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TOPIC: Fitbit MINUS Adjustment

 
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November 7, 2012 6:25 AM
it had been working normally for me until today. I just came on to add breakfast this and saw this:

http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn136/glitteringloke/mfp.jpg

really? not sure how i can exercise in the wrong direction.... makes me think there's a negative in the code somewhere...

EDITS: (can't figure out how to show a picture in this forum apparently)
Edited by glitteringloke On November 7, 2012 6:26 AM
  29202483
November 7, 2012 6:37 AM
Hi I know what your talking about, I had fit bit linked to my Fitness Pal and Un linked them for that reason. When I would do exercise on fitness pal and log it fit bit would minus out all the calories burned from exercise. according to fitness pay when exercising you can minus off calories when exercising. you need to unlink fit bit from my fitness pal you will be happier. hope this helpedsmile
November 7, 2012 7:18 AM
QUOTE:

People need to enter their exercise data into Fitbit in order to avoid what that graphic shows. I'm not saying it's ideal, but it does appear to solve the problems (with a few exceptions where people have noted that Fitbit starts them off with an inaccurate BMR).


The BMR issue is completely separate. That is NOT what is causing my issues, it was just an additional problem. Logging on FB didn't fix it.

Letting FB log my run, it would grant me an extra 400 and some calories for me to eat that day. When I then decided to log my run myself (at a lower rate, say 350, according to my HRM) FB would then give me a negative adjustment that ultimately granted me only about 200 extra calories to eat for that day. There is no scenario where different methods of entering the same information should provide results THAT different.
Edited by omma_to_3 On November 7, 2012 7:20 AM
  7246266
November 7, 2012 12:52 PM
QUOTE:

The BMR issue is completely separate. That is NOT what is causing my issues, it was just an additional problem. Logging on FB didn't fix it.


I understand that, and didn't say it would fix it... Fitbit needs to provide a way for people to enter a custom BMR. :)

QUOTE:

Letting FB log my run, it would grant me an extra 400 and some calories for me to eat that day. When I then decided to log my run myself (at a lower rate, say 350, according to my HRM) FB would then give me a negative adjustment that ultimately granted me only about 200 extra calories to eat for that day. There is no scenario where different methods of entering the same information should provide results THAT different.


I'm not really sure I'm following what you did or were trying to do, but one way to test the difference is to enter the exercise in Fitbit, let the calorie adjustment come across to MFP, then remove it, let the new calorie adjustment come across to MFP, and see what difference it makes.

From what you described (and, again, I'm not sure I understand exactly what you did / are saying, so take this with a grain of salt), I'm not really surprised when there's a significant difference between what the HRM records and what Fitbit records for "activity" calories during more intense periods of step-like activity (i.e. running).

With that said, what I have noticed is that, as I've become more accustomed to running (i.e. become more fit and lowered my heartrate during cardio), the calories that I burn during a given run, according to my HRM, have gone down and the discrepancy between Fitbit and HRM calorie burn estimates has narrowed.

I'm set to sedentary both places, and usually end up with a Fitbit calorie adjustment of a couple of hundred calories when I don't exercise, just because I move around more than a sedentary setting implies (even at well under 10k steps). Most days, when I run for 30-60m or add a couple of hundred calories burned for strength training, I'll end up with 600+ extra calories.
  1897001
November 7, 2012 12:56 PM
QUOTE:

it had been working normally for me until today. I just came on to add breakfast this and saw this:

Image not displayed

really? not sure how i can exercise in the wrong direction.... makes me think there's a negative in the code somewhere...

EDITS: (can't figure out how to show a picture in this forum apparently)


See here: http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/770833-update-negative-fitbit-adjustment-debuts

As you accumulate activity throughout the day, adjustment should swing the other direction.

If you want to put a picture in, you need to put the http://..../ between [ img ] and [ /img ] tags (take out the spaces).
  1897001
November 7, 2012 1:12 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

The BMR issue is completely separate. That is NOT what is causing my issues, it was just an additional problem. Logging on FB didn't fix it.


I understand that, and didn't say it would fix it... Fitbit needs to provide a way for people to enter a custom BMR. :)

QUOTE:

Letting FB log my run, it would grant me an extra 400 and some calories for me to eat that day. When I then decided to log my run myself (at a lower rate, say 350, according to my HRM) FB would then give me a negative adjustment that ultimately granted me only about 200 extra calories to eat for that day. There is no scenario where different methods of entering the same information should provide results THAT different.


I'm not really sure I'm following what you did or were trying to do, but one way to test the difference is to enter the exercise in Fitbit, let the calorie adjustment come across to MFP, then remove it, let the new calorie adjustment come across to MFP, and see what difference it makes.

From what you described (and, again, I'm not sure I understand exactly what you did / are saying, so take this with a grain of salt), I'm not really surprised when there's a significant difference between what the HRM records and what Fitbit records for "activity" calories during more intense periods of step-like activity (i.e. running).

With that said, what I have noticed is that, as I've become more accustomed to running (i.e. become more fit and lowered my heartrate during cardio), the calories that I burn during a given run, according to my HRM, have gone down and the discrepancy between Fitbit and HRM calorie burn estimates has narrowed.

I'm set to sedentary both places, and usually end up with a Fitbit calorie adjustment of a couple of hundred calories when I don't exercise, just because I move around more than a sedentary setting implies (even at well under 10k steps). Most days, when I run for 30-60m or add a couple of hundred calories burned for strength training, I'll end up with 600+ extra calories.


My FB and my HRM were very close in calories for the period I was running - differing by only 50. Two different methods of entering the same information should NOT yield different results. Ever. FB thought I burned 400 calories during that time period (according to their chart, and the FB adjustment that popped up after my run). My HRM thought I burned 350. I wanted to use 350. Once I entered that in, common sense would say that FB may adjust it by adding an additional 50 calories to get it back to the 400 FB estimated. Instead, it took away 200. Which makes ZERO sense.
  7246266
November 7, 2012 2:20 PM
QUOTE:

My FB and my HRM were very close in calories for the period I was running - differing by only 50. Two different methods of entering the same information should NOT yield different results. Ever. FB thought I burned 400 calories during that time period (according to their chart, and the FB adjustment that popped up after my run). My HRM thought I burned 350. I wanted to use 350. Once I entered that in, common sense would say that FB may adjust it by adding an additional 50 calories to get it back to the 400 FB estimated. Instead, it took away 200. Which makes ZERO sense.


Ah, I see what you mean.

I'd have to play with it a little bit, but I'm not sure that the algorithm is quite as straight forward as common sense might lead us to believe... I'm not sure exactly how Fitbit factors in the start/duration/intensity of the activity but, from what I've seen, I could see a change in a given period of activity having some residual impact to overall activity calculations because replace a set period of Fitbit activity with straight HRM calories could, in theory, reduce your total non-other-stuff burn for the full 24h period.

I honestly don't know, but I get what you're saying.
  1897001
November 9, 2012 1:47 AM
Found out something interesting - knackered after a conference and a late finish filing a piece after the tennis... I just could not be bothered to get out of bed until 9 yesterday morning... and did my conditioning stretches about 3 hours or so later than normal.

And found myself in deficit and the creepage up to positive was much much slower.
Even another 250 burnt at lunchtime with a tennis hit had a good whack taken off... and I had to hope that schlepping to watch the tennis in the evening and shuffling about the underground with the rest of the herds would be enough to kick me into positive.

Whereas this morning, I dragged my sorry ass to the gym to start rehab .... and actually have crept back to positive even though it is the featherest-lightest of sessions so far.

So the moral of my story is... if you file a tennis piece at 12:40am to your editor in the US, you can bet that your motivation to get out of bed diminishes... but your FitBit forgives not!
  26587270
November 9, 2012 9:07 AM
Okay, on Wednesday I mowed the lawn. I set an activity period on my FB before starting and I purposely took a break during my activity and let the timer run because past experience told me that the FB pretty much matched what MFP said was the same calorie burn for the period. When I was done I stopped my activity period and then forced a sync with FB. Looking at the the FB site and the MFP current FB adjustment (along with my spread sheet) everything seemed to match up.

At that point the FB site said I had burned 2183 calories so far in the day. My MFP FB adjustment, after they traded data, was showing a +285 calorie reading and the activity period on the FB site was showing that I burned 508 calories during the activity period; on the FB site that activity was all jagged with a decided dip when I took a break between the front lawn and back lawn.

Once I had noted all the above, I then entered a 1 hour, 21 min period of exercise mowing the lawn with the same starting time as the activity on the FB site, this resulted in a calorie burn of 605 calories (yay, a different number). As soon as I entered it, my FB daily calories burned number jumped to 2286 but the activity period data stayed the same, including the graph. I guess I was rewarded with additional calories for sitting there working since there was a difference of 6 calories from the 97 difference I was expecting. 605 - 508 = 97 vs 2286 - 2183 = 103. After a little bit, the Fitbit and MFP sites traded data once again and my Fitbit adjustment here went up by 98. Yes I know, another number but time had passed and when I looked at my spread sheet it was now within 1 calorie of what I expected to see based on what the Fitbit site was showing as burned for the day so far and the projected (pro-rated) calorie burn based on my TDEE for that time.

To make a long story short, entering the exercise at the Fitbit site, instead of here at MFP, results in the calories burned being treated correctly via the Fitbit adjustment passed back to MFP from Fitbit. Note, that after a while, that graphic display that the Fitbit site showed when I first looked at it was replaced by a completely solid display. I guess this means that as far as the Fitbit site is concerned, the entered exercise completely replaces the activity period recording for that time period (except for the numbers recorded, see the image below.)

Image not displayed
  24548612
November 9, 2012 11:09 AM
Yes, your experience seems to match what i found.
I've given up entering exercise (from a Heart Rate Monitor in my case) on MFP, and now enter it on fitbit - I still seem to get a situation where not all the calories burned are passed over to MFP (probably from the activity logged by the fitbit itself, MFP still messes with that), but it's a lot better than losing 50% of calories that I _KNOW_ I burned from exercise.
November 10, 2012 7:59 AM
QUOTE:

To make a long story short, entering the exercise at the Fitbit site, instead of here at MFP, results in the calories burned being treated correctly via the Fitbit adjustment passed back to MFP from Fitbit.

I also achieved like results as this. In my instance I know what my cardio workout will be after work so I can enter it in FitBit in the morning. Then I go delete the negative adjustment that MFP has already bestowed on me and it stays deleted. That way as I track my calories throughout the day I get a better reporting of my remaining calories for the day. This method is much more helpful than logging exercise in MFP.

So, to get the best results with MFP/FitBit combination, enter your food in MFP and your exercise in FitBit.
Edited by azdesertdawg On November 10, 2012 7:59 AM
November 10, 2012 7:13 PM
QUOTE:

... I go delete the negative adjustment that MFP has already bestowed on me and it stays deleted...

Actually, you can just leave the negative. I will fix itself when they trade data again.
  24548612
November 10, 2012 7:45 PM
I am so confused...after MFP had its little kerfuffle a week or so ago where I needed to re-link my fitbit with MFP I have had problems which are just hard for me to figure out. I have always had MFP set to 'sedentary' and would just rely on that nice fitbit adjustment at the end of the day. Now, before I even enter anything into MFP and (I think) before I sync my fitbit, I have a big positive adjustment (over 200 cal.) every day.

It is messing up my motivation, slightly! Any suggestions, fixes, workarounds?
November 11, 2012 5:47 AM
QUOTE:

I am so confused...after MFP had its little kerfuffle a week or so ago where I needed to re-link my fitbit with MFP I have had problems which are just hard for me to figure out. I have always had MFP set to 'sedentary' and would just rely on that nice fitbit adjustment at the end of the day. Now, before I even enter anything into MFP and (I think) before I sync my fitbit, I have a big positive adjustment (over 200 cal.) every day.

It is messing up my motivation, slightly! Any suggestions, fixes, workarounds?


That's the negative adjustment kicking in... If you sync before you've accumulated Fitbit activity (steps or exercise manually entered into Fitbit), then Fitbit will likely send a "negative adjustment" until you've accumulated some activity calorie burn.

As you accumulate activity over the course of the day, that adjustment should move towards zero and then swing in the opposite direction so that you're earning exercise calories to -- if you want to -- eat back.
  1897001
November 11, 2012 9:54 AM
QUOTE:


... then Fitbit will likely send a "negative adjustment" until you've accumulated some activity calorie burn.



Except of course it is not FitBit "sending" a negative adjustment, it is MFP reading the FitBit numbers and then making their own adjustment based on MFP's own formula.

FitBit is reporting the numbers as normal, MFP is not == Confusion!
November 11, 2012 1:09 PM
Hi everyone, negative reading deleter here. Does anyone from MFP read these support areas. I have read lots of negative and a few positive comments, all of which I believe, is the need for an option to switch off the negative reading. There are 2 other areas where there is chat about negative readings, and so far not seen any help or advice from MFP tech. Don't get me wrong, I am losing weight thanks to MFP and Fitbit, just hate having to delete the reading every day coz I have no use for it.
November 11, 2012 3:18 PM
QUOTE:

Except of course it is not FitBit "sending" a negative adjustment, it is MFP reading the FitBit numbers and then making their own adjustment based on MFP's own formula.

FitBit is reporting the numbers as normal, MFP is not == Confusion!


Mmm. Semantics, but I don't think MFP is reporting anything "abnormally" -- just in ways some folks don't like.

The "negative adjustments" (or whatever you want to call them) seem to be accurate, except for the exercise calories entered into MFP causing issues.
  1897001
November 11, 2012 4:00 PM
I don't care for the minus adjustment at all. I upgraded to the One to be able to sync on my phone whenever I want. And to be as active as I've been today, to enter my calories burned from exercising today, have over 10,000 steps, climb 37 flights of stairs, and Fitbit ADDS calories!? I thought you get a credit for being active, I had to delete the Fitbit adjustment to have it correctly register my calories burned from my cardio exercise this morning. I was a strong promoter of Fitbit and so excited that it links with MFP, but this is changing my mind. I might have to unlink them.
November 11, 2012 4:56 PM
Mine adjusted this afternoon and it wasn't even hooked up to read the fb, added 369 calories....if the device isn't hooked up it should not be adjusting anything!!! Everyday I have to delete the initial entry then it puts in a more reasonable credit...... I don't think it will ever get fixed.
  5554507
November 11, 2012 9:08 PM
I am not sure if it will change anything, but I posted a request to change this new adjustment under the suggestions threads..and linked back to all the unhappiness here :) maybe then someone will hear our frustrations and at the least give us a settings option to avoid this new change.
  25158162
November 12, 2012 5:50 AM
QUOTE:

Mine adjusted this afternoon and it wasn't even hooked up to read the fb, added 369 calories....if the device isn't hooked up it should not be adjusting anything!!! Everyday I have to delete the initial entry then it puts in a more reasonable credit...... I don't think it will ever get fixed.

Correct... if I leave without syncing in the morning, it doesn't do anything (as I've seen over weekends away)...
And so it shouldn't because up until that point, it has no idea whether you have been out for a morning run or had a jolly good lie in!
What I HAVE noticed is that the one morning I allowed myself a later start, it had me in negative for a good portion of the day!
When I do stretches/sessions in the morning, it creeps up to positive quite quickly and broadly stays there.
Edited by rfsatar On November 12, 2012 5:52 AM
  26587270
November 12, 2012 2:50 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

Except of course it is not FitBit "sending" a negative adjustment, it is MFP reading the FitBit numbers and then making their own adjustment based on MFP's own formula.

FitBit is reporting the numbers as normal, MFP is not == Confusion!


Mmm. Semantics, but I don't think MFP is reporting anything "abnormally" -- just in ways some folks don't like.

The "negative adjustments" (or whatever you want to call them) seem to be accurate, except for the exercise calories entered into MFP causing issues.
It really is not semantics. Fitbit never sends a negative number. Let me say that again, the Fitbit site does not generate any negative calorie numbers. They either generate a zero (not synced since midnight local) or some number of calories burned. The negative adjustment is an interpretation of what Fitbit is reporting by MFP. Assuming you are not entering exercise, the numbers appear to be correct, both at Fitbit and MFP.

However, as you point out, exercise entered at MFP for Fitbit synced accounts does not get treated correctly, so I would call that "abnormal". But being a retired computer programmer, I can actually call that a failure to allow for all contingencies logic error...or a bug, whichever term you prefer. wink
Edited by loumaag On November 12, 2012 2:51 PM
  24548612
November 12, 2012 2:54 PM
QUOTE:

Mine adjusted this afternoon and it wasn't even hooked up to read the fb, added 369 calories....if the device isn't hooked up it should not be adjusting anything!!! Everyday I have to delete the initial entry then it puts in a more reasonable credit...... I don't think it will ever get fixed.
Deleting the entry does absolutely nothing. The next time MFP and Fitbit sites trade data, the current number will be put right back. If you just leave a "bad" number, it will change on its own as they trade data.
  24548612
November 12, 2012 6:01 PM
I was referring to the "FitBit is reporting the numbers as normal, MFP is not" statement when I said "semantics". :)

In any case, there're now 15 pages of explanations of what's going on here. Hopefully folks take the time to parse what's been said, and hopefully MFP figures out a better way to handle entering exercise data via MFP.

With luck, we'll get another few pages of repetition and this thread will self-lock so that it's not at the top of my active topics every day. ;-)
  1897001
November 12, 2012 6:08 PM
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  6139819

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