Don’t rely on exercise calories from apps


We’ve discussed this a few times, but looking at some recent activities on Strava and Garmin, I’m reminded that we really can’t rely on these tools to tell us any more than How Far, How Fast.

On cycling Garmin constantly shows a higher number of calories burned than Strava
Cycling, 14.5 miles
Garmin = 595 calories
Strava = 405 calories

Running, 3.04 miles
Garmin = 369 calories
Strava = 480 calories

Both scores come from the feed on my Garmin watch.

So, which do I trust?


Forget about exercise calories, and focus on the input. I lose weight by eating less. I get fitter by moving more. I can move more, because I weigh less.


100% agree mate, if you’re consistent with your exercise routine, consider that part of your regular ‘life’ & just focus on the calories going into your mouth… it’s makes it SOOO much easier.

If you’re not consistent with your exercise, get consistent

(consistently do the same-ish amount or don’t do any at all if you don’t want to)



The calories on food tracking apps are difficult to keep up with sometimes too. Better off just scanning barcodes to ensure the right foods are selected. Though this may not always be possible!


I don’t usually eat the exercise calories but they can be a small buffer. Fitbit takes the exercise and it uses height and weight to determine cals burned. Would this be more reliable?


Whats the poin in the exercise if you’re ‘filling’ those used calories back up with food mate?




What’s interesting is why do two decent quality, well used apps interpret the data so differently?


they’re using 2 different methiods of estimation/calculations (there’s a variety of well known estimation/calculations)but none of them are ever going to be accurate anyway


I have simply set the Lose it App calculated allowance to be 300 less every day.

So what should be 1780 is only 1480.

If I use a few of the exercise calories then because of this it doesn’t matter.