Calorie burn is way off

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by killr_b, May 4, 2019.

  1. killr_b macrumors 6502a

    killr_b

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
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    Suckerfornia
    #1
    Hey guys, I got an Apple Watch a little over a week ago. The calorie measurement it totally wack. I have a personal trainer and we've tracked my calories/eating for about a year. I'll try to include as much data as I can, but I've also read threads from years ago, and some as recent as last winter, that the calorie tracking is wrong, but they always say it's fixed with an update...

    My Apple Watch is a S4 SSSB LTE, up to date. Phone is a 7 plus up to date.
    Heath app data filled in accurately.

    The Activity App is putting my non-workout days at ~3,550, move set to 750. So, my normal daily calories should be around 2,300-2,600, which is almost exactly the total calories shown in the app minus the move calories...

    Is this really still a problem Apple has been struggling with for 4+ years?
     
  2. killr_b thread starter macrumors 6502a

    killr_b

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    #2
    This morning the Activity app reported 1,106 calories 2 hours after waking up and putting it on. I don't wear it while sleeping.

    I can't believe no one else is experiencing this problem.
     
  3. Akrapovic macrumors 6502

    Akrapovic

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    Aug 29, 2018
    Location:
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    #3
    I can't say I've ever seen calorie burn at that rate. On a normal work day (I'm office based) I burn approx 400 calories in the Activity App. This is listed as Active Calories in the Health app. Resting Energy in the Health app tends to be approx 1700.

    To burn 1000 calories I need to do a 5k run ontop of my normal office day.
     
  4. CWallace macrumors 603

    CWallace

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #4
    My daily exercise is walking. Today I have 33 minutes of exercise (so far) and 588 move calories. Total is showing 2427.

    Yesterday was 1018 move from 48 mins of exercise with a total of 4184.

    Friday was 1041 calories from 56 mins of exercise with a total of 4189.

    Thursday was 1785 move with 61 mins of exercise and 5266 total.

    Wednesday was 1516 for 83 mins and 4878 total.
     
  5. Significant1 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2014
    #5
    Are you sure, you have set up for kcal and not kJ?

    Try going into health app and choose energy from activity. Then below the graph and data, there is unit. You can change it to kcal, if it is not already the selected unit.
     
  6. killr_b thread starter macrumors 6502a

    killr_b

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    #6
    Definitely set for Calories.
    Today I checked the Activity App 5 minutes after waking up and putting the watch on. 728 Calories already on the total. It's like it's calculating 1.5 calories per minute while I sleep... that's like double the normal human amount.
    I took the watch off at 11:00pm last night to make sure it wasn't carrying over something from after midnight. I don't know if that's what starts a "new day" or not. Is there a way to choose when the day starts?
     
  7. Significant1, May 6, 2019
    Last edited: May 6, 2019

    Significant1 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2014
    #7
    Even if it was 728kJ == 173.33Kcal would also be quite a bit. Sounds like a workout is running, like the time when Heart Analyzer ran amok after OS update.
    https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/apple-watch-activity-rings-filling-while-i-do-nothing.2169629/
    But then you should have a notification on the watch.

    Anyway it is not a problem I recognize. If restart does not help, try to narrow down the variables by uninstalling apps from the watch. Maybe try to setup it up from scratch.

    Edit: I see this thread might be about total calories, not active calories, which is what I was focusing on.
     
  8. Wando64 macrumors 6502a

    Wando64

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2013
    #8
    Perhaps I am misunderstanding your issue, but everything looks fine here.
    Every day my total calories are approx 2000, plus any active amount generated through exercise, whatever that is.
    Sounds about right to me.
     
  9. rgyiv macrumors regular

    rgyiv

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2018
    #9
    And ensure your height and weight are set appropriately, I believe that factors into it.
     
  10. s15119 macrumors 68000

    s15119

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    Nov 20, 2010
    #10

    I've never seen anything like that. Not once. If it were me, I'd take my watch into an apple store.
     
  11. ftaok macrumors 603

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #11
    In addition, make sure age and gender are correct. That can be found by clicking the button down below.

    FFAF32DD-1DAB-45B6-8152-ED067F20F804.jpeg
     
  12. DukeSilver79 macrumors member

    DukeSilver79

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    Sep 13, 2018
    #12
    I've heard about Fitbits doing this, but never the Apple Watch until now.
     
  13. ftaok, May 6, 2019
    Last edited: May 7, 2019

    ftaok macrumors 603

    ftaok

    Joined:
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    #13
    Just a quick point, to get the most useful advice, you have to use the exact terminology that Apple uses in their apps.

    There are three locations for calories and they are all named different things.

    1. Move - This is the red ring in the Activity app. It's measured in Calories (aka kcal).

    2. Active Energy - This is found in the Health app and is measured in kcal or kJ.

    Most of the time, Move and Active Energy are the same. If you use 3rd party workout apps, they might vary, depending on the algorithm used by the 3rd party app.

    3. Resting Energy - This is found in the Health app and is also measured in kcal or kJ. This is scientifically (I think) known as your Basal Metabolic Rate and is likely a calculation based on your age, gender and weight. You get credit for this when you sleep. I just checked and I get 78.1 kcal/hr when I sleep (note that I don't wear my watch when I sleep).

    Are you talking about Resting Energy or Active Energy? 90 kcal/hr for Resting Energy isn't out of the question.

    If your Active Energy and Move ring is getting credit while you sleep without wearing the AW, then you have a problem. Could be a rogue 3rd party app that is constantly updating based on a 90 kcal/hr Basal rate and putting it into the wrong category. Check your sources for Active Energy and see which apps have permission to update it.
     
  14. jhfenton macrumors 6502a

    jhfenton

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2012
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    #14
    I'ver never seen this either. Excluding exercise, I will finish a typical day at ~500 active/move calories. I've never seen anything like what you are reporting. And the Apple Workout app is pretty conservative estimating active calories burned on workouts compared to other apps.

    The last two Mondays, I've run the same short 5 mile loop at about the same relaxed pace. The Apple Workout lap last Monday estimated 581 active calories burned for the 5 miles. Today, I tested the Strava app, and it estimated 845 active calories burned, which is absurd. (I found complaints online about their calorie estimates.) And I'm still only at 1,243 active/move calories for the day with that run. (I keep my Move goal at 1,000 calories, and it usually takes at least a 4-mile run for me to hit it by bedtime.)

    It does sound like some app is reporting a continuous workout. Do you have any third-party apps installed?
     
  15. ftaok macrumors 603

    ftaok

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    #15
    I checked my calories this morning as soon as I woke up. I got credit for 500 kcal of Resting Energy from 12-7am. It was 71 kcal/hr which is normal for a man my age, height, and weight.

    Obviously, I didn't get any Active Energy/Move credit while I was sleeping.

    0D2F1492-7293-4045-BFA4-19B7B8746D09.png 593C57F2-C413-4725-B993-47777AD989D7.png 6EC1F9CB-92AC-4B24-A846-A41B228EE315.png
     
  16. jhfenton macrumors 6502a

    jhfenton

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    Cincinnati, Ohio
    #16
    Mine was similar this morning. Between midnight and 6 AM, my Resting Energy (Energia en reposo) ranged from 61.8 kcal/hr to 63.7 kcal/hr. It jumped a bit after I got up, but Resting Energy still stayed under 100 kcal/hr. As of a few minutes ago, I was at 109 kcal active calories burned (Energia en actividad) and 574 kcal Resting Energy. It all seems perfectly reasonable.

    There was one set of iOS 12 betas that seemed to have slightly higher daily calorie burns than previously. I'd see 100-200 kcal higher than usual at the end of a work day at a desk job. But that disappeared with subsequent betas. (And it was nothing like the OP is reporting.)
     
  17. ftaok macrumors 603

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #17
    Here's what I think the OP's issue is ... and it's only based on what he's written (a few screenshots would be helpful, though).

    If all of his settings are correct ...

    1. he's burning 90 kcal/hr (Resting Energy) while sleeping, so if he sleeps 8 hours, that's 720 kcal.
    2. while he's awake, let's assume his Resting Energy rate increase to 105 kcal/hr. Over 16 hours, that would be 1,680 kcal.
    3. That would result in a daily Resting Energy of 2,400 kcal. That's kinda high, but he's not told us his age, weight, or height. In fact, I'm not even sure if he's a he.
    4. He stated in Post #1 that he got 3,550 kcal on a non-workout day. That would be 1,150 kcal of Active Energy/Move. That seems a bit high for non-workout day, but maybe it's in the realm of possibility for someone that's burning 90 kcal/hr while resting.

    Therefore, my conclusion is that there really is no issue here, other than the possibility that the AW is overestimating his Active Energy. I recall a few iOS versions ago had changed something that caused the Workout app to give me more Move credit than I had been getting ... updating to a newer rev of iOS fixed it back to a more realistic burn rate. Perhaps the OP is on this older version of iOS.
     
  18. Akrapovic macrumors 6502

    Akrapovic

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2018
    Location:
    Scotland
    #18
    I think we need some screenshots from the OPs Activity App and Health App.

    I burn 67kcal per hour during the night as resting calories. OP is saying 90kcal or so of active calorie that is adding to the move ring.
     
  19. ftaok macrumors 603

    ftaok

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    East Coast
    #19
    He said that he woke up with "728 in the total", which I'm thinking is the Active/Move + Resting. If he got up at 8AM, that would explain the 90 kcal/hr.

    It's not out of the question for a young man, that's tall and heavy to burn 90 kcal/hr while sleeping.

    I'm thinking that there's nothing wrong with his AW, aside from possibly overestimating Active Energy/Move. 1,100+ kcal on a non-workout day sounds like a lot, but who knows what a non-workout day means for the OP as it's different for each individual.

    For me, a non-workout day still means I get my 700 Move calories, which means I have to walk on a treadmill for 30-45 minutes or ride an excercise bike for 20 minutes. I don't count that as a workout day. Running 3 miles counts as a workout day.
     
  20. Akrapovic macrumors 6502

    Akrapovic

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    #20
    Yes but the bit that's confusing me is this -


    To burn 1106kcal in 2 hours, you'd need to include resting kcal really. He says the Activity app, and that doesn't include resting kcal. Doesn't wear it when sleeping. Something is going on there.

    I think we need screenshots of a single day in the Activty and Health apps to see what's going on.
     
  21. ftaok macrumors 603

    ftaok

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    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #21
    Two hours after putting it on would be around 10AM, let's say. At 90 kcal/hr for the 1st 8 hours. Let's use 105 kcal/hr for the next 2 hours. That gets around 930 kcal of Resting Energy. He'd need around 176 of Active/Move between 8AM and 10AM, which seems agressive, but not impossible. Especially if he's walking around a lot or plays guitar with his watch hand.

    Also, the Activity app is the only location to show Total calories. Just swipe left on the Move graph. It shows Active and Total ... and that sounds a lot like what the OP is describing since he says "total" in several of his posts.

    9676DEF8-99E1-4451-9543-7E199C139570.jpeg
     
  22. killr_b, May 8, 2019
    Last edited: May 8, 2019

    killr_b thread starter macrumors 6502a

    killr_b

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    #22
    IMG_4046.jpeg IMG_4048.jpeg IMG_4047.jpeg
    Here are some shots; first the morning where it told me I had 728 calories that I assume it estimates that I used while sleeping. Then an average day reporting 3,394 calories, and a workout day with 3,733.

    I think it's generous. Also, I set the height/weight info and all that as soon as I powered the watch up.
     
  23. ftaok macrumors 603

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
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    #23
    Interesting.

    Three comments from me.

    1. I noticed that when I first check in the morning, the total calories are high. But after I close the app and go back in, it reads the correct number. For instance, I checked yesterday morning and it read 715. Then I checked again and it read 5-something.

    2. Have you plugged your stats into a BMR formula to determine what your resting burn rate should be? That first picture has you at around 2100. The 2nd pic has you around 3200.

    3. Interesting that you can get 700 active calories without moving the Exercise ring at all.


    I still wonder whether you have a rogue app that is adding to your active/move calories when it shouldn't be. Next step should be to check which apps have write access to Move, Active Energy, and Resting Energy.
     
  24. Akrapovic macrumors 6502

    Akrapovic

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    #24
    This doesn't look as far off as I expected. I now agree with @ftaok, I'm not sure there's a problem there.

    Whilst the AW can seem generous with its calories, I found the AW default active calories to be less generous than most apps. MapMyRun, Strava and NRC all gave me higher calorie burn for identical runs than AW standard algorithm did. In fact, one of them was well over 1000 calories for a run when the others were down in the 300-400. I tend to find Apples estimates on the lower end of things.

    That said, I find the recommended calorie intake for my age and gender to be way off. If I eat more than 2000 calories then I gain weight. Similarly my wife eats 1500. If she goes near 2000 then she balloons.
     
  25. jhfenton macrumors 6502a

    jhfenton

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    Cincinnati, Ohio
    #25
    That's the strangest part. At the moment, I have credit for 6 minutes of Exercise even though my highest HR reading for the day so far is 72. Based on the time, that was walking up three flights of steps from my parking garage this morning. It looks like I received 2 minutes of Exercise credit for that. I received one minute of credit two times before that at home and twice since in the office this morning. It doesn't take much more than walking around with a HR in the 60's to get exercise credit.

    But I'm at only 187/1,000 active calories (979 total calories).
     

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