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Fitbit FAIL
Fitbit tech support has contacted me again with specific questions. I will continue to work with them to try to get to the bottom of situation. However, since I've adjusted my arm position during workouts, it has reported accurately and I'm getting much better and more effective workouts.
by Draglist (submitted a week ago)
Fitbit FAIL
Fitbit got back to me and recommended that I reset my Surge by pressing the left and top right buttons until the screen flickered. I did that but on my subsequent workout, I confirmed that it still misrepresented my heart rate when I swung my arms by my sides while walking. If I kept them bent at the elbows (sort of in a boxing stance), the heart rate was correct. The difference was on the order of 40 bpm or a 27 percent increase. That is quite an error and had held me back in two ways: I have not worked out hard enough and I have eaten too much as I overestimated my calorie burn. Bad show, Fitbit. I will seek a replacement.
by Draglist (submitted 3 weeks ago)
Fitbit FAIL
Thanks, Shmetterling and Jim. I do get that 'lost signal' thing on my Fitbit now and then but it always seems to find its way back. I wrote to them last night about a repair or replacement and I'm waiting to hear back. Thanks for sharing your findings.
by Draglist (submitted 3 weeks ago)
Fitbit FAIL
I found out today that I'm experiencing a significant data error on the heart rate tracking on my Fitbit Surge. When walking either on a treadmill or outdoors, if I swing my arms by my sides normally, I get maximum heart rate readings (when walking at 4 mph) in the 175 to 190 bpm zone! I am 57 and my max should be 163. I literally have been advised by my doctor (and my friend ClassicRocker) to check with a cardiologist and I was close to making an appointment. The crazy thing I experienced is that when I do one minute all out HIIT sprints, my heart rate drops into the 140s! I imagined that this was due to my body converting from hard-to-metabolize body fat to easy-to-metabolize glycogen for fuel. As the book Younger Next Year teaches, the body will store a small reserve of glycogen for fight or flight episodes. I thought I was converting to that when I sped up and then reverting to fat burning when I slowed back down to 4 mph. Tonight, I got a shock. I hop on the treadmill to do a modified “Sprint 8” program, where I do four minutes of warm up at 4 mph and then eight alternating sessions of 30-second sprints and 90-second walks. (I was doing a ‘modified’ Sprint 8 because the 30 second sprints should be as hard and fast as I can go, but I can’t do that on my rickety treadmill, hence the 5 mph limit.) Well, by the end of the first four minutes at 4 mph, I was already at 180 bpm. And as usual, when I did my 30-second 5 mph sprint, my heart rate dropped into the 160s. I then put the treadmill back at 4 mph and did the next 90 seconds. Very soon, I was back up above 180 bpm and at one point, even hit 189 bpm! Nonetheless, I continued on. After I did the initial Sprint 8 session, I did another 20 minutes but changed it up so that when I hit 175 bpm at 4 mph, I set the treadmill on 5 mph and continued at that speed until my heart rate DROPPED to 136. I then would set it back to the slower speed and my heart rate would rise again. It wasn’t until the last five minutes of this that I had a “NO Sh*t” moment. But first a bit of history. When I broke my treadmill a few weeks or months ago, I had to set it to a 1 percent grade instead of a 10 percent grade because I broke off the handle that I used to steady my hands on. To my surprise, I discovered that walking at the lower grade without ‘holding on’ gave me a significantly higher heart rate (and calorie burn). At 4 mph, I was able to let go and swing my arms naturally without holding on. But due to the extra speed of walking at 5 mph, I found I had to bring my arms up to more of a running (boxing) position because I was hitting them on the treadmill and losing a bit of balance. It was sometime after that I noticed the strange situation where my heart rate was higher at 4 mph than at 5 mph. This happened whether I was on the treadmill or walking/running outside. And you read above my pseudo-science to try to explain that away. So, back to the last five minutes of my workout tonight. For the second to last session of sprinting at 5 mph, for some reason, I kept my arms swinging despite the faster speed. To my surprise, my heart rate did not start to go down but actually began going up. I waited and waited but it never went down from the 175 or so it was at the time. That’s when it hit me -- the Fitbit was sensitive to ARM POSITION while walking or running! I spent the next ten minutes testing this and sure as hell -- when I brought my arms up into a boxing (or standard running) position, my heart rate was a reasonable 118-120 bpm at 4 mph and then went to a far more reasonable 137-138 bpm at 5 mph! When I would put my arms down by my sides and swing them, the heart rate climbed. So crazy and frankly, a little embarrassing that I didn’t figure this out sooner. These are exactly the type of readings I received before the treadmill broke and I changed the way I walked on it. So what we clearly have here is a significant error with my Fitbit Surge where it radically over reports the heart rate when I swing my arms by my side (standard walking). When I keep my arms elevated into a standard running (boxing) position, the actual valid heart rates are recorded. What this means is that for a month or more, I’ve been attempting to eat a number of calories to match an incorrectly reported calorie burn on my workout days. That proves that my recent decision in January to limit my calories to 1950-2000 was the right decision. But it was not because my body had some arbitrary limit on the number of calories I could eat regardless of calorie burn. It was because my calorie burn totals have been over reported to some extent and I’ve simply been eating too much. It could be up to 300 calories a day depending on how long I work out. So crazy. I’ll be emailing Fitbit immediately to find out if my unit is broken or if this is a feature of all their heart rate monitors. Nothing in the literature indicated anything about over-reporting heart rate. Anybody else seeing this? I think ClassicRocker mentioned something similar in the last year. Palm slapping my head… Bill
by Draglist (submitted 3 weeks ago)
Fit Bit
PS. The Fitmess app was updated earlier this year to send the Calories Eaten per day from FatSecret back to Fitbit. Still very happy with the app.
by Draglist (submitted 3 weeks ago)
An unexpected error has occurred
I do the same thing every time I weigh in. Just a 'feature' of the free site... :)
by Draglist (submitted 4 months ago)
Constipation issues
I agree. I used to have the problem all the time. I take two Magnesium Citrate pills a day (one at lunch and one at dinner) and I don't have the issue anymore. Has worked for months now.
by Draglist (submitted 4 months ago)
FS and Fit Bit
Thanks, JWill. The app is called Fitmess.us. Works great. Goes both ways but I only use the Fitbit to Fatsecret portion. I use it with outstanding results every day.
by Draglist (submitted 6 months ago)
Ticker Tag
I gave up and removed it.
by Draglist (submitted 6 months ago)
"Tricks of the Trade". Fool Me Once Shame On You. Fool Me Twice Shame On Me.
I agree. I try to be honest, but sometimes find myself going back to make adjustments... or entering additional stuff on the current day based on what I ate yesterday. What really makes me mad is when I get my calorie goal NAILED and then forget about something that I'd eaten earlier! Aargh! Sometimes, those go onto the next day as well, if I've already done my post. But it all gets logged! :)
by Draglist (submitted 6 months ago)
Carbs vs Protein
Congrats, Bopuc. Great results.
by Draglist (submitted 7 months ago)
Body Fat Percentages
I would be interested to see how it worked to 'even out' the morning numbers with the afternoon numbers. Based on my own tests, you should be seeing your true body fat percentage at around 52.5 to 52.7. Interestingly, I've really be dehydrated (for me) for the past week or so and I'm hovering between 57.7 and 60.7 for levels. Looking forward to hearing how this works for you. Bill
by Draglist (submitted 8 months ago)
Body Fat Percentages
Rabicajon, your link is to an article on running shoes. Please update your post to show the link on body fat percentages.
by Draglist (submitted 8 months ago)
Body Fat Percentages
That does seem low to me, Jim, but I only know my own numbers. I believe the Tanita article says that 50 to 65 percent is the typical body water percentage, so you are usually in that range. It seems strange that it would vary that much from individual to individual, but I don't really know the science behind it.
by Draglist (submitted 8 months ago)
Body Fat Percentages
PS: If my water percentage is higher than 62.5, my body fat percentages will read too good (sometimes as low as 13 or low 14 percent). In that case, the adjustment works just as well to increase my BF reading to a realistic number.
by Draglist (submitted 9 months ago)
Body Fat Percentages
Cool. But as an example, here is me for today. I've determined that my 'balance' water percentage on Tanita is 62.5 percent. That is, if my water reading is 62.5, I don't need to adjust the body fat number up or down. It's even. Today, I weighed 209.2, my body fat read 16.2 percent, my water percentage was 60.4 percent, my muscle mass read 166.8 lbs., and my bones weighed 8.6 lbs. So here's where my calculation comes in: 1. Take 60.4 divided by 62.5 = .9664 2. Take .9664 times .9664 again = .9339 3. Take .9339 times the body fat pct of 16.2 = 15.1 So the actual body fat is 15.1, not 16.2. So let's adjust the other numbers now. 1. Body fat in lbs. is 209.2 times .151 = 31.6 lbs. 2. I don't bother adjusting the bone weight so bones = 8.6 3. Bones plus BF = 40.2 lbs. 4. Total weight of 209.2 minus 40.2 = Muscle Mass = 169 lbs. Give it a try with your own numbers and see how it works for you. It's allowed me to track BF percentages regardless of hydration levels. Bill
by Draglist (submitted 9 months ago)
Body Fat Percentages
That's really fascinating. The lowest I ever go is 54 or 55 percent and that's when I'm SUPER dehydrated. What does it typically read when you weigh in just before dinner in the late afternoon? I'll use that as a set point. We need that number to use as your 'balance' number and then all other numbers will adjust to that.
by Draglist (submitted 9 months ago)
Body Fat Percentages
Hi guys. I have figured out an 'evening' formula that will allow me to adjust to show true body fat regardless of the water percentage being off a few points. I can share that. First, have to figure out your ideal body water percentage. One that does not show you having too little body fat (as when you are overhydrated and it skews the number) or too much body fat (which occurs when you are very dehydrated). For me, the ideal number is 62.5 percent body water. I figured this out by watching the scale over a year and tracking the numbers closely. I call it the 'balance' point. But the percentage likely will be different for you...
by Draglist (submitted 9 months ago)
Body Fat Percentages
Thanks, Jim! It's amazing that they consider 19 percent to be excellent for my age. To me, that would allow too much BF... but I'll take it! Thanks, Howzat. I tried that formula and it absolutely did not work (for me anyway). Are all the numbers exact as shown?
by Draglist (submitted 9 months ago)
Sunday is Fasting day
Right. I didn't realize this was your post. I only saw msbuggirl's post in my buddies view, so I replied to that one. I'll have to remember to read the full post. For some reason, these Diet Talk deals are largely hidden from me now unless one of my buddies posts.
by Draglist (submitted 10 months ago)
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