Fitness Trackers Flop for Counting Calories Burned

Volume 14    |   Issue 80

Diana came in the other morning complaining that, "No matter what I do, I cannot lose this weight. I am exercising regularly, staying away from carbohydrates, taking the supplements you gave me, and keeping my calories where you said to, and the scale still looks the same. What in the world is wrong?" It's true. Diana had come in two months before for a metabolic work-up using Bio-Energy testing®. The results showed that she was carbohydrate sensitive and thyroid deficient. The test also showed the exact exercise levels she needed to be at for maximum fat burning, and the exact amount of calories she had to eat for weight loss. So, what went wrong?

You won't guess.... It was her fitness tracker.

Fitness trackers are fast becoming the thing. They are electronic bands worn on the wrist similar to a watch. Only they don't just tell time. They also indicate heart rates, how well you sleep, how many steps you took during the day, and how many calories your body burned. Sarah was not sticking to the calorie program her Bio-Energy testing had determined. Instead, she was adjusting her caloric intake based upon what her fitness tracker was telling her. But here's the problem.


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Researchers at Stanford University recently published an assessment of how accurate these devices are for heart rate and for calories burned. Specifically, they tested the Apple Watch, Basis Peak, Fitbit Surge, Microsoft Band, Mio Alpha 2, PulseOn, and Samsung Gear S2. To do the study, they enlisted the help of 60 men and women between the ages of 27 to 49 with different heights, weights, skin tones, and fitness levels. The participants wore the devices while sitting, walking, running, and cycling. At the same time, the researchers measured their heart rates and calories burned using continuous cardiac telemetry and indirect calorimetry. Indirect calorimetry is the technology behind Bio-Energy Testing. It can very accurately measure how many calories your body is burning at any point in time. Here's what the researchers discovered.

The devices worked best during cycling and worse during walking. The devices tended to be more inaccurate in men, overweight individuals, and people with darker skin tones. In regards to heart rate, for the most part, the devices worked fairly well, being less than 5% off the mark. But all of them failed miserably when it came to calories burned. The best fitness tracker was off by 27%. And the worst one was off an unbelievable 93%! The researchers put it this way, "In conclusion, most wrist-worn devices adequately measure heart rate in laboratory-based activities, but poorly estimate energy expenditure (calories burned)." No wonder Diana couldn't lose the weight. Her fitness tracker was giving her wrong data.

It's remarkably easy to lose weight. In fact, 100% of people can do it. You just need to eat less calories than you're burning. Bio-Energy testing will tell you exactly how many calories that needs to be. In addition, you can burn additional calories by exercising correctly. Once again, Bio-Energy Testing can give you that information as well. But, as this study shows, you cannot rely on fitness trackers or any other over the counter technology to accurately give you this information. You can find doctors using Bio-Energy Testing at

Yours for better health,





Shcherbina A, Mattsson CM, et al. Accuracy in Wrist-Worn, Sensor-Based Measurements of Heart Rate and Energy Expenditure in a Diverse Cohort. J Pers Med. 2017 May 24;7(2). pii: E3.
6/10/2017 Fitness Trackers Flop for Counting Calories Burned | Medpage Today 1/3 Fitness Trackers Flop for Counting Calories Burned

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