Carb % and Fat % Metrics

Fitdigits Results

FatCal, Fat % and Carb % are determined by which zones you were in during your workout.  Ultimately, the total number of carb calories will depend on your heart rate throughout the workout as related to your VO2 max.  In lower heart rate zones, you’ll tend to burn a higher ratio of fat to carb calories, while in higher zones, you will burn more carb-based calories.

Currently Fitdigits only does the calculation on the completion of the activity, it does not support real-time calculations.

You can view equations used at the bottom of ShapeSense’s article.

Related Posts:

How Fitdigits Calculates Calories
CPM – Calories Per Minute
Fitdigits Calories Integrating with Fitbit Calories
Editing Your Calories, Distance, Duration

 

Fitbit Changes “Active” Minutes

fitbit-logo-for-twitter

Fitbit has recently announced some changes to the way they count user’s active minutes.

Before if at any time you picked up your pace Fitbit would count that increase in effort as “Active” minutes, and simply sum up those minutes each day. However, in compliance with suggestions by the American Heart Association, Fitbit will only count active minutes after 10 minutes of continuous motion. This change will not affect your step count.

As a result, you may find that your Fitbit active minutes will be lower for the foreseeable future.

For more details, read the blog post Fitbit Extends Minimum Time Frame for Active Minutes.

Fitbit Calories and Fitdigits

Fitdigits and Fitbit have a great partnership that lets you see how many calories you burn daily. Recently, we have had a lot of questions regarding our Fitbit and Fitdigits integration, so I figured I could take some time to answer some FAQ.

For questions regarding MyFitnessPal, Fitdigits and Fitbit Integration, read here

Q: Can I wear my Fitbit during a Fitdigits workout and not get double calories?
A: Yes! Fitdigits and Fitbit are integrated so that whenever you begin a Fitdigits workout all Fitbit calories accumulated during the duration of your Fitdigits workout will be ignored. During workouts, Fitdigits gives you a more accurate caloric burn, so we use this instead of Fitbit. Make sure to keep your Fitbit on so you still get credit for your steps!

Q: I see my Fitbit calories on my.fitdigits.com, but why are the calorie totals several hundred calories lower then what Fitbit shows?
A: On my.fitdigits, we only display the calories burned when you are active, and not when you are sedentary or asleep. If you would like to see these calories included on my.fitdigits, click the “Options” arrow under the chart and make sure “Sedentary/Sleep” has a check next to it.

Click Sedentary/Sleep to see a calorie total equal to what Fitbit displays

Sleep/Sedentary Calories added!

Q: Do my Fitdigits workouts get sent to Fitbit.com?
A: Yes they do! Whenever you sync your Fitdigits app, the workout will be sent to Fitbit.com so you have a record in both places

Related Links: 

Linking Fitdigits & Fitbit

Fitbit Charge HR, Surge and Jawbone UP3 Compatibility

Misfit Shine Integration Is Here!

Fitdigits is starting to feel like the most popular kid in school, because we just keep on adding partners! After recently joining forces with the Jawbone UP, Fitdigits is adding the Misfit Shine to its family of health and fitness sensors.

The Shine is a new and unique way to track your steps, caloric burn, sleep, and other valuable health and fitness metrics. The biggest thing about the Shine is how low maintenance it is.

Unlike most activity trackers, the Shine can be worn 24/7 right on your wrist, meaning no accidentally putting it through the washing machine or losing it, and you can even leave it on the shower or while you swim! The Shine will also automatically track sleep without any kind of interaction or button pushing on the monitor, features a battery that lasts 4 months (no constant recharging necessary), and a comfortable and lightweight design.

The Shine is stylish and simple!

When we began discussing a potential partnership with Misfit, we had a few people around the office give it a try, and the reviews are overwhelmingly positive.

“I’m a busy working mom with two kids, and my favorite thing is just how easy it all is”, says Kelly Lazarus, a longtime Fitdigits employee. “I put it on and forget it’s on my wrist. No charging it, no losing it, no nothing! In all of my years using activity trackers, the Shine is by far my favorite. And I love the automatic tracking of sleep data.“

It does not hurt that the Shine is easy on the eyes! With a sleek and elegant design, the Shine is a departure from the bright colors and bulky form of sensors of the past. It is a simple, stylish and pragmatic approach to activity tracking.

Fitdigits is ecstatic to add such a unique sensor to it’s already robust list of partners. You can link your Misfit Shine with Fitdigits by logging into My.Fitdigits, going to “Partners” -> Misfit Shine ->”Link Account” and signing in with your Misfit username and password.

Click “Link Account” to pair your Misfit Shine and Fitdigits account

In-app integration will come with the next release of the Fitdigits, which will also feature optimization for iOS 8.

Happy Tracking!

Link Fitdigits With Your Jawbone UP Activity Trackers

You can link any of the Jawbone UP line of activity trackers with Fitdigits either on the web or within the apps. This will post your Fitdigits activities to Jawbone UP, and seamlessly integrate data from their tracker, including steps, calories and sleep, directly into your my.fitdigits dashboard. Currently the data is not held in the app itself but combined online in the cloud. See your integrated data on my.fitdigits.com.

From the Apps: 

  1. Open your Fitdigits app and go to Menu > Partners > Jawbone UP
  2. Tap “Link Account”
  3. Enter your Jawbone UP email and password

 

From the Website: 

  1. Go to My.Fitdigits and login with your Fitdigits username and password.
  2. On the top right, directly below your profile icon, you will see “Partners”. Click here to get to the Fitdigits Partners Page.
  3. Go to “UP” for the Jawbone UP and click “Link Account”.
  4. On the login page, enter in your username and password associated with your Jawbone UP account and activity monitor. (NOT your Fitdigits username).

You are linked! Now your Jawbone UP data will seamlessly integrate on My Fitdigits. To view your Jawbone UP and Fitdigits steps and calories graphed over time in the app, go to Menu > Daily Activity.

If you have more than one partner linked, you also need specify which one is your preferred Daily Activity data provider.

7 Foolish Fitness Follies

7 Foolish Fitness Follies

April Fool’s Day is a chance to celebrate our foolishness with silly pranks and hoaxes on family and friends. However, we often play practical jokes on ourselves that do more harm than we intend, especially when it comes to our health and fitness.

According to the Food Research and Action Center, over two thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. These startling statics tell us the importance of health and fitness education and that it is not something we should fool around with. There are so many misconceptions about working out that we hear often, so we decided to roundup some of the most common.

  1. I need to get in shape to go to the gym.
  2. The gym is not a beauty pageant. It is a place to do the dirty work needed in order to live a long, happy and healthy life. Who are you trying to impress? Like anything else, working out takes practice to master and just getting there is half the battle. If you keep waiting for the right time to start working out, that time will never appear.

  3. Cardio is the best way to lose weight.
  4. While Cardio is “a” way to lose weight, it is not the only way or the best way. Try to vary your workouts, mixing in plyometrics and stretching along with Cardio. Weight lifting is a great way to target fat loss in particular, as weight lifting will keep your metabolism pumping even after you finish working out.

  5. No pain, no gain.
  6. If something hurts beyond a typical muscle burn, stop what you’re doing. If you don’t receive the proper guidance on form or how to execute a tricky workout move, it can be dangerous and lead to serious injury. Always check with your instructor or consult with a personal trainer on how to execute certain exercise movements if you haven’t been taught before. Peruse this list of common workout mistakes to make sure you are using proper form.

  7. I have to push myself to max effort to see results.
  8. It is better to workout smart then just give max effort until you self-combust. Depending on your health and fitness goals, you should plan and execute workouts that have you transitioning between multiple heart rate zones. The notion that you have to give continuous max effort to get a good workout is one of many heart rate training myths that have sprung up over the years.

  9. Weights will bulk me up
  10. This one is mostly for the ladies who fear lifting weights will lead to bulky muscles. Unless you’re eating more calories than you burn, then you won’t bulk up. Since woman lose muscle mass with age, it’s important to add weight and strength training into your fitness routine. Lifting weights also helps build bone density which is very important for females as well. Always lift a weight that’s heavy enough that you find it challenging.

  11. I worked out so hard today, so I deserve to treat myself.
  12. Don’t reward yourself with fattening food–it will just derail all the hard work you did. No matter how hard you workout, you can out eat any fitness program. Maintaining a healthy and well-balance diet is essential to supplementing your workouts.

    On a related note, just because you completed a hard workout does not permit you to be a couch potato. Daily activity is important, and you should try to reach 10,000 steps everyday. Stumped on how to reach that benchmark? Check out our 10 Tips to Walk 10,000 Steps Every Day.

  13. Cardio machines give me a very accurate read on the number of calories I burned
  14. Purchase the Saddle Today!

    These machines use a very generalized formula to compile your caloric burn. The best way to track calories is with a Heart Rate Monitor such as the Polar H7 and a heart rate tracking app such as Fitdigits. Scoffing at the notion of bringing your iPhone with you to the gym or out on a run? Try The Saddle, the new and innovative way to take your iPhone with you while you exercise. It mounts right on your wrist for easy access and viewing and features a lightweight design that makes you barely notice it is there.

I went from a size 16 to a size 4!

I was ready for serious change

Testimonial by Fitdigits user Heather K.

I am a 43-year-old, married mother of two. I had my children in my early 30s and was able to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight pretty easily. My weight had stayed pretty level through my 30s, hovering around 135 despite my bad eating habits, until around 38 when the female metabolism typically starts to slow down. It snuck up on me at first. Then it was obvious I’d been gaining weight, but I still did nothing to help myself, so the weight gain continued. In November 2012 (the date of the picture on the right), I was just about to grow out of yet another size, and I’d had enough. I was 5′ 3″ and around 179 pounds. I started making small changes, but I wasn’t really serious yet.

January 2013 rolled around, and I made my annual “I’m going to lose weight” resolution, only this time I was ready to make some serious changes. My weight at that point was 174 pounds. I found MyFitnessPal via a news article about highly-rated weight loss apps. My intent was to do this the “right way” — I didn’t want to do a special diet that I couldn’t maintain long term, and I didn’t want to use any pills or gimmicks. I needed to do this in a way that would be healthy and sustainable, and I really believed that meant a combination of diet and exercise. The first step was a reset of my perception of food portions and how many calories were really in the food and drink I was consuming. MyFitnessPal made it easy to record intake and see at a glance how good or bad I was eating. And I could eat what I wanted, keeping my calorie goals in mind. That didn’t mean I could hit fast food every day, like I used to, but it did mean I could have it occasionally.

Not too far into this plan, my husband purchased a heart rate monitor that interfaced with an app on his phone. I thought it was a pretty cool gadget, and I borrowed his HRM a couple of times before deciding to purchase my own. I purchased the Polar H7 in early February, and I discovered it would interface with Fitdigits, which would then feed the information back to MyFitnessPal. Easy peasy! While it was a little depressing at first that the HRM showed fewer calories burned than my elliptical did, I felt it was better to have real data based on real effort than a result based on assumptions. Seeing clearly how many calories I was burning in Fitdigits allowed me to better determine how long I needed to work out. Or whether I need to step it up or dial it back a bit, depending on my heart rate and calories burned. I used it also to track my weight training.

In July, I started running. At first, I hated it! But I was very sore the next day, so it obviously worked different parts of my body than the elliptical did. That was probably a good thing, so I continued running. With Fitdigits, I could track my routes and know exactly how far I’d gone and how fast. Seeing my progress real-time motivates me to go just a little bit farther each time. Last weekend, I ran 6.25 miles straight! Considering I was “dying” less than 1/2 mile into my first run, that’s real progress.

Eventually, I added the Fitbit to the mix. It also interfaces seamlessly with MyFitnessPal, so it seemed like a no-brainer. My job has me sitting all day long, and knowing the Fitbit is tracking my steps motivates me to get up a little bit more during the day or move more at home at night.

50 pounds lighter and feeling great!

So we come to today. I’m around 124 pounds and feel like I have so much more energy than I used to. My BMI is firmly in the “normal” zone, which is such a great feeling. I also feel so much stronger. It’s amazing to me how far I’ve come from the couch potato of last December. I’ve lost 50 pounds since I got serious at the beginning of January and went from a size 16 (almost 18!) to a size 4/6. I’m not sure when I last wore size 4/6! My original goal was to lose 40 pounds, but once I got there, I knew I could continue. I’m currently in “maintenance mode” in MyFitnessPal, and I still exercise 4-6 times a week: elliptical/weight training during the week, and running on the weekends, using Fitdigits to track it all. My friends tell me I’m an inspiration to them, which makes me feel good.

I’m honestly not sure I could have made it this far without the help of technology. If I hadn’t been using the HRM and Fitdigits, I likely would have been overstating my calories from exercise, based either on what the elliptical told me or some generic formula found on the internet that can’t possibly know how hard I worked (or didn’t). Since the exercise allows me more calories in a day, that might have really slowed my progress (assuming I ate all the extra calories). I feel like I have a better handle on what I’m doing and what I need to do with the real-time feedback from Fitdigits.

The only downside to all of this has been the many shopping trips required for smaller clothes! New clothes are fun, sure, but somebody has to pay for them! Small price to pay for a healthier life, I suppose.

I need a new wardrobe!

Set and Crush Goals with Fitdigits

Set different goalsSet Goals for Fitdigits AppsFitdigits now offers the ability to create health and fitness goals over a variety of metrics.  Whether you want to lose 25 pounds in the course of a year or be able to walk 1,000 extra steps each week, Fitdigits has got you covered.

To create a goal, tap Menu > Goals from within the app, or go to my.fitdigits.com and select Goals from the main navigation.

You can set weekly, monthly or annual goals based on distance, duration, steps, calorie burn, or weight.

Distance Goal

To set a distance goal based on a workout type, select the Distance option on the set goal menu. Enter in the number of miles (or KM if you are set in Metric units) you would like to travel over the given time frame. Next, select the workout type with which you would like to track distance and the source you would like to use. Click/tap Create.

Duration Goal

To set up a Duration goal, select the Duration option on the set goal menu. Enter in the total time in minutes that you want to workout. Next, select the workout type you would like to apply for tracking duration. If you want to set a goal for all activity types, select Any Activity. Select the source you would like to use for the goal, and click/tap Create.

Set a steps goalSteps Goal

To set a Steps based goal, select Steps from the set goal menu. Enter in the number of steps you would like to complete in the given period. Next, select “measure with” options. If you are linked with Fitbit or other daily activity provider like Apple Health or Google Fit, you should be able to track this goal with that device.

Weight Goal

To set a Weight based goal, select Weight on the set goal menu. Enter in your current weight (lbs in U.S. and kg in Metric units) and the weight you would like to reach. You can then opt to lose a number of pounds in the given period based on goal time frame. For instance, if you want to lose 20 pounds, you can create a monthly goal to lose 5 pounds. Your goal is set once you click/tap Create!

Calorie Goal

To set a Calorie based goal based on a workout type, select Caloric Burn on the set goal menu. Enter in the amount of calories you would like to burn in the given time period; for instance, if this is a monthly goal, enter in the amount of calories you would want to burn for the month. Next, select the workout type for which you would like to see calories apply. Click/tap Create to begin!
Steps Goal Detail

Seeing Your Progress & Results

You can see your goal progression on either the online portal or your app. You can see the current time period progress as well as a historical view showing how you did in past weeks/months/years.

Setting a Favorite Goal

To set a single selected goal as your “Favorite” goal, which will then show up on the top of the main goals listing and in banners and different display areas throughout, on the desktop web, tap into the specific goal then tap the star icon (see below).

 

 

Deleting / Removing a Goal

To delete a goal from your goals section, tap into the goal details and at the bottom tap “Remove”.

Counting Calories – The Fitdigits Way

How does Fitdigits count calories? This question pops up more often then a Whack-a-Mole from those who care about the balance of calories and is touched on many times by others who are just curious. For example, many question why the calories on a manually entered workout are so different from that on shown on a Treadmill or during a workout where heart rate is used.

Background / Overview

  1. Everyone is different. Yep – even though we share 99% of the same DNA and makeup, that 1% is a doozy of a difference.
  2. Everyone changes constantly – the more we seem to stay the same, the more we change. A wise man once said “No man stands in the same river twice”. As your fitness level and health changes, so does the number of calories you burn on a constant basis.
  3. Women and men burn energy (calories) differently. Sorry girls – you just don’t burn calories as quickly, all other things equal.
  4. Younger people tend to burn energy (calories) more quickly.
  5. When tracking caloric intake (with a great app like MyFitnessPal) and true calories burned (with a great app like Fitdigits) you’ll get the most accurate, scientific approach to weight management. The most successful people use this method – check out some of the success stories

Things That Affect Calorie Burn

  1. Your weight – bigger people burn more calories, all other things equal. It takes more effort to walk an 18 minute mile for a 200lb person than it does for a 150lb person.
  2. Your Gender (see #3 above).
  3. Your Age (if you are not using heart rate and have not taken a personal Fitness Assessment).
  4. Your fitness level. Fit people have fine-tuned their bodies into calorie burning machines, and are just plain better at burning calories.
  5. What type and the intensity of your workout. This can be represented in a number called a “Metabolic Equivalent Table” (MET) number
    -OR-
    This can be more accurate with Heart Rate Monitoring– your heart rate actually is WAY more accurate at determining how hard your system is working than guessing at a number located in a table generated from generic testing.
  6. Time. How long did you workout?

 

Show Me The Numbers!

OK. Let’s look at a couple different scenarios.

 

(Bad) Calorie Calculations by Gym Machine Calculations / Activity trackers

If a machine, like a treadmill, knows nothing about you, they will probably use this formula:

Total Calories Burned = Duration in Minutes x (((MET – a number representing the type and intensity of your workout) x 3.5 x 70)/200).

So for an hour long jog the formula would be

Total Calories Burned = 60 x ((5 x 3.5 x 70)/200) = 367 calories.

The MET is a number they guessed, like 5 (from a range of maybe 3 to 16, based on speed) as a guesstimate of how hard you worked and 70Kg (154lbs) is their guesstimate of how much you weigh.

 

(Better) The Fitdigits Manual Calorie Calcs

When you have a person’s weight and can measure basic workout intensity either through self-reporting or by looking at speed/pace, you can start to refine the calorie calculations a bit. The formula is:

Total Calories Burned = Duration in Minutes x (((MET – a number representing the type and intensity of your workout) x 3.5 x your weight in kg)/200).

In this scenario, Fitdigits uses a sliding scale of MET values based on the type of activity chosen and the speed/pace of the workout, cross-referenced with the gender, age and estimated fitness level of the individual (or calculated fitness level/VO2 Max, if they have done a Fitness Assessment), applied to the standard MET tables. It does assume a flat surface, which isn’t always reflective of reality though, but does get much closer to a real caloric burn number. If there is no speed/pace (due to no GPS), then calorie calculations are done based on the user-specified Intensity, cross-referenced with the users gender, age and fitness level, if it exists.

 

(BEST) Calorie Calculations Using Heart Rate – Fitdigits with Heart Rate

With heart rate information, we can actually get very close to real, honest caloric burn numbers.The accurate calculation of calories burned by heart rate is optimized for the heart rate to be between 90 bpm and 150 bpm. The drivers are: Gender, Weight (kg), Height and VO2max (Fitness Level). The VO2max number is an estimate of fitness level based on a persons age and self-reported fitness level, or a calculated, much more accurate number if an Assessment has been completed.
The formulas are:

Men: C/min = (-59.3954 + (-36.3781 + 0.271 x age + 0.394 x weight + 0.404 x VO2max + 0.634 x HR))/4.184

Women: C/min = (-59.3954 + (0.274 x age + 0.103 x weight + 0.380 x VO2max + 0.450 x HR)) / 4.184

Note we actually show CPM – Calories Per Minute – on the results dashboard and in some in-workout dashboards (you can add it with Custom Dashboards). Kind of neat to see how your effort affect burn in a more standardized way!

 

Note: Exercise burn formulas are built around total caloric output during exercise — which typically includes BMR.

 

So now you know how we come up with accurate caloric burn data for you. Now what?

 

 

MyFitnessPal

The final piece of the equation is MyFitnessPal. MyFitnessPal takes inventory of everything you eat. Enter in your meals using MyFitnessPal’s enormous library of foods, and it will tell you how many calories you ingested. You can also set weight loss goals so that MyFitnessPal will instruct you on how many calories you can eat based on how much you are working out. Set a goal and reach it with Fitdigits and MyFitnessPal!

 

 

References:

http://www.calories-calculator.net/Calories_Burned_By_Heart_Rate.html
http://www.calories-calculator.net/Calculator_Formulars.html#burned_by_hr
http://www.shapesense.com/fitness-exercise/calculators/heart-rate-based-calorie-burn-calculator.shtml

 

Link MyFitnessPal and Fitdigits

Fitdigits is now partners with MyFitnessPal, and we could not be more excited! All you have to do is link your Fitdigits account with MyFitnessPal, and you will be able to see your Fitdigits calories count towards your daily allowance from MyFitnessPal. To link accounts:

1. Open Fitdigits and go to Menu > Partners > MyFitnessPal
2. Tap “Link Account”
3. Enter in your MyFitnessPal username and password, or link with Facebook
4. Tap Allow, and then tap Done

Now, after you complete a Fitdigits workout the application will automatically send the amount of calories you burn to your MyFitnessPal account!

If you also have a Fitbit or other daily activity partner linked (for the sake of this discussion we will use Fitbit as the primary example), we have found that linking Fitdigits with Fitbit, then Fitbit with MyFitnessPal is the best way to link the three partners. If you try to link them a different way, problems will occur:

1. Link Fitdigits with MyFitnessPal, and MyFitnessPal with another Daily Activity Provider (Not recommended)
You will need to take your Fitbit off when using Fitdigits, or you will get a double-dose of calorie adjustments – Fitbit giving you “some” credit for the exercise (especially if running or walking), while Fitdigits also would give you total credit for the exercise. Also, when MFP posts activity burn to Fitbit, it doesn’t transfer the distance. The worst part, though, is that if you don’t wear Fitbit while exercising/running/walking, it means you wouldn’t get credit for the steps you do during those exercises and that is probably the biggest bummer!

2. Link Fitdigits with BOTH MyFitnessPal and with another Daily Activity Provider (Not recommended)
If you want to live in a world of delusion, this will give you a huge caloric intake capacity as it will double your calories everywhere you look and give you a false sense of accomplishment on a regular basis. However, we have found living in a world of delusion, while fun for a little while, can have results that don’t exactly match the real world!