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Old 05-16-2012, 11:14 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How smart is Fitday?

When we start we guess at how many calories we are burning every day and logging in our weight and food intake. I don't fill in more than this daily...too much time sitting.

If we are strict at logging our data, I would hope we can see how our metabolism affects our weight- average, slow, fast, and when Fitday says I'll weigh 7 pounds less in 3 months, I'd love to believe it.
Is the softwear smart enough to recalculate our averages to give us accurate projections
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Old 05-16-2012, 10:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I keep coming back to this post trying to think of something that will answer your question.

I don't think I'm really sure what you're asking, though. If you are saying that if you log everything (food and activity), will FitDay calculate exactly your rate of loss, the answer is no. The main reason for that is because there are so many variables that can affect weight gain and loss, and FitDay (and most other programs) takes into account only age, size (what you enter as height and weight), and your estimate of activity level. These are all approximations at best, and when you add in measurement error in logging food, it is a ballpark estimate at best. Even estimates of what you burn are largely inaccurate, unless you wear a heart rate monitor, and even then it's no guarantee...it just goes by heart rate and whatever other data you've entered in.

Losing is not an exact science...it would be awesome if we could have a direct linear relationship between calories eaten and expended and weight loss, but it doesn't work that way. Metabolism is affected by proportion of muscle and fat, for instance, so even two people weighing 150 lbs. and eating 1400 calories a day will lose at a different rate if one is 20% body fat and one is 35%.

The only thing I can think of that would bring you as close as you can get to predicting your weight loss would be to have your body fat percentage done (usually hydrostatic weighing for most accurate results) and when you do that, they can pinpoint how many calories you burn more so than when you select "seated, some movement," etc. You mentioned "average, slow, and fast," but those are still very broad. And even with a scientific accurate measurement of metabolism, plateaus, water retention, sodium, time of month, stress, and a gazillion other factors can affect your rate of loss.

Bottom line, what FitDay gives is about what you will find for a "do it yourself" calculation, without going into some fancy health/exercise facility and getting measurements of everything done down to the nth degree. The software is good, but nothing is that smart to do it perfectly. It is an awesome program for support, though.

I hope this helped; if it didn't answer your question, maybe rephrase it and I or someone else can take a better stab.
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Old 05-17-2012, 11:37 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I'll just add that if you do find that reality does not quite follow FitDay's projection, you can (should) tweak your numbers a bit to bring it into line. You'd do this by perhaps changing your "lifestyle" setting and/or adding more sleep to your daily activities (for instance, many of us add in 8 hours of sleep to our daily activities, even though FitDay automatically assumes you have 8 hours of sleep per day).

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Old 05-21-2012, 03:52 AM   #4 (permalink)
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The short answer is that yes, it will do that. It will take some tweaking and refining however. The calories eaten side is going to take a lot of practice to get that hang of without breaking out measuring cups, spoons and scales every time you eat something. After a while you will get the hang of it, and nutrition labels are great at coaching you along too in determining how large a portion of something is. The calories expended side is a little more iffy. Everybody's metabolism varies from the curves used by the software, since those are curve fits of "typical" metabolisms. By varying your activity level to account for where you are plus tweaking which method the site uses, you should be able to get very accurate measurements over a several month period.

I have essentially tracked everything I've eaten since 1/1/2011 (a few days missed here and there) and all my major exercise activities (including yard work as well as actual workouts). I had years of experience doing this during diet/fitness periods but never as just a daily journaling. I also measure my calories expended during activities with a heart rate monitor for more accuracy (sometimes FitDay nails it other times it is off by a lot). After a few months I found out I was way over-estimating my base calorie expenditure level (an error of 2 lbs over three months in the very beginning). Adjusting for that I have been able to track my weight change over a period of more than a year to within 0.5-1 pound. That is with targeting a net fat loss of as little as zero pounds and as many as 2 pounds every three months.

So again, short answer is yes it works. It will just take some practice and tweaking.
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Old 05-21-2012, 08:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Not sure if this has been covered in another thread or not, but if you manually add an activity, will Fitday automatically adjust the calories burned in your lifestyle setting? For example, I have selected Seated All Day as my lifestyle. It's not exactly accurate, but I do work from home sitting in front of a computer (I'd rather be conservative on the calories burned side). Then I add in all my daily activities: Pilates, clearing brush, dancing, morning hike, etc. I figured this would give me a more accurate account of activity level each day. Does anything think I'm going about this incorrectly?
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Old 05-21-2012, 11:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djslatt View Post
Not sure if this has been covered in another thread or not, but if you manually add an activity, will Fitday automatically adjust the calories burned in your lifestyle setting? For example, I have selected Seated All Day as my lifestyle. It's not exactly accurate, but I do work from home sitting in front of a computer (I'd rather be conservative on the calories burned side). Then I add in all my daily activities: Pilates, clearing brush, dancing, morning hike, etc. I figured this would give me a more accurate account of activity level each day. Does anything think I'm going about this incorrectly?
You are doing it correctly.
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Old 05-22-2012, 12:23 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HankG View Post
You are doing it correctly.
Thanks!
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