the latest app upgrade and may be what is happening to other mfp users too.


I'm one of the people having trouble (just in the past few days) with excessive fitbit calorie allowances in MFP. This weight discrepancy described by Oishii could certainly account for the problem -- if you weigh more, you tend to burn more calories for effort. However, my weight at FB hasn't changed at all. And if it were simply a matter of FB over-calculating the number of calories I'm burning, I would expect that to be reflected in the "Calories Burned" number at FB.

Today, I got out of bed, went to the bathroom, got coffee and came back to my computer and sat down. The last sync with fitbit was 16 minutes ago and I've only been siting for that 16 minutes. Fitbit shows the following since midnight:

Steps walked: 388
Calories burned: 554

At MFP, my current Fitbit calorie allowance in my diary: 200 calories
  23166008
September 27, 2012 9:49 AM
Hi Mike---I am thoroughly confused.

My FitBit data yesterday was:
9991 steps
29 floors (San Francisco will do that)
4.71 miles
1931 burned
780 active score

I didn't wear it all day just for my walk.

And MFP originally registered this as 82 calories burned and when I checked today it was 2 calories from exercise. Meanwhile, in frustration, I just went in and logged my walk as exercise and got way more than that.
September 27, 2012 10:02 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

There is now no record of the sudden, random weight gain, but its effects persist. Today, every time I look at my weight on fitbit, it returns to 369kg. This is a new issue since the latest app upgrade and may be what is happening to other mfp users too.


I'm one of the people having trouble (just in the past few days) with excessive fitbit calorie allowances in MFP. This weight discrepancy described by Oishii could certainly account for the problem -- if you weigh more, you tend to burn more calories for effort. However, my weight at FB hasn't changed at all. And if it were simply a matter of FB over-calculating the number of calories I'm burning, I would expect that to be reflected in the "Calories Burned" number at FB.

Today, I got out of bed, went to the bathroom, got coffee and came back to my computer and sat down. The last sync with fitbit was 16 minutes ago and I've only been siting for that 16 minutes. Fitbit shows the following since midnight:

Steps walked: 388
Calories burned: 554

At MFP, my current Fitbit calorie allowance in my diary: 200 calories


What is your:

- MFP calorie goal from normal daily activity
- Goal weight loss per week
- Exercise calories manually logged on MFP today
- Time that you last synced your Fitbit

You need all of those data points to figure out if your Fitbit adjustment is correct or not. If you can provide those, I can show you how the calculation would be performed.
September 27, 2012 10:11 AM
I was also having a problem with excessive calorie conversions over the last couple days; however, with the fix I am now getting no calorie adjustment today and the adjustments made to the last two days seem lower than normal.

I do get the calculation explanation but just going on the last few months of history, with this being the first real problem, there still seems to be an issue. I have tried to unlink and relink. Is there still some research going on that might resolve the ongoing problems?
September 27, 2012 10:23 AM
QUOTE:

I was also having a problem with excessive calorie conversions over the last couple days; however, with the fix I am now getting no calorie adjustment today and the adjustments made to the last two days seem lower than normal.

I do get the calculation explanation but just going on the last few months of history, with this being the first real problem, there still seems to be an issue. I have tried to unlink and relink. Is there still some research going on that might resolve the ongoing problems?


We changed the adjustment calculation very recently - we made one change which actually caused some very high adjustments inadvertently, so we changed the calculation again yesterday. The new calculation is based on your MFP calorie goal which we've determined is the best way to determine the adjustment. There may be some differences from what you are used to seeing, but these should be a more accurate way to take into account your Fitbit's data. The posts above should explain how the calculation is being performed.
September 27, 2012 10:26 AM
I've just never had it register as 0 before so I assumed something was wrong...hmmm.
September 27, 2012 10:33 AM
I am not seeing adjustments today or any for yesterday. Is there still a problem? I too saw crazy high numbers Monday and Tuesday.
September 27, 2012 10:44 AM
QUOTE:

Question: Fitbit seems to be double counting my calories!

QUOTE:


Thanks for the reply. I'm speaking about the adjustment we see in the exercise diary on MFP.

Just to summarize the issue reiterating my example:

--Today I ran, burning ~730 calories. I wore my FitBit Ultra during the work-out.
--Immediately after, I used the MFP app on my iPhone to log the type of exercise, the time I started, the duration of the exercise and the number of calories burned.
--Several hours later I returned home. My FitBit device synced with the FitBit server.
--I check the MFP app on my phone and see that I have burned an excessive amount of calories. I enter the diary and see that, not only are the calories I manually entered present (when I manually logged my exercise), but that there is a FitBit adjustment for nearly the identical number of calories.

What appears to be happening is that FitBit is ignoring the manual exercise I entered and adding the adjustment based upon the calories the device believes I burned during my work-out. In essence, my calories burned are doubled (or nearly so) within the diary. As such, I am showing that I can eat much more food than I actually should.


OK, I understand - this is a bug that we've been in communication with Fitbit about. They've told us that they are working on a fix, although I don't know what the status of that fix is. The symptoms of the issue are exactly as you described - you wear your Fitbit during some cardio activity, then log the exercise manually. The manually logged exercise is supposed to replace the calories tracked by your Fitbit tracker.

For example, if your Fitbit tracker thinks you burned 100 calories between 9am and 10am, but you know that you went for a bike ride during that time and actually burned 500 calories, then when you log your bike ride, Fitbit is supposed to replace the 100 calories burned with the 500 calories you logged manually, for a net gain of 400 calories. What appears to be happening though is that when you sync again, the 100 replaced calories come back, so your manually logged exercise now results in a net gain of 500 calories.

As far as we can tell, this issue isn't related to linking your account with MFP. As an experiment, you can try disconnecting MFP from fitbit, then logging your exercise directly on Fitbit.com, and seeing if you see the same results.

Do you mind trying that and letting us know what happens? Either way, we will continue to work with the Fitbit team, who've been very helpful, to try to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.



Per your request, Mike, I disconnected my FitBit from MFP this morning. I then went and worked out. I logged my exercise via the FitBit website and then returned home, allowing my device to sync.

The results are as follows: the FitBit site did not count both my manually added exercise/calories and the calories the device thought I earned based upon the steps it recorded while I worked out. In other words, I did not see the "double calorie" issue that I had reported previously when looking at the data on the FitBit website after disconnecting my FitBit from MFP. As such, I am doubtful, now, that the issue is strictly on the FitBit side of the fence.

Interestingly, I reconnected my FitBit to MyFitnessPal after and, voila, the double calories have once again appeared. There has got to be an issue in communication between these two services. It does not appear to be a strictly FitBit issue.

I hope this helps your team piece this puzzle together. We're dying for a fix.
September 27, 2012 10:47 AM
s
QUOTE:

I'm one of the people having trouble (just in the past few days) with excessive fitbit calorie allowances in MFP.

<snip>

Today, I got out of bed, went to the bathroom, got coffee and came back to my computer and sat down. The last sync with fitbit was 16 minutes ago and I've only been siting for that 16 minutes. Fitbit shows the following since midnight:

Steps walked: 388
Calories burned: 554

At MFP, my current Fitbit calorie allowance in my diary: 200 calories


QUOTE:

What is your:

- MFP calorie goal from normal daily activity
- Goal weight loss per week
- Exercise calories manually logged on MFP today
- Time that you last synced your Fitbit

You need all of those data points to figure out if your Fitbit adjustment is correct or not. If you can provide those, I can show you how the calculation would be performed.


I may have just ferreted out a clue as to what the problem is. I'm one of the people who, under a doctor's care, is set for less than 1200 calories a day, specifically 1,000 calories/day. After you explained that MFP does its calculation based on a minimum of 1200 calories/day, it occurred to me that it was a strange coincidence that my fitbit calorie adjustment was exactly 200 calories, thus bringing up my calorie allowance to 1200.

So, I did an experiment: I changed my daily calorie goal to 1100, forced a sync with my fitbit and, sure enough, within a few minutes, the fitbit calorie adjustment in my MFP diary had been reduced from 200 to 100 calories, again bringing my calorie allowance up to 1200.

Soooo, somehow, your algorithm is forcing those extra calories (to bring daily calories to 1200) into my diary, whereas prior to a couple of days ago, that allowance may have been part of the formula, but they weren't being added to the diary allowance.

As to your question:
- MFP calorie goal from normal daily activity: 1000
- Goal weight loss per week: see note below
- Exercise calories manually logged on MFP today: None
- Time that you last synced your Fitbit: provided in previous post

If you still need goal weight loss per week, let me know. I'll have to calculate that, because my goals are based on calories/day rather than a goal weight loss per week and will have to see what MFP "thinks" I should be losing/week (I lose much less than MFP predicts due to medical reasons).
Edited by owndbycatz On September 27, 2012 10:55 AM
  23166008
September 27, 2012 10:59 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

Question: Fitbit seems to be double counting my calories!

QUOTE:


Thanks for the reply. I'm speaking about the adjustment we see in the exercise diary on MFP.

Just to summarize the issue reiterating my example:

--Today I ran, burning ~730 calories. I wore my FitBit Ultra during the work-out.
--Immediately after, I used the MFP app on my iPhone to log the type of exercise, the time I started, the duration of the exercise and the number of calories burned.
--Several hours later I returned home. My FitBit device synced with the FitBit server.
--I check the MFP app on my phone and see that I have burned an excessive amount of calories. I enter the diary and see that, not only are the calories I manually entered present (when I manually logged my exercise), but that there is a FitBit adjustment for nearly the identical number of calories.

What appears to be happening is that FitBit is ignoring the manual exercise I entered and adding the adjustment based upon the calories the device believes I burned during my work-out. In essence, my calories burned are doubled (or nearly so) within the diary. As such, I am showing that I can eat much more food than I actually should.


OK, I understand - this is a bug that we've been in communication with Fitbit about. They've told us that they are working on a fix, although I don't know what the status of that fix is. The symptoms of the issue are exactly as you described - you wear your Fitbit during some cardio activity, then log the exercise manually. The manually logged exercise is supposed to replace the calories tracked by your Fitbit tracker.

For example, if your Fitbit tracker thinks you burned 100 calories between 9am and 10am, but you know that you went for a bike ride during that time and actually burned 500 calories, then when you log your bike ride, Fitbit is supposed to replace the 100 calories burned with the 500 calories you logged manually, for a net gain of 400 calories. What appears to be happening though is that when you sync again, the 100 replaced calories come back, so your manually logged exercise now results in a net gain of 500 calories.

As far as we can tell, this issue isn't related to linking your account with MFP. As an experiment, you can try disconnecting MFP from fitbit, then logging your exercise directly on Fitbit.com, and seeing if you see the same results.

Do you mind trying that and letting us know what happens? Either way, we will continue to work with the Fitbit team, who've been very helpful, to try to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.



Per your request, Mike, I disconnected my FitBit from MFP this morning. I then went and worked out. I logged my exercise via the FitBit website and then returned home, allowing my device to sync.

The results are as follows: the FitBit site did not count both my manually added exercise/calories and the calories the device thought I earned based upon the steps it recorded while I worked out. In other words, I did not see the "double calorie" issue that I had reported previously when looking at the data on the FitBit website after disconnecting my FitBit from MFP. As such, I am doubtful, now, that the issue is strictly on the FitBit side of the fence.

Interestingly, I reconnected my FitBit to MyFitnessPal after and, voila, the double calories have once again appeared. There has got to be an issue in communication between these two services. It does not appear to be a strictly FitBit issue.

I hope this helps your team piece this puzzle together. We're dying for a fix.


This could be a coincidence - our understanding of the double counting issue is that when you initially record the manual exercise, it is recorded correctly at Fitbit. However, if you sync your Fitbit again, that's when the double counting occurs. It's not until the second sync that the double counting takes effect - it's like the Fitbit is adding data back even though you already replaced it.

You might have seen that second sync at the same time you reconnected MFP?
September 27, 2012 11:01 AM
QUOTE:

I may have just ferreted out a clue as to what the problem is. I'm one of the people who, under a doctor's care, is set for less than 1200 calories a day, specifically 1,000 calories/day. After you explained that MFP does its calculation based on a minimum of 1200 calories/day, it occurred to me that it was a strange coincidence that my fitbit calorie adjustment was exactly 200 calories, thus bringing up my calorie allowance to 1200.

So, I did an experiment: I changed my daily calorie goal to 1100, forced a sync with my fitbit and, sure enough, within a few minutes, the fitbit calorie adjustment in my MFP diary had been reduced from 200 to 100 calories, again bringing my calorie allowance up to 1200.

Soooo, somehow, your algorithm is forcing those extra calories (to bring daily calories to 1200) into my diary, whereas prior to a couple of days ago, that allowance may have been part of the formula, but they weren't being added to the diary allowance.

As to your question:
- MFP calorie goal from normal daily activity: 1000
- Goal weight loss per week: see note below
- Exercise calories manually logged on MFP today: None
- Time that you last synced your Fitbit: provided in previous post

If you still need goal weight loss per week, let me know. I'll have to calculate that, because my goals are based on calories/day rather than a goal weight loss per week and will have to see what MFP "thinks" I should be losing/week (I lose much less than MFP predicts due to medical reasons).


OK that's an interesting use case. We'll take a look and see if we can make an adjustment to take that into account properly.
September 27, 2012 11:40 AM
QUOTE:

I am pretty sure my issue is fitbit's problem. It suddenly changed my weight to 369kg, and although I returned it to 58.1kg, it still thinks my bmi is 135!

There is now no record of the sudden, random weight gain, but its effects persist. Today, every time I look at my weight on fitbit, it returns to 369kg. This is a new issue since the latest app upgrade and may be what is happening to other mfp users too.


Mike, fitbit are very slow about this kind of thing. Could you mention this issue to them? I gave up logging on mfp yesterday because the numbers were so ridiculous, and if this is happening to newbies, they may give up.
  3333854
September 27, 2012 11:49 AM
I've been fighting with double posted calorie burns for the last several weeks. I'm very conscientious about logging the proper time and utilize a HRM for my cardio work to determine my calorie expenditures. I'm almost at a point of abandoning my Fitbit even though I really enjoy the idea of it. It's messing a diary I spend a lot of time trying to keep accurate.
Edited by alienrite On September 27, 2012 12:22 PM
  25000732
September 27, 2012 11:54 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:


Soooo, somehow, your algorithm is forcing those extra calories (to bring daily calories to 1200) into my diary, whereas prior to a couple of days ago, that allowance may have been part of the formula, but they weren't being added to the diary allowance.



OK that's an interesting use case. We'll take a look and see if we can make an adjustment to take that into account properly.


Thanks, Mike. In case it helps to know: I've disabled the "estimate calories" option on fitbit because someone suggested that might be contributing to the problem. It's clearly not the source of the problem, but I prefer fitbit use actual anyway, so I've left the option disabled.

If there's anything other info you need me to provide, or anything you want me to try, let me know. Feel free to contact directly, as I don't watch the message boards all the time.
Edited by owndbycatz On September 27, 2012 11:57 AM
  23166008
September 27, 2012 11:59 AM
Mike - thank you for the explanation of the calculations. Have MFP and Fitbit looked at the timezone settings between your two sites? I've noticed that my timezone on MFP is set to US Central, with a description of GMT -6.00. On Fitbit my timezone is also set to US Central, with a description of GMT -5.00 (which is correct for our current daylight savings time). Is it possible that the timezones are off by an hour at the API level and the exercises and tracking don't overlap each other and double-count?
September 27, 2012 12:16 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:

Question: Fitbit seems to be double counting my calories!

QUOTE:


Thanks for the reply. I'm speaking about the adjustment we see in the exercise diary on MFP.

Just to summarize the issue reiterating my example:

--Today I ran, burning ~730 calories. I wore my FitBit Ultra during the work-out.
--Immediately after, I used the MFP app on my iPhone to log the type of exercise, the time I started, the duration of the exercise and the number of calories burned.
--Several hours later I returned home. My FitBit device synced with the FitBit server.
--I check the MFP app on my phone and see that I have burned an excessive amount of calories. I enter the diary and see that, not only are the calories I manually entered present (when I manually logged my exercise), but that there is a FitBit adjustment for nearly the identical number of calories.

What appears to be happening is that FitBit is ignoring the manual exercise I entered and adding the adjustment based upon the calories the device believes I burned during my work-out. In essence, my calories burned are doubled (or nearly so) within the diary. As such, I am showing that I can eat much more food than I actually should.


OK, I understand - this is a bug that we've been in communication with Fitbit about. They've told us that they are working on a fix, although I don't know what the status of that fix is. The symptoms of the issue are exactly as you described - you wear your Fitbit during some cardio activity, then log the exercise manually. The manually logged exercise is supposed to replace the calories tracked by your Fitbit tracker.

For example, if your Fitbit tracker thinks you burned 100 calories between 9am and 10am, but you know that you went for a bike ride during that time and actually burned 500 calories, then when you log your bike ride, Fitbit is supposed to replace the 100 calories burned with the 500 calories you logged manually, for a net gain of 400 calories. What appears to be happening though is that when you sync again, the 100 replaced calories come back, so your manually logged exercise now results in a net gain of 500 calories.

As far as we can tell, this issue isn't related to linking your account with MFP. As an experiment, you can try disconnecting MFP from fitbit, then logging your exercise directly on Fitbit.com, and seeing if you see the same results.

Do you mind trying that and letting us know what happens? Either way, we will continue to work with the Fitbit team, who've been very helpful, to try to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.



Per your request, Mike, I disconnected my FitBit from MFP this morning. I then went and worked out. I logged my exercise via the FitBit website and then returned home, allowing my device to sync.

The results are as follows: the FitBit site did not count both my manually added exercise/calories and the calories the device thought I earned based upon the steps it recorded while I worked out. In other words, I did not see the "double calorie" issue that I had reported previously when looking at the data on the FitBit website after disconnecting my FitBit from MFP. As such, I am doubtful, now, that the issue is strictly on the FitBit side of the fence.

Interestingly, I reconnected my FitBit to MyFitnessPal after and, voila, the double calories have once again appeared. There has got to be an issue in communication between these two services. It does not appear to be a strictly FitBit issue.

I hope this helps your team piece this puzzle together. We're dying for a fix.


This could be a coincidence - our understanding of the double counting issue is that when you initially record the manual exercise, it is recorded correctly at Fitbit. However, if you sync your Fitbit again, that's when the double counting occurs. It's not until the second sync that the double counting takes effect - it's like the Fitbit is adding data back even though you already replaced it.

You might have seen that second sync at the same time you reconnected MFP?


I'm not sure we're understanding each other. I'll try and walk through this again to explain what has been happening for the last month.

--Step One: I work out, wearing my FitBit. While still at the gym (after the work-out), I open up my MFP iPhone app and manually log the exercise performed, the time I started, the duration of said exercise and the calories burned -- all through MFP (not the FitBit app).

--Step Two: Sometime later, I return home. As you know, when we get in proximity to our computer to which the FitBit charger is attached, the FitBit device (in my case, an Ultra) transmits its data to the FitBit servers.

--Step Three: Shortly after, if I log into MFP (via PC or my phone), I can still see my manually entered exercise data. Additionally, however, there is a large FitBit calorie adjustment (which is typically very nearly identical to those calories that I manually entered for my exercise) appearing in the MFP diary. As a result, my daily net calories fall greatly and I am told that I can eat much more and still be on target for my calorie goals.

You allude to a second sync at FitBit in your prior post, however, there is no second sync here.

To summarize my experiment today (not trying to be redundant, but want to make sure I'm being clear):

Step One: Last night, once I read your last post to me, I unlinked my FitBit device from the MFP site.
Step Two: This AM, per my usual routine, I went to the gym. Today I did cardio for an hour. I wore my FitBit device the entire time.
Step Three: Per your request, this time I logged my exercise, duration, time started and calories burned manually through the FitBit iPhone app. I did not log it through the MFP site, as I was, as you requested, testing the FitBit side of things.
Step Four: I came home around noon. As usual, once I got into proximity of the FitBit receiver on my PC, my FitBit device sent its data to the FitBit server.
Step Five: I then logged on to the FitBit site again. Its diary accurately reflects my exercise and does not make any large adjustment (in essence, it recognizes that the calories I burned from 9:40 to 10:40 are from my manually entered exercise data and does not add them). To be clear, the FitBit site is not doubling up on calories. The FitBit appears to be working appropriately.
Step Six: Just out of curiosity, then, I manually enter my exercise data via the MFP app. I then relink my FitBit to my MFP account and then check my MFP diary. Suddenly, the double calorie burned issue is noted. Once again, MFP is showing my manually entered exercise data along with a nearly identical, large FitBit adjustment. So, instead of showing that I burned just my manually-entered 750 calories, I am being told I burned nearly twice that amount today.
Step Seven: I unlink FitBit and MFP. The calories are no longer being double-counted in MFP.

As you can see, FitBit, when not linked to MFP, seems to be on-target. There is no double-calorie issue. Exercise is only counted once. Yet, when I link my FitBit device back up to MFP, exercise is counted twice.

I do not believe this is coincidence. There has got to be some sort of communication issue between the two sites, some sort of glitch in calculation.

Some in these forums have suggested it is a time zone issue. I am in the central time zone: on MFP, my account settings states central time zone is GMT-06:00. While, on FitBit, my account settings state central time zone is GMT-05:00. I do not know if this is the source of the problem or not.

As I've said, I used FitBit throughout July with no issues at all. Exercise calories were not counted twice. However, sometime last month, this changed (all without me changing the way I have been logging things -- ie, I have been logging things in the same manner since I started using FB with MFP). I am not the only one who has noticed this.

Thanks for your continued efforts to solve this.
September 27, 2012 12:16 PM
QUOTE:

I am still having problems and your explanation is complicated. Yesterday seemed pretty close, but this morning I have a 568 calorie adjustment (and rising quickly), and all I've done is get out of bed and sit here. What I don't understand is why this has worked fine for months, then suddenly in the past few days it's gone crazy, and I haven't changed anything.

Here is what I think I have set. I am on Medifast, so my nutritional goal is 1000 per day. I know this gets adjusted to 1200, but that shouldn't matter. My exercise goal is 750 calories/week. My normal activity level is set to lightly active.

Like I said though, none of these have changed. So something in the MFP or FitBit calculations has to have. What I need to know is how to I (or you) fix this? It's become pretty much useless at this point and I will probably have to disconnect MFP from FitBit, which degrades the value of MFP a lot for me.

P.S. Today I set my calorie goal in FitBit to 1000 also. Prior to today I have never set any goals in FitBit.


I don't really like quoting myself but I've seen a number of responses to questions since my post and nothing about my post, so here goes. It is not working correctly, at least for me, as of this morning. At this point I have disconnected MFP from my FitBit and I guess I'll have to enter exercise into both. And I still don't quite understand why it worked great for as long as I've been using MFP, and then just went nuts a few days ago.
September 27, 2012 12:22 PM
There are definitely still some differences; however they unfortunately do not seem more accurate and are actually still all over the place. I have been more active at my desk job today than usual however my calorie adjustment has continued to adjust down over the last hour and it was only a fraction of what might have been a normal adjustment in the past.

Good thing is...I think I know how things have been working well enough to mentally work out what I should and shouldn't eat without worrying about the adjustment but honestly I really enjoyed having that logical correlation between what I was doing and how I was losing. I think there is still something going on...is it possible there are still some problems on the FB side of things?
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I was also having a problem with excessive calorie conversions over the last couple days; however, with the fix I am now getting no calorie adjustment today and the adjustments made to the last two days seem lower than normal.

I do get the calculation explanation but just going on the last few months of history, with this being the first real problem, there still seems to be an issue. I have tried to unlink and relink. Is there still some research going on that might resolve the ongoing problems?


We changed the adjustment calculation very recently - we made one change which actually caused some very high adjustments inadvertently, so we changed the calculation again yesterday. The new calculation is based on your MFP calorie goal which we've determined is the best way to determine the adjustment. There may be some differences from what you are used to seeing, but these should be a more accurate way to take into account your Fitbit's data. The posts above should explain how the calculation is being performed.
September 27, 2012 12:47 PM
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QUOTE:

QUOTE:

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Question: Fitbit seems to be double counting my calories!

QUOTE:


Thanks for the reply. I'm speaking about the adjustment we see in the exercise diary on MFP.

Just to summarize the issue reiterating my example:

--Today I ran, burning ~730 calories. I wore my FitBit Ultra during the work-out.
--Immediately after, I used the MFP app on my iPhone to log the type of exercise, the time I started, the duration of the exercise and the number of calories burned.
--Several hours later I returned home. My FitBit device synced with the FitBit server.
--I check the MFP app on my phone and see that I have burned an excessive amount of calories. I enter the diary and see that, not only are the calories I manually entered present (when I manually logged my exercise), but that there is a FitBit adjustment for nearly the identical number of calories.

What appears to be happening is that FitBit is ignoring the manual exercise I entered and adding the adjustment based upon the calories the device believes I burned during my work-out. In essence, my calories burned are doubled (or nearly so) within the diary. As such, I am showing that I can eat much more food than I actually should.


OK, I understand - this is a bug that we've been in communication with Fitbit about. They've told us that they are working on a fix, although I don't know what the status of that fix is. The symptoms of the issue are exactly as you described - you wear your Fitbit during some cardio activity, then log the exercise manually. The manually logged exercise is supposed to replace the calories tracked by your Fitbit tracker.

For example, if your Fitbit tracker thinks you burned 100 calories between 9am and 10am, but you know that you went for a bike ride during that time and actually burned 500 calories, then when you log your bike ride, Fitbit is supposed to replace the 100 calories burned with the 500 calories you logged manually, for a net gain of 400 calories. What appears to be happening though is that when you sync again, the 100 replaced calories come back, so your manually logged exercise now results in a net gain of 500 calories.

As far as we can tell, this issue isn't related to linking your account with MFP. As an experiment, you can try disconnecting MFP from fitbit, then logging your exercise directly on Fitbit.com, and seeing if you see the same results.

Do you mind trying that and letting us know what happens? Either way, we will continue to work with the Fitbit team, who've been very helpful, to try to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.



Per your request, Mike, I disconnected my FitBit from MFP this morning. I then went and worked out. I logged my exercise via the FitBit website and then returned home, allowing my device to sync.

The results are as follows: the FitBit site did not count both my manually added exercise/calories and the calories the device thought I earned based upon the steps it recorded while I worked out. In other words, I did not see the "double calorie" issue that I had reported previously when looking at the data on the FitBit website after disconnecting my FitBit from MFP. As such, I am doubtful, now, that the issue is strictly on the FitBit side of the fence.

Interestingly, I reconnected my FitBit to MyFitnessPal after and, voila, the double calories have once again appeared. There has got to be an issue in communication between these two services. It does not appear to be a strictly FitBit issue.

I hope this helps your team piece this puzzle together. We're dying for a fix.


This could be a coincidence - our understanding of the double counting issue is that when you initially record the manual exercise, it is recorded correctly at Fitbit. However, if you sync your Fitbit again, that's when the double counting occurs. It's not until the second sync that the double counting takes effect - it's like the Fitbit is adding data back even though you already replaced it.

You might have seen that second sync at the same time you reconnected MFP?


I'm not sure we're understanding each other. I'll try and walk through this again to explain what has been happening for the last month.

--Step One: I work out, wearing my FitBit. While still at the gym (after the work-out), I open up my MFP iPhone app and manually log the exercise performed, the time I started, the duration of said exercise and the calories burned -- all through MFP (not the FitBit app).

--Step Two: Sometime later, I return home. As you know, when we get in proximity to our computer to which the FitBit charger is attached, the FitBit device (in my case, an Ultra) transmits its data to the FitBit servers.

--Step Three: Shortly after, if I log into MFP (via PC or my phone), I can still see my manually entered exercise data. Additionally, however, there is a large FitBit calorie adjustment (which is typically very nearly identical to those calories that I manually entered for my exercise) appearing in the MFP diary. As a result, my daily net calories fall greatly and I am told that I can eat much more and still be on target for my calorie goals.

You allude to a second sync at FitBit in your prior post, however, there is no second sync here.

To summarize my experiment today (not trying to be redundant, but want to make sure I'm being clear):

Step One: Last night, once I read your last post to me, I unlinked my FitBit device from the MFP site.
Step Two: This AM, per my usual routine, I went to the gym. Today I did cardio for an hour. I wore my FitBit device the entire time.
Step Three: Per your request, this time I logged my exercise, duration, time started and calories burned manually through the FitBit iPhone app. I did not log it through the MFP site, as I was, as you requested, testing the FitBit side of things.
Step Four: I came home around noon. As usual, once I got into proximity of the FitBit receiver on my PC, my FitBit device sent its data to the FitBit server.
Step Five: I then logged on to the FitBit site again. Its diary accurately reflects my exercise and does not make any large adjustment (in essence, it recognizes that the calories I burned from 9:40 to 10:40 are from my manually entered exercise data and does not add them). To be clear, the FitBit site is not doubling up on calories. The FitBit appears to be working appropriately.
Step Six: Just out of curiosity, then, I manually enter my exercise data via the MFP app. I then relink my FitBit to my MFP account and then check my MFP diary. Suddenly, the double calorie burned issue is noted. Once again, MFP is showing my manually entered exercise data along with a nearly identical, large FitBit adjustment. So, instead of showing that I burned just my manually-entered 750 calories, I am being told I burned nearly twice that amount today.
Step Seven: I unlink FitBit and MFP. The calories are no longer being double-counted in MFP.

As you can see, FitBit, when not linked to MFP, seems to be on-target. There is no double-calorie issue. Exercise is only counted once. Yet, when I link my FitBit device back up to MFP, exercise is counted twice.

I do not believe this is coincidence. There has got to be some sort of communication issue between the two sites, some sort of glitch in calculation.

Some in these forums have suggested it is a time zone issue. I am in the central time zone: on MFP, my account settings states central time zone is GMT-06:00. While, on FitBit, my account settings state central time zone is GMT-05:00. I do not know if this is the source of the problem or not.

As I've said, I used FitBit throughout July with no issues at all. Exercise calories were not counted twice. However, sometime last month, this changed (all without me changing the way I have been logging things -- ie, I have been logging things in the same manner since I started using FB with MFP). I am not the only one who has noticed this.

Thanks for your continued efforts to solve this.


Hi,

I think the issue you're experiencing is going to be resolved by a fix put in place by Fitbit, that should go "live" later this week.

I have been able to reproduce the problem Mike has been detailing, and from my own experience it does sound as though the problem you're reporting is related to this issue.

It can be a bit difficult to spot the problem happening when using Fitbit's tools alone, and logging exercise there. I'd like to detail the behavior when it happens on the Fitbit side without the account linked to MyFitnessPal.
The adjustment problem is easier to see when the account syncs to MyFitnessPal, because our Fitbit Calorie Adjustment is a projection for the rest of your day, based on the current calorie data imported from Fitbit. So a smaller inaccuracy generated on Fitbit's site may appear magnified after our calculations extrapolate the adjustment for the rest of the day.

Here's how I've been able to verify the problem using Fitbit's tools only. You may be able to reproduce this result once I've pointed out where to look for the result. If not, please let us know. But I'm highly confident that your issue will be resolved with the upcoming fix Fitbit is implementing in a few days.

- Wear your Fitbit during exercise (don't enter your exercise manually yet)
- Allow your Fitbit to sync with Fitbit's site
- On Fitbit's website, note your total calories burned
- On the dashboard graph of calories plotted against time, find the columns that represent your activity during the exercise, and total these calories (I'll refer to these as "device calories")
- Click the Log Activity link on the Fitbit site, and add your exercise calories, start time, and duration.
- Note your total calories again. They should be correct: the logged exercise calories should over-write the "device calories"
- Force your Fitbit to sync again, by placing it on its station. Refresh the Fitbit page until it reflects the latest sync
- Check your total calories. They will jump up by the amount of the "device calories" (The graph will still show that it is reflecting the logged exercise calories for the time period in question, but the total calories will have taken an upward jump
- Return to the Log Activity page, click the button to "edit" your logged activity, make NO changes, just click the Update button
- Your total calories will jump back down, by the amount of the "device calories"
- The next time the device syncs again, the calories will jump back up.

If you do not see this behavior, then it's likely Fitbit's fix has gone live. If so, you should also not see an extraordinarily large adjustment on our site.

If you don't see the behavior described above, but DO see an overlarge Fitbit Calorie Adjustment, please let us know the details and we'll continue to investigate the issue.

Regards,
Steven
MyFitnessPal Staff
September 27, 2012 2:07 PM
The last adjustment I've had from fitbit to MFP was on Sept. 25th, even though I have been more active than usual the last two days. I understand how the fitbit/MFP synch works...and have been using it successfully for many months. My settings are correct, with no recent changes on either site. Even on days that I don't wear my fitbit, I get an adjustment of 98 calories. I have tried re-synching the device and unplugging it from the USB port. Still, nothing. The problem seems to be that the two sites just aren't synching over the last few days. Admin, can you help? Thanks in advance!

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