Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority
Feeling the burn is especially satisfying with counting calories on your wrist. But can you trust it? Find out how your Apple Watch calculates the calories you burn and find out if the statistics are accurate.
Read more: Everything you need to know about the Apple Watch
Your Apple Watch uses information such as your height, weight, age, gender, heart rate, and pace throughout the day to calculate how many calories you burn. This is of course an estimate, but in general, the results are considered fairly accurate.
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How does Apple Watch calculate calories burned?
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority
When you set up your Apple Watch for the first time, you’ll be asked to enter your age, gender, weight, and height. Meanwhile, the device itself is equipped with various sensors to actively track your activity and heart rate. Through a series of algorithms, Apple uses this data to make a relatively accurate estimate of how many calories you’re burning.
Additionally, your Apple Watch allows you to specify your activities for better accuracy during workouts. Choosing a relevant type of workout (like outdoor cycling, for example) enables your Apple Watch to use the appropriate sensors and data sources when estimating results. This results in a specific calorie count for each workout type.
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Is the calculation accurate?
Once you know how the Apple Watch calculates calories burned, the next question is its accuracy. Clearly, Apple’s measurements are called estimates for a reason. Outside of a highly controlled environment, it will be very difficult to determine your calorie burn with 100% accuracy. However, Apple Watches are powerful devices and these estimates are considered largely reliable.
Tips to get the most accurate results
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority
- Enable wrist detection: Wrist detection allows your Apple Watch to take background heart rate readings such as walking and resting rates. It also enables the device to track your stand progress. To enable wrist detection, open Watch app on your paired iPhone. tap my watch Tab, then scroll down and tap passcode. slide wrist detection Toggle to the on position.
- Choose your workout: As mentioned, your Apple Watch adjusts your calorie burn calculations based on the type of exercise you’re doing. Choose the right workout before you start recording your activity.
- Update your data: Since data points such as height, weight and even drug use can affect the accuracy of your estimated calories, keep personal information up to date. To do this, open Watch app on your paired iPhone and tap my watch Tab, then scroll down and tap Health. tap health details, Finally, tap Editthen tap the detail you want to adjust.
- Check Your Fit: Your Apple Watch uses data from its heart rate sensor to estimate calories burned during a workout. With this in mind, make sure you wear your watch properly. Strap on a snug fit with the device centered on the top of your wrist.
- Calibrate your device: Maximize the accuracy of your calorie estimates by calibrating your Apple Watch. In addition to fine-tuning your distance and speed data, calibrating your watch will also help the device learn your fitness level and progress.
Read more: Fitbit vs Apple Watch – Which Fitness Ecosystem Is Best?
questions to ask
What is the difference between active and resting calories?
Active calories refer to the calories that a person burns during physical activity. These are represented by the red move ring on your Apple Watch. Calories at rest are those your body burns during inactivity. Maintaining bodily functions from breathing to digesting food burns calories you might not even realize. Based on weight, height, age and gender, your body can estimate the rate at which you burn calories at rest.
Are any third-party calorie-tracking apps compatible with the Apple Watch?
If you’re interested in tracking the calories you consume, several third-party calorie-counting apps offer Apple Watch compatibility, including MyFitnessPal. Read our guide comparing the four most popular apps available.
How many calories do you need?
According to Harvard Health, most women need 1,600 to 2,000 calories per day, while the average man needs 2,000 to 2,400 calories per day. However, calorie needs are highly individual and depend on many health factors. These include age, activity level, body type and size, and goals.