Are you struggling to lose weight even though you are eating in a calorie deficit? You might want to reconsider the accuracy of the instrument you are using to track your energy expenditure. In this blog post, we discuss the accuracy of smartwatches, such as the Fitbit, in measuring the number of calories burned.
Most people track their energy expenditure using rough equations from the internet, treadmill output, bike output, or smartwatches. However, a study conducted in 2018 showed that smartwatches underestimated energy expenditure by 28% to 93% during exercise. This means that if a smartwatch indicates that you burned 500 calories, you might have burned only 260 calories.
A recent study published in the European Journal of Sports Science compared the accuracy of three new smartwatches- Apple Watch 6, Polar Vantage V, and Fitbit Sense. They found that the Apple Watch 6 was the best at measuring heart rate, but all three watches did a poor job of measuring energy expenditure, with coefficients of variation ranging from 15% to 25%.
Therefore, if you think you are eating in a calorie deficit and not losing weight, it is more likely that the instrument you are using to measure energy expenditure is inaccurate rather than you defying the laws of thermodynamics.
In conclusion, it is important to be aware of the limitations of the instrument you are using to track energy expenditure. While smartwatches have improved over the years, they are still not accurate enough to be relied upon solely for measuring calories burned. It is best to combine smartwatch data with other methods of tracking energy expenditure, such as heart rate monitors or simply focusing on your diet and exercise routine.
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