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I'm looking for a good activity tracker that I can use to measure how much calories I've used up while skating.

The Fitbit Charge HR seems very promising, it's cheap (relatively), has a heart monitor built in, tracks calories spent (based on heart rate I assume) but it looks like it's going great lengths to measure your "step" for runners and I can't find any info on if it would work for skating and/or cycling. I don't want to spend £120 on it to find out it isn't suitable for skating.

Are there any devices that can measure how much work I've done, in terms of calories spent? It doesn't have to be very accurate... but closer the better..


Some background info:

I'm trying to gain weight (and failing since forever). I think it has to do with the fact that I don't quite like eating and will sulk off whenever I can, combined with high metabolism + high activity. I've decided this year is the year that I will finally give it my best shot.

The only way I have found that works for me is to set a calorie goal and eat up to that goal every day (before giving up on food) and even though I have to force myself to hit the goal, it's working so far and maybe it will even become easier.

I love skating, and hence, skate a lot. going by my app, an average of 20 miles on the weekends and avg. of 3 miles a day on weekdays. I would like to find out how much calories I've spent. Since I don't know at the moment, I have cut down on skating quite a lot, only skate on the weekends and maybe not more than 10-12 miles. But this makes me unhappy and hate the whole weight gain process more.

There are varying periods of sprinting, coasting, fast pace, slow pace and medium pace. So, I'm looking for an activity tracker that I can use to approximately measure how much calories I've spent so I know how much to eat that day.

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It seems [1] that the fitbit charge hr does base it's calorie consumptions figure on heart rate. So I guess it will work in your case as well. I would send an email to them and ask.

Regarding metabolism, there have actually been studies made on peoples perceived metabolism and eating habits, the result was that thin people over-estimate their eating and their metabolism, while fat people do the opposite. So basically, thin people have to eat more and fat people need to eat less :)

On top of this, nature also works against you, if you're naturally thin, eating more will in fact increase your unconscious activily level, for some people, this effect is very noticable.

If I were you I would set an ambitious calorie goal, make sure you eat at least 500 kcal more than you need to, to make sure you're not burning too many of those precious calories. Eat more food with high calorie density, and food with combinations of carbs and fat. Some people find drinking their calories easier.

[1]

Your tracker and dashboard show an estimated number of calories burned based on your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate), which we calculate using the height, weight, age, and gender information that you provided when you set up your Fitbit account. If your tracker measures heart rate, the calorie burn estimate also takes heart rate into account. Note that calorie tracking for the following day begins at midnight and incorporates the calories you burn while sleeping.

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If you're primarily looking at calories spent, I'd suggest simply buying a chest strap based monitor. As they are:

  • less likely to be broken during a fall,
  • start at £15, and the likes of the Runtastic combo are available for around £35
  • have the advantage of being able to be paired with gym equipment as well as a phone / tablet.
  • can be paired with multiple App's.

The last one is important as the metabolic equations a particular app implements can give widely differing energy expenditure figures, for the same session. I've found the Runtastic figures to be roughly half those shown on Endomondo, so you may need to experiment to find an app that has an appropriate metabolic equation for yourself, and your activities.

I take it you're aware that the step counting / pedometer functionality of the Fitbit won't be a lot of use in either your Cycling or Skating sessions.

If your intention is weight gain I'd suggest you also start a food diary / use the likes of MyFitnessPal, as you'll need to know how many calories are going in, as well as being spent. Make sure you keep it accurately for a period, as the odd skipped meal due to a hectic lifestyle, can leave a deficit.

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  • Hi, How do I know how many calories spent by the use of MyFitnessPal?
    – iamserious
    Mar 31 '15 at 17:07
  • It integrates with most of the fitness App's to grab details of any sessions logged by a device (Runtastic, Endomondo, MapMyFitness .....), you can also manually enter details. MapMyfitness also allows you select a BMR formula, and general activity level. Will show / plot: (BMR + General Activity + Sessions) vs KCal consumed.
    – arober11
    Mar 31 '15 at 17:13

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