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Fitbit Charge HR with My fitness Pal review
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kbell Offline
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Fitbit Charge HR with My fitness Pal review
Fitbit and Myfitnesspal review

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This is my one week review of using Fitbit Charge HR in tandem with myfitnesspal app. I intend to update it when I learn more as well. I'm curious about how accurate the pounds per week is.

Fitbit Charge HR is an optical based tracking fitness tracking device, which measures basal metabolism rate, heart rate, sleep duration and interruptions, steps like a pedometer, water drunk, food eaten, steps ascended/descended, and the time. It does everything fairly well but has some problems as well.

Heart rate is measured optically by these constantly flashing LEDS, that are only visible when the band is off the arm. You have the the band away from the wrist bone, like a normal watch. Doing steady state things like walking, running, heart rate is about as accurate as the ones on fitness machines that read hand pulses. When doing interval work, it doesn't register the fast changes in heart rate. I believe chest pulse bands are the best, but I don't want to wear that all day. When you mediate for a minute it measures your pulse dropping 4 bpm, and 8 after 5 minutes. When stressed your pulse will sky rocket often into fitness levels. There was a few times where it failed to record my heart rate for half the day, which may be do to it sliding out of a place or an app blue tooth bug.

BMR measurements I'm not sure how accurate they are yet, however it adds or subtracts (if you allow the option) calories from you daily calorie budget in either Fitbit's app or myfitnesspal. You need to enter your weight and height to get a baseline. I believe heart rate measurement and overall movement is calculated into it as well.

For walking its more accurate than I expected only about 2-3 steps off of 20 steps. You have to measure your steps per 20 steps, divide by 20 and get the feet measurement per step. For some dumb reason you can't simply add this to the Fitbit app, but it has to be done in the website account. This makes your steps pretty accurate. However when you sleep it sometime counts tossing as steps, so I wake up with 60 steps from sleeping! I think it calculates steps by attitude changes, not by arm swings. I was holding my hand still and got pretty accurate measurements that way. The app gives you a goal of 10,000 steps a day which is close to 3 miles a day. That's not too hard to get, although I end up going about 8000 or 9000 on average days.

For sleeping, it measures when you wake up, toss in bed (called restless sleep), what times you fall asleep and when you wake up. I'm not sure how accurate the time you fall asleep is though, I would need someone else to note that for me. If you wake up more than once per night it might be good to look into a sleep study. I may do one myself at some point.

The band itself is pretty sturdy, just difficult to put on. The fit of the watch is slightly tighter, so adjustments to the ring that holds the excess band is awkward to adjust. If your arms are hairy, its very easy to pull hair taking it off. Which you have to do every 2.5-3 days since the battery doesn't last super long. The screen itself is made out of a crappy material that scratched after the first day, so I recommend using small strips of scotch tape or cell phone screen protectors on the screen. Cut the protector so it will be slightly smaller than the screen so it doesn't fall off if it hits your clothes. Unfortunately the protector falls off after a few days, so haven't found a really good one yet.

The app itself syncs up to the watch via bluetooth, which drains cell phone battery faster. You will have to charge your phone daily. The app is pretty simple to use and everything is accessible except for step adjustments quite easily. When the battery gets low after 2.5-3 days it posts a big warning on the screen. You can sync the app with my fitnesspal as well which will send calorie data to the program. It than lets you easily compare the data as calories in, and the calories out is the fitbit data. Heart rate is measured throughout the day and shown on a graph. Unfortunately you can't zoom in to see per minute data. I'm not sure the break down in time since there isn't a legend, so it might be hourly. You can track water consumption and sleep data there as well, as well as everything else it tracks.

Myfitnesspal is my tracker app which I prefer to use over fitbits. Its more comprehensive with 500,000 or more foods (fibit has 2000 I believe), easier to scan bar codes, adjustable goals, and nutrition breakdowns. I just found out today that you can adjust your macros without paying for it. I've lost quite a bit of weight this week. Most chain restaurants have their foods uploaded to it and the portion size they use! Wegman's and places with barcodes have easy ways of add food as well. In the following weeks I will add more info as a I learn more about both app and tool.
(This post was last modified: 12-13-2015 02:03 PM by kbell.)
12-13-2015 01:54 PM
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kbell Offline
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RE: Fitbit Charge HR with My fitness Pal review




Since you wear the fitbit almost 24/7 you need to clean it often. I was starting to get a bit of an itch from wearing it, so I started cleaning it like the man demonstrates here with the same stuff, except I use cottonballs instead of that female crap. I also switch arms every other day and clean it that day to give the one arm a break. Your sweat, dead skin and bacteria accumlate on the band and sensor over time.

To extend battery life at least a day, disable all sync in the fitbit app, which is when you click on the device twice. The feature will keep trying to sync even when the app isn't on. It autosyncs anyway when you load the app.

It still doesn't accurately reflect battery life usage, because it will say the battery is empty, but the device still works. I think that may be an app bug, which hopefully will be patched soon. I just use it till it starts sluggish, although next time I will completely drain it. I recharged it today, which takes about 2 hours. So hopefully I can get 4 days next time.
12-20-2015 09:57 PM
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RE: Fitbit Charge HR with My fitness Pal review
I just got a fitbit charge HR last week as well. I really like it, and truthfully so far I enjoy the sleep tracking and alarm functions the most.
12-20-2015 10:04 PM
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kbell Offline
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RE: Fitbit Charge HR with My fitness Pal review
I haven't messed with the alarm functions. I guess it vibrates, only waking you up. I'm used to using different day alarms on my cell phone, which jingles. I also have it far enough away I have to get out of bed to deactivate it. I think you might be able to deactivate the fitbit by holding the button long enough. There is a way of accidentally activating snore mode which alarms every 9 minutes until you figure it out.
12-20-2015 10:16 PM
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polar Offline
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RE: Fitbit Charge HR with My fitness Pal review
Nice, beat me to it. I'm a fan of adding calorie adjustments from FitBit to MFP. I'm currently seeing if it will help me bulk.

I posted this in one of the cutting threads, but people here might find it useful:

I do have a suggestion for those of you tracking food through MyFitnessPal on Android. The latest versions only track calories and don't give you macros unless you shell out monthly.

Rather than paying for a membership, find an old version of the APK (I used 3.11). The version is before they went freemium, and macros are available. They're still synced regardless, just the latest versions have a soft coded restriction.

Maybe this trick would work on iPhone as well.

(04-07-2017 11:50 AM)Quintus Curtius Wrote:  Stop looking to political figures to solve your problems or to advance you in life. You're on your own, and always have been. No one is going to save you. What we need are spiritual revolutions--upheavals of the soul--and not political revolutions.
(This post was last modified: 12-21-2015 09:57 AM by polar.)
12-21-2015 09:57 AM
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kbell Offline
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RE: Fitbit Charge HR with My fitness Pal review
I have a version of myfitnesspal which is about 3 weeks old, version 5.3-7858. If you click the triple line next to myfitnesspal>under goals>under nutrition goals>calorie and macronutrient goals, you can adjust the percentage of macro calories of protein, carbs and fat per day. The total has to equal 100%. I have mine set for 35% carbs, 30% protein, 35% fat. This might not be the best ratio, but I'm experimenting. I'm not paying for the premium.
(This post was last modified: 12-21-2015 06:45 PM by kbell.)
12-21-2015 06:37 PM
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polar Offline
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RE: Fitbit Charge HR with My fitness Pal review
Yes, but is it giving you macros on the food you input, or only tracking calories?

(04-07-2017 11:50 AM)Quintus Curtius Wrote:  Stop looking to political figures to solve your problems or to advance you in life. You're on your own, and always have been. No one is going to save you. What we need are spiritual revolutions--upheavals of the soul--and not political revolutions.
12-22-2015 02:30 AM
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kbell Offline
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RE: Fitbit Charge HR with My fitness Pal review
It shows up when you click nutrition and if your close to your goal I believe it shows up on the food you eat. I will double check on the last one though.
12-22-2015 07:52 AM
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kbell Offline
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RE: Fitbit Charge HR with My fitness Pal review
I got at least 4.5 days of battery life this time. All sync deactivation was key. I had to charge it today at noon, the last time was Sunday at around noon.

If you go over your macro goal limit it gives a warning in your current food entry in myfitness pall, saying your supposed to hit 178 grams of protein or whatever. I think I will play with a function in myfitnesspal which subtracts from allotted calories if I'm lazy. You don't burn much calories when sedentary. Some users even keep their activity level at sedentary and the fitbit changes the amount of calories you need dynamically based on activity level.
(This post was last modified: 12-25-2015 02:15 PM by kbell.)
12-25-2015 02:15 PM
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wi30 Offline
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RE: Fitbit Charge HR with My fitness Pal review
I just got the charge for Christmas yesterday. It's the same except it doesn't track your heart rate. I didn't know anything about fitbit or smart watches and my dad thought it would be a good present since I'm active.

After using it for a day, I really like it so far. I'm still figuring out all the settings and features. I thought the sleep tracking was pretty accurate. I remember waking up from a dream around 5 am and falling back to sleep immediately. The app showed a one minute restless period during that time.

My favorite feature is that the clock appears when you turn your wrist to look at it. Seems cool and futuristic to me.

I'm not that tech savvy and was surprised at its accuracy so far. I'll give a full review in a couple of weeks once I'm more familiar with it.
12-26-2015 04:25 PM
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polar Offline
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RE: Fitbit Charge HR with My fitness Pal review
Agree on deactivating auto sync. I spent the weekend away from home, including tracking a long workout plus always tracking heart rate. I did 3-4 syncs a day to update calories in MFP, and got home with half the battery remaining.

Heart rate tracking is quite nifty, but you should have it 1-2 inches higher on your wrist than you'd wear a watch for best results. I usually wear the FitBit watch band on the fourth hole regularly and on the fifth when lifting, and push it up my wrist. If it's too low, it really under counts the heart rate, to the point where cardio machines and my personal experience say I'm doing 140+ while FitBit claims 90-100.

Also, some reviews I've read say there is a lot more data available if you export it through the website (as opposed to the app), but I haven't tested it personally.

(04-07-2017 11:50 AM)Quintus Curtius Wrote:  Stop looking to political figures to solve your problems or to advance you in life. You're on your own, and always have been. No one is going to save you. What we need are spiritual revolutions--upheavals of the soul--and not political revolutions.
(This post was last modified: 12-28-2015 12:02 AM by polar.)
12-28-2015 12:00 AM
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kbell Offline
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RE: Fitbit Charge HR with My fitness Pal review
http://myfitnesspal.desk.com/customer/en...sync-delay

There is a sync bug since there is probably a ton of new fitbit users trying to sync with myfitnesspal. Hopefully it will be resolved soon. So I'm using the calculations from fitbit itself to figure how much I need which tends to run 100 calories less than myfitnesspal.
01-05-2016 06:45 PM
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heavy Offline
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RE: Fitbit Charge HR with My fitness Pal review
I bought one as I get a gym point (=cash back) for hitting 10k steps each day. Seems stupid, but it'll pay for itself in a year. I bought a used Charge HR for $90 on ebay at the beginning of January.

I anticipated being annoyed at wearing it, not really getting much out of it except the 10k step gym point, and maybe some heart rate monitor info. After having it for a few weeks...

I love it. I never thought I'd like it, but I love it. It makes me get my steps in, I can see my sleep patterns, tells me about my workouts, etc.

I've never been a runner. I hate running. I really really hate treadmill running, and had only done it a couple times briefly. Now, when I'm done lifting, I'll go run 1-3 miles just to get my daily 10k steps in (I sit at a desk for work)...and I don't mind it. It's like a game. Gotta get the steps in.

This thing is smarter than it advertises. This is weird to me how well calibrated it is, knows what kind of workout I did. For instance, I lifted on Sunday and it shows up as "workout" (with a guy doing movement workout), then Monday I ran on the treadmill, it shows up as running, then...and this one blows my mind, today I strapped it to my shoelace to get steps for spin class (stationary bike)...and the damned thing shows it as "elliptical".

It's basically what I'd call a positive time waster that actually adds to my life and does make me workout a little more, especially cardio (which I normally don't like). Yes, it's stupid and nerdy to check my fitbit app throughout the day, but it's better than checking social media.

Anywho, I'd never tell a person to buy this for accountability or to start working out or whatever, because that's not why I bought it. But for me it made me start doing more cardio. I was doing spin class once or twice a week and basketball a couple times a week. Now I'm doing spin more frequently, and I'm running if needed to get steps.
(This post was last modified: 01-28-2016 02:45 PM by heavy.)
01-28-2016 02:42 PM
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RE: Fitbit Charge HR with My fitness Pal review
A Fitbit is one of those things you don't know you're missing until you integrate it into your life. After one month, I can't imagine life without it. I make it a daily goal to hit each mark (steps, miles, calories in/out, floors, sleep). I can look back and see which days are good and which days I'm slacking.

My diet has been so much better now that I have to track my calories. My portions used to be out of control. I never realized how many calories were in my diet. Tracking calories is a much better way to diet for me instead of restricting various foods like I have in the past. If I want some chips with lunch, I'll only grab 100-200 calories worth with my meal whereas I used to eat most of a large bag. If I've had an exceptionally low calorie day, I might have a small bowl of ice cream to celebrate while still staying under budget. I've learned which foods fill me up and which are a waste of my caloric allowance.

A Fitbit isn't going to help some fatass who's looking for the magic solution, it's for someone who is already active and wants to be more aware of their body. I've learned a lot about my sleep patterns, diet, and activity levels. It's helped me make little adjustments throughout the day to reach my daily and long-term goals.

I highly recommend it.
(This post was last modified: 01-30-2016 08:03 PM by wi30.)
01-30-2016 08:02 PM
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RE: Fitbit Charge HR with My fitness Pal review
Any advice how to integrate it with mfp? I tryed to go to mfp website and sync it that way as suggested, says its synced but fitbit does not send any info over to mfp...

Please don't like my posts or rep me. I do not wish to be judged by how many rep points and/or likes I have.
02-12-2016 11:32 AM
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RE: Fitbit Charge HR with My fitness Pal review
When you sync it you have to use both passwords from mfp and fitbit. https://help.fitbit.com/articles/en_US/H...FitnessPal Right now there has been a lot of problems with MFP and the recent update with syncing data. When this happens, follow the calories left from fitbit even if you end up like 500 calories over mfp says. Also check to see if its linked in apps and devices> in mfp, under my apps. My syncing issues cleared up today though.

If you still have issues I'd ask over at mfp forums which I think you can access with your account. They have been doing work on the backend so its most likely related to that. They might have to manually fix something on your account in that case. You could also try deactivating in the computer and resyncing it on the phone again.
02-12-2016 07:18 PM
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kbell Offline
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RE: Fitbit Charge HR with My fitness Pal review
My fitbit basically died. The band is separating from the screen which is really beat up. The parts they used to make it are very cheap and poor quality. My time is not accurate when it started dying and get keep doing this progress screen. When I synced it up with the phone the time would be accurate, but 30 minutest later the time would be an hour off. I can't get the screen to turn on. So its time to look for a new one. Something with a far more durable screen and hopefully a longer battery life.
02-13-2017 08:24 PM
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polar Offline
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RE: Fitbit Charge HR with My fitness Pal review
(12-28-2015 12:00 AM)polar Wrote:  Agree on deactivating auto sync. I spent the weekend away from home, including tracking a long workout plus always tracking heart rate. I did 3-4 syncs a day to update calories in MFP, and got home with half the battery remaining.

Heart rate tracking is quite nifty, but you should have it 1-2 inches higher on your wrist than you'd wear a watch for best results. I usually wear the FitBit watch band on the fourth hole regularly and on the fifth when lifting, and push it up my wrist. If it's too low, it really under counts the heart rate, to the point where cardio machines and my personal experience say I'm doing 140+ while FitBit claims 90-100.

Also, some reviews I've read say there is a lot more data available if you export it through the website (as opposed to the app), but I haven't tested it personally.

Yeah I never updated this but I went through two of these in about 6 weeks. Maybe I shouldn't have showered with them at the gym, but I started having all sorts of problems - so I exchanged the first unit and returned the second.

The inaccurate real time heart rate puts this in the toys bin for me until that is fixed. If you need a real time tracker, get a chest strap (I've so seen good claims about an upper forearm strap with a similar sensor to FitBit on Amazon). FitBit is good for resting heart rate tracking and maybe estimates of daily activity.

Motivate yourself instead.

(04-07-2017 11:50 AM)Quintus Curtius Wrote:  Stop looking to political figures to solve your problems or to advance you in life. You're on your own, and always have been. No one is going to save you. What we need are spiritual revolutions--upheavals of the soul--and not political revolutions.
02-15-2017 12:54 PM
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kbell Offline
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RE: Fitbit Charge HR with My fitness Pal review
The garmin trackers have the ability of syncing up with a heart rate chest strap and you can swim down to 50 meters (need a scuba tank to go that low). The new Charge 2 has detachable straps and a larger screen. Its supposedly more durable and you can buy screen protectors.
(This post was last modified: 02-15-2017 05:23 PM by kbell.)
02-15-2017 05:23 PM
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RE: Fitbit Charge HR with My fitness Pal review
Do you guys wear these almost 24/7? I thought about buying a Fitbit Charge when I was browsing an airport shop some months ago, but I already wear a watch - which looks a hell of a lot nicer than any fitness tracker I've come across - so I had a bit of a hard time picturing myself wearing a Fitbit (or equivalent) through most of the day (for tracking steps, I walk a fair bit). Less fashion conscious about the sleep tracking hours.

Is it worth paying more for a version with heartrate monitor? I've read some very mixed opinions about the reliability of those when you're exercising and not just sitting still.
02-15-2017 10:57 PM
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kbell Offline
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RE: Fitbit Charge HR with My fitness Pal review
I wore mine 24/7. I thought the HR was pretty decent. Good for telling when I was really anxious too.
02-17-2017 11:35 AM
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polar Offline
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RE: Fitbit Charge HR with My fitness Pal review
In my experience, HR tracking is good for day-long tracking (resting heart rate, overall stress trends, etc.) but unreliable if you need intervals more frequent than 1 minute or so. If you're doing training that relies on a certain heart rate, I wouldn't rely on FitBit.

I think the HR model was also nice to help track metabolic rate and needed calories when bulking, but it's more of another indicator than gospel. If you seem to be eating more but you're losing weight, trust the scale.

(04-07-2017 11:50 AM)Quintus Curtius Wrote:  Stop looking to political figures to solve your problems or to advance you in life. You're on your own, and always have been. No one is going to save you. What we need are spiritual revolutions--upheavals of the soul--and not political revolutions.
(This post was last modified: 02-17-2017 12:07 PM by polar.)
02-17-2017 12:06 PM
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