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TOPIC: Fitbit MINUS Adjustment

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October 10, 2012 12:29 AM
I thought this was working ok - Just connected my fitbit this morning, and entered some exercises in, and the adjustment has zeroed out my exercise.

I have never seen it register a minus before.
The first time I did my conditioning exercises, I measured them with the fitbit, recorded them in MFP and now just select that exercise with the time.

Please can someone take a look?

Many thanks.
October 10, 2012 12:39 AM
Sorry, I can't see your diary, and even if I could I wouldn't be able to see your exercise record unless we were friends and I viewed your diary entry via the phone app.

I suggest posting this on Fitbit Users forum and logging a support query with Fitbit
October 10, 2012 12:46 AM
Thanks for the response kendra... I am pretty sure that when there were issues over the past few weeks with FB/MFP - Mike (owner) encouraged people to post in the Tech Support forum as it was likely to be seen and acted upon quicker than if posted in the forum area in general - hence the post here.

It seems to have reset itself now, but will keep an eye over the day, as I have been poorly this week, so only cals being burned are those that come from my shuffling around my house today... so would like for it to be as accurate as possible.

October 11, 2012 5:34 PM

Sorry for the delay in responding to you and sorry for any inconvenience. I'd be happy to help you troubleshoot the connection between your two accounts, if there is a technical issue. May I ask you to check a few items that will help us to determine if your accounts are syncing properly? Because we can't access your Fitbit account directly, it will be very helpful if you can check the following items to see if they match between your accounts.

There are three data points that you can compare between your Fitbit and MFP accounts to determine if your accounts are syncing properly.

These three items are Fitbit Steps, Fitbit Sleep Minutes, and the FItBit Adjustment (for calories burned).

You can see your Fitbit Steps and Fitbit Sleep Minutes in two places:

1. Under the "My Home" tab, click "Check-In". This will take you to a screen where you can enter in new progress measurements. This is where we record your Fitbit Steps and Fitbit Sleep Minutes. If you want to go directly to that screen you can go to this URL:

2. You can see a graph of your Steps and Sleep Minutes by going to the "Reports" tab and choosing to graph "Progress". When you see the option to "Choose a Report" you can choose Steps or Sleep Minutes. This will give you a little graph.

(Note that if you do not attach your Fitbit to the wrist band and set it to stopwatch mode when you sleep, you should not expect to see any Fitbit Sleep Minutes data.)

If you want to verify that the Fitbit calorie adjustment is working correctly, here's an explanation of how we calculate the adjustment:

To understand your Fitbit Calorie Adjustment for any completed day, take your "Calories burned from normal daily activity" on your goals page (

Add to it any exercise calories you've burned as shown in your exercise diary, but don't include your Fitbit Adjustment

Compare that total to your calories burned on your Fitbit (only if it's an entire day's worth of calories)

The difference between the two is your Fitbit adjustment

At this time we do not allow negative Fitbit adjustments, so we bring your Fitbit adjustment back to 0 if it's negative. We are looking into allowing negative adjustments in the future, but for now, you might want to lower your MyFitnessPal "activity level" in your diet/fitness profile by a notch, if possible, if you're not seeing a regular "positive" adjustment.

The adjustment that you see during the course of an incomplete day is a projection made for the entire day, based on the amount of activity currently reported by Fitbit. Your adjustment will become more accurate of the course of the day, each time your Fitbit has a chance to update with your account on

Here is a more detailed explanation of the way we calculate the projected adjustment before a day is over:

If you only have a partial day's worth of calories on your Fitbit, we calculate how many minutes are left in the day, and we use that to create a projection for how many calories you'll burn today.

The calculation is: Fitbit calories so far for the day + (minutes left in the day / total minutes in a day) * (calories burned from normal daily activity)

So for example, if it's 12 noon, you've burned 1200 calories so far today according to Fitbit, and your calories burned from normal daily activity on MFP is 2000, the projection is:

1200 + (720 / 1440) * 2000 =
1200 + (1/2) * 2000 =
1200 + 1000=
so the adjustment becomes
2200 - 2000 (mfp calories burned from normal daily activity)=

After comparing the activity on Fitbit and the related synced items on MFP, if you find a discrepancy or a failure to sync, please let us know the details and we will be happy to investigate further.

MyFitnessPal Staff
October 11, 2012 5:37 PM
I had a minus today for the first time ever, very strange. I've been using it for a long time and this has never happened. I deleted the minus and manually added my exercise for today.
October 11, 2012 5:38 PM
That happened to me yesterday. At the time, my fitbit adjustment was 488 calories. I took off my fitbit and forgot to put it back on. Later, when I logged my pool work, the fitbit adjustment changed to -300something. I just put it back at 488.
October 11, 2012 5:43 PM
I've always had a negative adjustment which I thought worked the same as when I log exercise on MFP.

Like today: Goal 1970 Food 1796 Exercise -30 Net 1766
October 12, 2012 1:38 PM
I am getting negative adjustments and I have not plugged in my Fitbit. The negative adjustments equal any exercise I have just entered.
October 12, 2012 2:26 PM
Nevermind :)
Edited by bakerygirl78 On October 12, 2012 3:22 PM
October 12, 2012 7:33 PM
I ahve negative today also
October 16, 2012 10:15 AM
Dear Fitbit Users,

We just launched a wide range of new partner integrations, and with the launch came an upgrade to our handling of the Fitbit Calorie Adjustment.

Previously, it wasn't possible for us to adjust your calorie goal downward based on your daily activity. This meant MyFitnessPal users needed to "dial down" their profile's activity level in order to make elbow room for the Fitbit Calorie Adjustment to add calories to their Net Calorie Goal.

With today's upgrade, you don't have to worry about your settings at MyFitnessPal. If your projected activity level is lower than our estimated calorie goal at MyFitnessPal, we'll adjust your calorie goal downward with a negative adjustment. As you're more active over the course of the day, and your Fitbit syncs again, the adjustment will reflect your activity.

We believe this will give you a much more accurate sense of your daily activity and how your Fitbit's data is affecting your goals. Please let us know!

MyFitnessPal Staff
October 16, 2012 10:48 AM
So, I'm supposed to now have a positive adjustment and the more active I am while wearing my Fitbit, the adjustment will go down to zero?
October 16, 2012 10:54 AM
Not liking this "new update".

Since I don't exercise until the evenings I get to look at a BIG FAT NEGATIVE that only gets bigger as my day progresses noway Doesn't do much for my motivation factor...

Who decided this was best for me?? grumble
October 16, 2012 7:11 PM
Dear FitBit Adjusters,

Please explain how I can do 400 calories worth of exercise and FitBit automatically adjusts my exercise to -400 making my totals calories from exercise 0.

October 16, 2012 7:26 PM
not understanding this, had it all worked out fine now I don't know ............BUMP
October 17, 2012 6:58 AM
Added 979 calories burned in fasted workout this morning. MFP has added -107 in fitbit adjustment. So net calories burned is 872. That makes NO MATHEMATICAL SENSE. You cannot take away calories that I have actually burned. IT IS INCORRECT NO MATTER HOW IT SHAKES DOWN BY DAYS END. Make this OPTIONAL or just remove it. You're messing up your own good thIng...
Edited by Ripley7006 On October 17, 2012 7:02 AM
October 17, 2012 7:10 AM
So my Fitbit calorie adjustment this morning just added +89 calories. As in, eating 89 calories. Pretty sure I didn't eat my Fitbit.

What gives?
October 17, 2012 9:35 AM

Not liking this "new update".

Since I don't exercise until the evenings I get to look at a BIG FAT NEGATIVE that only gets bigger as my day progresses noway Doesn't do much for my motivation factor...

Who decided this was best for me?? grumble

TRy changing your food plan setting in fitbit from "Personalized" to sedentary", It is the gear on food plan. When you read it you will see why.
October 17, 2012 10:05 AM

Since I don't exercise until the evenings I get to look at a BIG FAT NEGATIVE that only gets bigger as my day progresses noway Doesn't do much for my motivation factor...

^This! I wear my FB all day, but since my base charger is at home it doesnt register anything until evening, so all day now MFP (which i log while at work) keeps lowering my calorie goal, then I get home and it jumps back up. Maybe once i get a bluetooth version that can sync with my phone it will work out better since they will both be up to date more often.
October 17, 2012 10:24 AM


Since I don't exercise until the evenings I get to look at a BIG FAT NEGATIVE that only gets bigger as my day progresses noway Doesn't do much for my motivation factor...

^This! I wear my FB all day, but since my base charger is at home it doesnt register anything until evening, so all day now MFP (which i log while at work) keeps lowering my calorie goal, then I get home and it jumps back up. Maybe once i get a bluetooth version that can sync with my phone it will work out better since they will both be up to date more often.

Not sure the bluetooth version will help. I have a base on my work computer so it syncs all day. Of course most days I sit on my arse but on those days I don't, I STILL have a negative....until I get my workout in at the end of the day... very DE-motivating....
October 17, 2012 10:45 AM
My only saving grace today was that I was at the gym this morning and for the first time since being ill, I was back to walking and running ...
Tomorrow is a light day so this is where the trouble will start for me I think ....
October 17, 2012 12:09 PM
Well, this is just as fouled-up (substitute any other phrase you like) as the no option for accepting the Aria scale readings automatically or optionally.

Dear MFP Staff, it is fine that you should use the Fitbit adjustment to bring down the calories burned by activity based on the sync with the Fitbit site. It is not correct to allow the Fitbit adjustment to show a negative number ever.

First, it is a non-motivator to see that you have spent the first half of your normal day (not at the gym or running around the block) and now you have less total calories available to eat than you did when you woke up that morning.

Next, it shows that something is wrong on your logic or the estimate you have established for daily calorie goal for a person. Assume a sedentary setting in MFP goal planing and given the weight, sex, size is all accurate and a choice is to not expect any planned exercise; the daily calorie goal you automatically recommend is for a 1 lb loss per per week reduces the BMR by 20%. Assuming a BMR of 2300 calls this would result in a daily goal of ~1840 Cal. So if a person just didn't do anything and ate no more than 1840 Cal a day, they should theoretically lose 1 lb a week, but if you were ill and stayed in bed the Fitbit would record very little normal activity, so your negative adjustment means that the person has a negative calorie adjustment to the daily (already reduced from BMR) goal. This conceivably means a sick person would be directed to eat less to meet the reduced calorie goal; indeed, less than 20% below the minimum to maintain bodily function. I would assume this is something that you do not want to encourage.

For those two reasons alone, you should not adjust the entry to a negative number. You can just as easily let the entry remain at zero until some positive effect can be recorded.
October 17, 2012 1:20 PM
Well, this is not conducive to good fitness. I have not lost 73+ pounds letting it do negative calories. That's just stupid to change the functionality to take away calories as though I'd put something in my body to minus from my daily intake. I have gotten everyone I know to buy a FitBit and sync to MFP. Now I have to go tell them that it's all screwed up and don't trust it because sitting around and not moving will negative you to the point where you don't eat anything. That's not good for weight loss!
Edited by rgcarey On October 17, 2012 1:23 PM
October 17, 2012 1:49 PM
My first negative adjustment was yesterday, but it made sense to me because I'd actually left it sitting at home. So, as far as the FitBit was concerned, I was burning no calories beyond my BMR. Ergo, it lowered my goal from the usual "moderately active" level to compensate for what it believed was an absense of activity.

I, too, am unable to update while at work, so I anticipate the FitBit will continue to percieve I'm inactive during much of the day and lower my target until I can check in. However, I'm hoping my general practice, wherein I specifically aim to eat about 2/3 of my calcualted calories (which is just under my BMR, anyway) at work, and then adjust what I eat after work to finish off my caloric goals, may make this largely a non-issue because I'm usually in a position to check-in once I get home and before I start getting ready for bed. After all, the important part is what our deficit, equilibrium, or surplus looks like at the end of the day.

I think the big thing is remembering that part you wear is limited to uploading your activity to only certain circumstances while the calorie adjustment sent to MFP is probably updated based on projections more frequently, whether your FitBit is connected to their site or not (back when it couldn't go down, I didn't pay much attention to it). So, my focus during the day is going to be less on what the FitBit tells MFP what I should do for calories and more on making sure its still functioning properly. As long as the bit on my belt is still counting my steps, it should balance out in the end.
Edited by csuhar On October 17, 2012 1:53 PM
October 17, 2012 3:20 PM
Now, I've come home and plugged in / docked my FitBit and what had been a negative adjustment has changed to an increase.

My concern, now is what will happen if I have a day where I both wear it and leave it off. Hopefully, I'll still be able to capture the times when I'm the most active and anything I don't capture will be sedentary or would not be wearing the FitBit, anyway.
Edited by csuhar On October 17, 2012 3:23 PM

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