Can Smartwatches Accurately Track Calories as You Think?

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When you exercise with GPS tracking enabled, the answer is occasionally affirmative.

Generally, it gives a reasonable estimate of calories spent working out if you care about that, as long as you subtract the basic metabolic consumption which would have happened anyway.

 It will typically count in calories spent just living in your workout, which is a bit of nonsense that all best affordable watches and fitness apps tend to do because people like seeing bigger numbers.

But you don’t need a smartwatch to do it. Your exercise burns an additional 500 calories every hour. 

If you’re a strong guy and you were constantly “in the red,” you might need 750 calories; but, if your training included rest breaks and other breaks, you would need more like 350 calories. 

These are the average ranges for normal people.

 We’re talking about eating something like a couple of eggs with a thin piece of bread, and an apple to account for the extra dietary requirements of training for a normal individual who exercises for an hour per day on average**.

The projected daily calorie expenditure is off by roughly 50% since the daily step tracking, which I assume is based on accelerometers, is frequently inaccurate. I wouldn’t use that to educate anything because it is completely pointless. 

Perhaps there is a setting to reduce the watch’s sensitivity to movement, but mine is completely off in that sense.

 In general, it would be more helpful if your watch would just remind you to eat your greens.

Smartwatches are an excellent tool for motivating people to work out and for keeping them on track. However, the majority of watches use heart rate to calculate calories. 

The same workout will burn the same number of calories as you get fitter, but your heart rate will be lower. As a result, as you become more fit, the watch will show that you are burning off fewer calories than you are. 

Just keep in mind that even though it doesn’t show it, you’re probably burning off more calories than you were before if you’re burning 500 calories every workout and becoming in better shape month after month.

The accuracy of the most popular wearables was tested in a study at Stanford University. According to the study, the Apple Watch estimates calories with an average inaccuracy of 30%. 

This means that if your watch registers 750 activity calories, you could be anywhere from 525 to 975 kcal.

 It’s noteworthy that the average inaccuracy is 30%. In the investigation, the least and highest computed errors were 25% and 50%, respectively.

In the worst situation, you may be anywhere between 375 and 1,125 kcal if your watch is giving you 750 kcal. 

Anyone who has tried dieting may appreciate how this can severely wreck someone’s attempts to lose weight.

 The objective is to achieve a manageable calorie deficit of 500 kcal per day, which would result in a weekly weight loss of 1-2 pounds. 

It is quite difficult to precisely stay on course with 50% mistakes.

Your wearable is still a useful tool even though it performs a poor job of measuring the precise number of calories you burn. This is so that it can track variations between days.