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Basal Metabolic Rate Calculation




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    So this was the reply I received.


    The watch shows calories from a user's BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate - an estimate of the amount of calories needed at rest so that the body can function) in addition to calories burned from exercise. This is why the watch will show calories before any exercise is done.

    Please know that the watch calculates calories based on:

    • steps taken
    • activities the user has performed (running, swimming, etc.)
    • profile information (gender, weight, height, and age)


    • Heart Rate is not taken into account for burned calories
    • Manually entered activities are not shown on the ScanWatch, even though they appear in the app
    • If an activity detected by the ScanWatch is modified in the Health Mate app, the calories will be updated on the app, but not on the watch
    • This results in a variance between what is shown on the ScanWatch and what is shown in the HM app


    So I take this to mean that the watch (and presumably the HM app) apply your baseline BMR to your reports. So my baseline BMR (if I was lying completely still and doing nothing) is esteemed to be about 1,700 cals per day. The reality is no one (except perhaps someone in a coma) does this. In reality my BMR is probably nearer 2,200 - 2,300. So the HM app starts with a deficit of 500 - 600 calories.Then they say the heart rate has no impact on counting of burned calories, so only logged activity is counted towards calories burned. 

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    But this what BMR is (calculating your height, weight, age and gender). It is often used interchangeable with Resting HR (aka RHR). It is the calories your body requires at rest, just to function (breath, blink etc). You seem to be confusing BMR/RHR for daily caloric intake, which takes your activity levels into account, adding calories to the BMR (it would be higher then, of course). So, yes, your BMR will be lower than your daily caloric needs based on activity level (light, moderate, intense).

    I hope this helps!

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    Hi Axfan. Thanks for the contribution. No I'm not confusing BMR and RHR. Yes I understand that BMR will be lower than (daily) Total Energy Expenditure (TEE). That's precisely my problem. The ScanWatch shows BMR and does not attempt to estimate TEE. To be honest you don't need the ScanWatch to tell you your BMR there are plenty of online calculators for that - and by definition (unless your weight fluctuates a lot) your BMR is the same day to day. For the watch to be useful you really need it to estimate TEE. To do this it would need to approximate what energy you are expending across the day by reference to your Heart Rate (not just RHR). All the ScanWatch does is estimate energy expended during designated 'exercise'. Well that is not that helpful as I will expend more energy when I take a shower, wash the dishes, etc. than my BMR. But I don't intend to designate every action I take during the day as exercise. FitBit do manage a measurement which approximates to TEE and this is more helpful if you are calorie counting. It would be relatively trivial (it seems to me) for Withings to allow Customers to opt either to see BMR or TEE, or indeed both.

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