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Old 05-09-12, 11:25 AM  
Sue B
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Fitbit + My Fitness Pal users, help!

I know there are a few of you here who use both, so I'm trying to get into a "groove" between the Fitbit, my Android device w/MFP, and PC

MFP says you're supposed to log all your food and all your activity with them, and I love their bar code scanner, so food logging is no problem. But I'm confused about the exercise logging. This morning I did a kettlebell workout, and I ran the stopwatch on the Fitbit during the workout. Now it shows up on Fitbit's site as 132 calories burned in 26 minutes.

I thought that would sync automatically with MFP, but instead it's showing 123 calories as a "Fitbit adjustment". Does that mean I have to log the workout manually at MFP as well? If I do that, should I not use the stopwatch feature on Fitbit? What do you all do?

Also, I'm confused by the "Complete This Entry" button on MFP, which you're supposed to click if you're done logging all food and exercise. Does that need to be clicked every day?

Thanks for any help!
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Old 05-09-12, 01:32 PM  
slysam
 
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[QUOTE=Sue B;2030959]
MFP says you're supposed to log all your food and all your activity with them, and I love their bar code scanner, so food logging is no problem. But I'm confused about the exercise logging. This morning I did a kettlebell workout, and I ran the stopwatch on the Fitbit during the workout. Now it shows up on Fitbit's site as 132 calories burned in 26 minutes.

I thought that would sync automatically with MFP, but instead it's showing 123 calories as a "Fitbit adjustment". Does that mean I have to log the workout manually at MFP as well? If I do that, should I not use the stopwatch feature on Fitbit? What do you all do?"

Okay, it does not log workouts to mfp from fitbit. What it does is log if according to fitbit you burn more calories than mfp expects you would according to whatever activity level you specified. So if you are set for sedentary (though VF'ers are of course not sedentary ), but you are actually moderately active the extra calories from fitbit would come over as a "fitbit adjustment". So that adjustment might be the same as your exercise calories, if you burn exactly what is expected outside exercise. Or it might be more than your exercise burn, if you also run a couple errands on foot, do some housework, take the stairs instead of an elevator, etc. Oh, your fitbit adjustment does exclude any exercise you log on mfp as that is already counted.

Another difference to remember, if I understand what you described, you did not manually log a workout. If you wear your fitbit it will be tracking whatever movement it can whether you use the stopwatch or not. The stopwatch just makes a record that shows you the specifics of what the fitbit tracked for that duration in time. There is an option to title the record and make notes in it--I use those options a lot so I can remember what I did that day if I look back. But the information is what the fitbit automatically detected, and for some activities it might be higher or lower than the real intensity, calorie burn, etc. Make sense?

Now to manually log an activity, you use the activity database, search for the activity (or create an new one), choose it and either enter in the calorie burn yourself or let it use whatever burn is in the database. This overwrites the fitbit information for that duration in time. You can manually enter your activity either on fitbit's site or mfp's site. MFP suggests their site, and I had been doing that since linking the accounts but just changed my mind. The reason is the past couple days there has been some delays in syncing between fitbit and mfp, and for me to mentally keep it strait it is just easier if all activity is on fitbit and food on mfp so it doesn't matter if they don't synch, I can work it out in my head. This has not altered my adjustment (other than make it bigger since it now includes more activity) so it seems to work wherever you log. Just don't log in two places. If you log to mfp and it is working, mfp logs to fitbit automatically so there are benefits to doing it that way. Another benefit to logging it on fitbit is if you use other smart pone services like Runkeeper, Nike+ or Endomondo that fitbit can link with then our fitbit page can be your information hub for activity. If you are a keen runner or cyclist you may prefer to log those workouts through a gps service and fitbit has the option of logging from your gps to fitbit. That depends on what types of activity you do, of course. The downside to logging through fibit is that your exercise does not appear on your mfp diary or newsfeed, just the calorie burn overage.


"Also, I'm confused by the "Complete This Entry" button on MFP, which you're supposed to click if you're done logging all food and exercise. Does that need to be clicked every day?"

No, and you can click it more than once a day if you clicked it then ended up eating more or exercising again. It just gives you a little blurb about what you would weigh in a certain number of weeks if you ate as you did today every day. And I think it causes it to initiate a sync to fitbit so it updates your information. I don't always bother to push it and sometimes I do more than once. It doesn't seem to make a big difference.
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Old 05-09-12, 02:35 PM  
Sue B
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Thanks, slysam!

I decided to take your advice and log my workouts and activity on fitbit. That makes sense about making it a "hub". I just wish it was possible to override the calorie requirement for putting in specific exercises. The kb workout I did this morning was on paper, so I ended up just naming my activity "kettlebell workout" and then went over to the journal section to log the individual exercises in the workout.
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Old 05-10-12, 10:00 AM  
flamingoo
 
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I don't have a fitbit, but I'm wondering what you guys to when you add an exercise to myfitness pal that's not in the database. I'm specifically talking about barre( fluidity bar) workouts. I have no idea how many calories it burns. Do you also log it under cardio or strength? Thanks
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Old 05-10-12, 11:21 AM  
slysam
 
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Hi Sue, I am not sure if this is your wish, but you can manually log an activity and that corrects the calorie burn estimate and in some cases the distance. If it seems close, I prefer not for a few reasons. If the activity you want is not in the database you can create a custom activity if you have some idea what you might burn doing it. And even with database logged activities, there is an option to manually enter calorie burn if you have an alternate source you prefer. I almost always use this when I log since i use my heart rate monitor for the burn. (Though for a lot of cardio I just go with fitbit's numbers).

Flamingo, re: your mfp question. This is a tough one. Before I had my hrm, I use to pick something from the list that was as close to the activity I wanted. I still do that sometimes if I didn't wear my hrm. I use to log barre as pilates when I did this, I think many barre workouts would burn more than many pilates workouts but they are similar and it would give you some extra calories. Similar with Sue's kettlebell example, I logged that as circuit training or as vigorous calisthenics. I'd log Classial Stretch as either pilates or tai chi depending whether it is the standing or floor work.
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Old 05-10-12, 03:49 PM  
Sue B
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flamingoo View Post
I don't have a fitbit, but I'm wondering what you guys to when you add an exercise to myfitness pal that's not in the database. I'm specifically talking about barre( fluidity bar) workouts. I have no idea how many calories it burns. Do you also log it under cardio or strength? Thanks
If you're going to log DVD workouts on MFP, it's probably easier to put them down as "cardio" than have to fill in all the sets and reps and calories burned for each set, which would drive me nuts if I had to do that for each DVD. Calorie burn is never going to be precise, but you may want to get a HRM or Fitbit or some similar device to get at least a ballpark figure for yourself.
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Old 05-10-12, 04:00 PM  
Sue B
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Originally Posted by slysam View Post
Hi Sue, I am not sure if this is your wish, but you can manually log an activity and that corrects the calorie burn estimate and in some cases the distance. If it seems close, I prefer not for a few reasons. If the activity you want is not in the database you can create a custom activity if you have some idea what you might burn doing it. And even with database logged activities, there is an option to manually enter calorie burn if you have an alternate source you prefer. I almost always use this when I log since i use my heart rate monitor for the burn. (Though for a lot of cardio I just go with fitbit's numbers).
slysam, my problem is that a lot of the workouts I do - walking, kettlebell, DDR, Just Dance, etc. - don't have a fixed length of time like DVDs do. I tend to quit when I get tired; maybe that's my problem So it's hard for me to make use of the "favorite activities" or "custom activities" lists on Fitbit since they have a set calorie burn. I can see how it's useful for a DVD workout or "1 hour on the treadmill at level 2" or something like that, though.
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Old 05-10-12, 04:53 PM  
slysam
 
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Originally Posted by Sue B View Post
slysam, my problem is that a lot of the workouts I do - walking, kettlebell, DDR, Just Dance, etc. - don't have a fixed length of time like DVDs do. I tend to quit when I get tired; maybe that's my problem So it's hard for me to make use of the "favorite activities" or "custom activities" lists on Fitbit since they have a set calorie burn. I can see how it's useful for a DVD workout or "1 hour on the treadmill at level 2" or something like that, though.
With the custom activities, they somehow adjust it to whatever duration you log. I assume it just takes your first entry and divides it into calories per minute or something like that. MFP also adjusts to weight change--again not sure how but they do. I don't know whether the fitbit custom activities adjust to changes in weight from when you created the activity or not. But if you jut change the duration, you should be fine (both sites tend to have your most recent duration in the favorites list but you can change it).
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