Fitbit’s calorie tracking has been astoundingly bad

As I’ve mentioned, I went from overweight to shockingly overweight over the pandemic. I got a Fitbit to motivate me to lose some weight and get a handle on understanding my body’s current sloth mode (at 41 I knew my parameters, at 48 something has changed.)

One of the many things I’ve been doing is calorie tracking and using the Fitbit software to take my exercise, caloric intake, and tell me basically where I need to be to lose weight. It’s a pretty simple calculation, or should be. (lose weight at baseline minus 500 calories + calories burned) = what I should be able to eat calorically give or take based on time of day.

I mean I know there’re factors here, we’re not going to discuss metabolism, this is all about an app and a minute to minute changing goalpost.

Pictures above are less than one minute apart. I looked at the screen on the left and, were I to buy it, I had a caloric goal of 714 calories by 7:20pm. This is anorexic level caloric intake for me. I sat there noticing this, snapped a screenshot, and 41 seconds later I snapped the second screen shot. It indicated a caloric goal of somewhere around 1,362 calories. This is also, for my current weight, incorrect.

I should stress that at this point of my weight and age (and sedentary activity,) that’s a good 1000+ calories under what my goal to lose weight is. Caloric intake 500 calories below what is listed as “extreme weight loss” for me.

I took the screenshots, came back later, things are showing normal again. This happens over and over and again for me. I check in on how I’m doing / how many calories I should aim for, and it’s wrong… and a minute later it’s right, or closer. It’s the closer that’s most annoying.

I feel like I have watched as the bar chart changed while I was looking at it, however not having video on that and it being uncommon, not entirely sure.

As usual, having reported it and it being a Google company, I’ve been asked to update firmware, what I’m using, there’s been an indication that somehow the fault is on my side, instructions to factory reset, requests for entire operating system information, etc. Nope, here’s a screenshot current app version on an Android.

Don’t trust the calorie guidance. That’s all.

Also for the person who it’s working fine for – glad for you. Screenshots above show you it’s not for others.

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts