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Calories UP 15-30% since WatchOS 5!

canyonblue737

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 10, 2005
1,373
1,144
well Apple has done something in iOS 5 that has in my opinion radically changed how calories are being calculated. all of my workouts, of any type, show much higher calorie burns. A 3 mile run that would have an active calorie burn of 270 in all other versions of watchOS now is about 320 or more. Doesn’t sound like a big difference right? Well across an entire day I’m seeing bumps in my active calorie burned of between 100-300! per day. I’m “doubling” my move targets way more often etc. I also feel the watch now records more movement when driving or flying in an airplane than ever before (I’m an airline pilot.)

Yes, I’ve upped my move target and that’s all well and good but I also use the Apple Watch to send calorie data to food logging apps for weight loss etc. I’m concerned that this is no small change to the formula when I have a day that hundreds of time amounted to 600 active calories finish at 950+. Was the old Apple Watch formulas that wrong or has Apple made a mistake here? Anyone experiencing the same thing on their watches since watchos 5?
 
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Tabby

macrumors newbie
Jul 27, 2010
23
2
Yes! I burned 180 more today than yesterday! This was for the same brisk walk and for the same amount of time. Strange thing is that I had the update on my watch yesterday and it was the normal calorie burn that I always get. I’ll just keep to my routine. I’m sure this will get sorted out eventually.
 
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seble

macrumors 6502a
Sep 6, 2010
952
139
I remember this happening randomly to my watch os4 series 0 watch. Hard restart and it went back to normal.
 
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canyonblue737

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 10, 2005
1,373
1,144
I did a hard reset with no change. I'm very concerned as the 30% change in my daily burn is very large in my opinion and while I can easily reset the move ring target, I'm worried about using the new numbers in apps like Loseit or Myfitnesspal which balance your food calorie intake vs. your daily calorie burn. As I mentioned elsewhere I can now apparently eat an extra donut and a half a day! I get Apple tweaks things but 30%? Was it that wrong before? I'm concerned this is a bug.
 
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Mlrollin91

macrumors G5
Nov 20, 2008
13,685
9,276
Ventura County
My calorie count has dramatically increased as well. My outdoor walks have almost tripled. What’s extremely odd though is my GF’s watch is still giving her the same calorie burn as watchOS 4 did, but mine only increased after I repaired my watch as new. After I had upgraded to watchOS 5, I didn’t experience this change. It wasn’t until 4 days later that the change took affect (after repairing my watch).

Something definitely isn’t right. So I either need to up my move goal, hope 5.0.1 drops soon fixing the issue, or Apple announcing that it’s not a bug and it’s a new algorithm.
 
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imagineadam

macrumors 65816
Jan 19, 2011
1,443
605
Just chiming in to say same thing here! I've always kept a close eye on my rings and ever since the update to os 5 my calories burned, exercise minutes and even step count have gone way up with the same activity level. Something weird is going on. I also hope apple will explain or fix it.
 
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canyonblue737

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 10, 2005
1,373
1,144
Have any of you done a 20 minute+ Workout like an outdoor walk or similar to calibrate the watch?

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204516

Would be interesting to see if this fixes the issue for any of you.

yes, my watch is calibrated and calibration does make distance on a treadmill more accurate but it has no appreciable effect on calories. bottom line is all my 3 mile runs used to be 270 active calories and are now 330-340. the burn for regular walking and general movement is up a similar percentage. at the end of the day i am shown burning 200-300+ extra active calories as before 5.0 ... i find it VERY hard to believe Apple meant to tweak the formula for burn so much that a jump this large is possible.
 
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friednoodles

Suspended
Feb 4, 2014
601
829
For what it's worth, mine hasn't changed after the upgrade, which leads me to think they can't have made any drastic overall changes to how they calculate calorie burn or mine would be showing a difference too. Something else more specific must be going on if some people have seen a change while others haven't. Maybe it's just certain models? Mine's a Series 2.
 
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Lobwedgephil

macrumors 603
Apr 7, 2012
5,214
3,942
My series 3 had no noticeable difference, my new series 4 seemed a bit higher today, but within normal levels. Will monitor it.
 
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Luiggi7

macrumors regular
Jul 28, 2017
129
15
Series 2, same problem. I thought watch turned crazy...

Are there some Apple support thread where talking about it?

Waiting for 5.0.1
 
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Luiggi7

macrumors regular
Jul 28, 2017
129
15
I found nothing on support or discussions from Apple. But it is annoying! I feel like a tail teller, now am I giving fake calories? Or before was I being cheated? Now I can reach the target everyday! Although I move a lot or don’t. I work in an office, seated, and I can see my activity chart with some calories all over the day!
 
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Smacky

macrumors 6502
Jul 23, 2008
455
5
I have noticed this as well!
Ever since updating my series 3 to watchOS5 I’ve noticed my red move ring reports more KJ burned each day compared to watchOS4, without me making an effort to increase my activity or change my usual routine. I’m now hitting my move target every day compared to before when I might only get 50-75% of the target on a work day.
Very weird
 
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matrix07

macrumors 603
Jun 24, 2010
5,843
2,543
I saw one YouTube video where they tested Apple Watch, Garmin compared to HRM chest strap and HR on both AW and Garmin always came up much less than chest strap so it’s possible Apple just adjust their algorithm to be more accurate.
 
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friednoodles

Suspended
Feb 4, 2014
601
829
so it’s possible Apple just adjust their algorithm to be more accurate.

I'm sure they make tweaks sometimes, but mine's the same in watchOS 5 as it was in watchOS 4, so I don't think it's as simple as Apple making a change to their algorithms, otherwise we'd all have seen a change.

There must be something more nuanced going on if only some people are seeing a change and others aren't. It's a bit of a mystery!
 
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Mercenary

macrumors 65816
Sep 17, 2012
1,190
591
Been working out more and the burn seems the same. However I'm filling my rings easier when doing nothing.
 
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matrix07

macrumors 603
Jun 24, 2010
5,843
2,543
I'm sure they make tweaks sometimes, but mine's the same in watchOS 5 as it was in watchOS 4, so I don't think it's as simple as Apple making a change to their algorithms, otherwise we'd all have seen a change.

There must be something more nuanced going on if only some people are seeing a change and others aren't. It's a bit of a mystery!

Just finished running with Polar H10 for the first time. Same distance, same duration. The result is almost identical to watchOS 5 HRM for the run yesterday (the graph is just smoother). I’m wearing S3 LTE.

I say good job Apple!
 
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BlueMoon63

macrumors 68020
Mar 30, 2015
2,052
955
I haven’t noticed any difference. Granted, it’s only been two days for me, but the same workout yesterday to last week was 20 calories less this week than last week on the S3. End of the day was very similar to previous days on the S3.

I guess checking the health settings on the watch app just in case your stats changed for some odd reason? Doubt anyone’s changed though.
 
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Luiggi7

macrumors regular
Jul 28, 2017
129
15
Been working out more and the burn seems the same. However I'm filling my rings easier when doing nothing.

What does it mean? The calories burnt with no exercise are almost the same than doing exercise??? Why Apple? What is most incredible for me is that here is the only place where it is talking about this.

Tomorrow I’ll probably reinstall both devices and give you feedback.
 
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SteelBlueTJ

macrumors 6502
Apr 2, 2012
376
40
USA
I've noticed my rings are closing much easier since getting my S4 on launch day. Especially on a day off from working out. It just seems to be reading the calorie burn faster for some odd reason. IMO Watch OS5 still needs some work. This issue needs fixed and they need to add the missing complications to the new modular infograph face - messages, email. Hopeful that updates come soon.
 
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MJ22

macrumors 6502
Oct 3, 2017
453
514
My exercise ring closes a lot easier than it used to, however, there would be times I would walk or do low impact activity and it wouldn’t record some of the exercise minutes. So I don’t feel that I’m getting credit for time I’m not actually moving. My Move ring fills a little faster but nothing crazy.
 
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jz0309

macrumors 6502a
Sep 25, 2018
832
2,052
Temecula, CA
I ride my spin bike Mon-Fri (indoor cycle) and mountain bike Sat/Sun )outdoor cycle).
My experience w/watchOS5 on S3 Nike is that calories burnt is pretty much what it was on OS4.
With my new S4, calories burnt during workout is pretty much the same as before, but calories burnt during the day seems to be increased, by maybe 5-10%, but certainly not as high as others see.
Will continue monitoring ...
 
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