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TOPIC: Fitbit questions...

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January 17, 2013 1:23 AM
I'm seriously considering getting a fitbit, but would like to know a little more about how it works?

I get an allowance of 1200 calories a day as I have a sedentary (desk based job). I walk to and from the bus stop, to the sandwich shop for lunch, and around the office but don't count this as exercise. If I wear a fitbit, would it give me extra calorie allowance for this? I am worried it may over calculate what I can eat? Conversely, would it deduct calories if I have a particuarly sedentary day?

My other question is whether or not it differentiates for walking speed - ie a stroll to the library with my toddler must burn less calories than a brisk walk when I'm on my own. Does fitbit take this in to account?

Any other important things I should know about a fitbit? I think I prefer this to the nike+ fuelband and other alternatives as it will sync to MFP and is also discreet to wear.

Thanks for your help
January 17, 2013 1:29 AM
Bump, I'm also considering getting one.
January 17, 2013 1:29 AM
Mine is in the post.
January 17, 2013 1:32 AM
If you sync your fitbit with MPF it will add and subtract calories. Feel free to check out my food and exercise log for an idea. Keep in mind Im not home so mine hasn't synced for today or yesterday yet.
January 17, 2013 1:35 AM
I have one. It does adjust calories to either more or less than your goal, you have to have it to accept negative allowance though or it will just add when needed and not deduct. I had to play with it a bit though to get the goal the same as on their website though, haven't really figured out how that works tbh.
As far as estimating... The number of steps taken is what matters.. if you do a brisk walk for a mile vs a leisurely walk for a mile you will burn about the same number but it took longer for the leisure one. Just keep in mind hoever stuff like riding in a car might count occassionally.
I have the ultra, Love it. It also helped me to see I am not nealy as active as I thought I was... It gives you weekly feed back as well showing if you did better or worse than the last week. Fit bit is pretty generous company, I lost my first one and they sent me a replacement for free. The ultra is pretty easy to lose/forget. I keep mine on my bra and the first week I had it, sent it through the wash and the dryer... it somehow survived. Other than that I love it... haven't had a problem with it at all!
January 17, 2013 1:39 AM
The simple answer is YES - it will add your calories that it picks up from moving about to your MFP totals if you sync them.
I think you can set your stride pattern.
I used to use it to time specific activities and then log them in here (if FB was no good for them, eg cycling, rower, swim) I'd take the values from the machine/MFP.

There is a setting in MFP that allows it to show NEGATIVE calories if FB thinks you have not been active enough.
This works two ways:
1) It could motivate you to move more, to "earn" more cals to eat.,
2) However if it s a rest day as part of a planned regime, or you are feeling genuinely ill/achy - it can be a little demoralising to see your daily total whittled down, although MFP should never drop you below 1200.,

Personally I have DISABLED negative adjustments and I have tweaked my settings to have my minimum intake as my BMR, and I tend to eat to my TDEE deficit target and not worry too much about the NET amount at the end of the day.

I'd say it's worth it, but you are right - there are many other of the same types of things on the market - so google away and research all the features, align with your goals and lifestyle and away you go!
January 17, 2013 1:40 AM
I'm considering buying one also. I went to their site and you can log in and put in your info for setting goals and how many calories to eat based on goals/input/output. I have a Mac laptop which it says it will work on. I do not have a smartphone.So, my question was do I need to have a smartphone to have this program work...or just the computer. I got to fitbit because I needed a pedometer to count steps. I'm doing the Biggest Loser challenge for the first time. Could anyone helps with suggestions for this. I did not like their Food Plan tracker and was referred to this site by a friend on Biggest Loser.

January 17, 2013 1:51 AM
I got my Fitbit (Ultra) for Christmas. I love it. I forget it is there and just let it do its thing. It shows Fairly Active, Active and Very Active on its graphs and so yes you can see how hard your were walking :) Very discreat little thing. Love the sleep tracker too!! I tend not to eat back my exercise calories I jst like to know they are there and what they are lol. I do have the negative calories allowed although I have found I am not as Sedatory as I thought, even though I work at a desk 4 days a week.
I would say, get one and enjoy it, but still log food etc here
January 17, 2013 1:51 AM
fitbit is good but i find the bdy media system is more accurate and with a calorie balance of 1200 is way to low unless it has been set by your doctor, in that cae i even tink no doc in their right mind would set one that low the min should be 1500 cals a day no less.
I know there will be ppl out there that are going to disagree with this but i would strongly suggest seeing the doc and getting a limit off him and stick to that.
1200 cals or less and your body will be going into starvation mode and in the and you may end up putting on weight and not losing it.
January 17, 2013 1:52 AM
I am a former web designer and all-around gadget geek - after much research on similar devices, I asked for and received a FitBit One for Christmas. I have been wearing it diligently since then and I absolutely love it. It does differentiate between sedentary, lightly, moderately or very active based on the number of steps you take per minute or stairs climbed.

The One and the (upcoming) Flex will track your sleep patterns as well, which was one of the selling points for me as I am a Nursing student and a midnight-shift hospital worker, so my sleep and activity schedules are very erratic.

When you link your FitBit account to your MFP account, the activity and diet data will be shared between them and you can adjust your preference as to whether or not you want it to adjust your calorie needs based on your activity. The FB account will also allow you to track your diet directly just as MFP can track activity, but the common/recommended usage is to let the FB do its thing tracking your activity (and sleep) and use MFP for diet tracking.

If you have an iPhone, you can also sync it through that, otherwise you will need to use a little USB bluetooth connector (about the size of a piece of Orbit gum) connected to your computer to sync as needed. It also charges via different USB dongle (so you can use one of those USB-to-wall outlet converters to charge as well as your computer) and can reportedly work for 5-7 days on a full charge. I typically charge it up every few days or so. They are starting to release a sync app for some newer Android smartphones.

Please feel free to friend/PM me if you have any other questions! :)
January 17, 2013 2:02 AM
I recently purchased the One partly to assist with a step counting challenge I have with friends. I too like it as it is discreet although I wish it would sync with my phone.

It will give you an adjustment in your calories here if you sync it, based on your expected calorie count for the day. I don't fully undrestand this yet, but as I am not currently counting calories it isn't important for me. I think it important that you have your goals and stats set the same on both sites for this to work.

yes, it does give you a higher calorie burn for higher quality of exercise - so the faster the pace the better the burn.

good luck!!
January 17, 2013 2:26 AM
Thanks everyone, really helpful. I have an iphone so that will come in handy! I like the look for the fitbit flex, but want to buy one now (ie today!). I also think I prefer something that can be worn more discretely (I work in a corporate environment and a bracelet style device probably isn't suitable for me).

My one, and last concern, is about how likely it is to count 'steps' if I'm on the bus (I take the bus to and from work every day)? I've read a few reviews and a few people seem to have problems with this,. What do you guys find?
January 17, 2013 3:24 AM
I haven't had any major issues with the One counting phantom steps and I drive to work/school every day. Geek that I am, I had to put it through the ringer manually counting steps and stairs the first few days at different paces and I'd say it was about 98% accurate.

The One is very discreet, I wear mine clipped to my bra, device facing my skin/cleavage to ensure it's caught if it does somehow slip out of it's silicone clip. Although, I have not had a single issue with it slipping out, I have read some stories about it and being a student, I just can't afford shelling out $100 for another one (but I love this thing so much now, I'd find a way!!) it is much smaller than I anticipated, about the size of my thumb.

There is a microfiber wristband with a little mesh pocket so you can wear it while sleeping. I don't even notice it and that is accurate too as I can see that I wake up (or at least shift around) when my husband's alarm goes off. It did come out of it's little pocket the first night, but I just flipped the band around so the pocket opening is against my skin - problem solved!
January 17, 2013 5:44 AM
Thanks again. Just back from a 60min powerwalk to the shops to buy my fitbit. Can't wait to get started :)
January 17, 2013 7:57 AM
Let us know how you like it! I'm thinking of getting one.
January 17, 2013 8:00 AM
love my fitbit - LOVE IT. very solid and handy and accurate. it links better to loseit IMHO, but the wealth of data is invaluable. and plenty of friends there to spur you on to hitting your goals. if anyone has the fitbit and wants a buddy - friend me up! I'm at

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