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steps and exercise calories cevins1 — Aug 08, 2018 02:55PM PDT

My steps are recorded and calories earned and count toward my calories for the day. But if I manually entered calories earned through exercise class, it no longer counts my step calories. I don't have my smart phone with me at the gym, so those are separate calories. Any way to have both count?

3 Community Answers

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Maximiliano MyFitnessPal Agent Aug 08, 2018 03:17PM PDT


After looking into the status of your account,

It seems that our system shows your device is syncing correctly. Please note your device is not tracking individual exercise calories, it is tracking a complete day burn. Because of this, reaching your steps goal for the day may or may not guarantee a calories adjustment.

Your device must estimate a higher number of calories burned compared to the set daily burn from MyFitnessPal, in order for an adjustment to be earned. If the number from your device is lower than the number from MyFitnessPal, then the adjustment will show as 0, or if you have enabled the negative adjustment option, then it will show as a negative amount earned and then deduct calories from your goal. When you do see a positive number adjustment, that number represents the amount of calories burned above your MFP goal and not the amount of calories burned for you workouts.

When adding in manual exercises, or syncing single workouts from other app partners, those calories are automatically added to your set daily burn total on your MFP account and nutritional adjustments are immediately given. This can cause confusion when looking at your device adjustment because that number will lower or possibly zero out. This is normal because the number that your device compares its calories to (set daily burn from MFP) has now increased with the addition of new workout data and the distance between the two calories counts will be further apart.

Only when the Device number is greater than the MyFitnessPal number will you then earn the extra difference between the two as a positive adjustment.

Hope this helps to clarify,
MyFitnessPal Staff

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JoeGorski Aug 09, 2018 04:56PM PDT

Calculations from my Polar flow wristband is being subtracted rather than added for available calories. First time this has happened.

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Maximiliano MyFitnessPal Agent Aug 14, 2018 11:39AM PDT


Our apologies for any confusion. It sounds as if you have elected to have a negative calorie option when using an integrated all day tracker app with our program. When you elect the negative calorie option, you are choosing to have the program deduct calories from what we have initially provided for you, if you end up not actually burning those calories based upon the information provided from your tracker. This deduction will actually look like an addition in your account, since those calories were not actually earned but already provided, we essentially add them back into your account to make up for this difference.

The way an all day activity tracker works is that it provides you with your “exact” calories burned for the day. This is then compared against the “average” you have already been provided by our program. If you actually earn more calories than we initially gave you, then the program will provide you with a positive adjustment. If you do not earn as many as we provided you, then you will either receive a “0” for the adjustment, if you don’t have the negative calorie option elected, or if you do have the negative calorie option elected, then you will receive a deduction from what we provided you.

The actual calculation can be a bit confusing because you have to take into account the calories needed to reach the goals you have elected. This is a formula that is calculated behind the scenes, but can be viewed by either clicking on the “i” next to the adjustment line from your tracker in the cardiovascular section online, or by tapping directly on the adjustment if you are using an app.

When you click on that section, you should see information from your tracker and then under that, a section of calories already provided by MyFitnessPal. For your tracker data you will see two numbers. A number with a time of sync. This is the exact number taken from the last sync of the tracker. You should then see a number in the column to the far right. This number is a projection of what we think you will earn with your tracker for the entire day, based on where you are currently at. That number will change each time you sync.

We then take the projected number of calories and compare that with the given calories from MyFitnessPal. The given calories will represent the number of calories provided to reach the goals you have elected. For example, say you have elected to lose 1 pound per week. A pound is 3500 calories. So in order for you to lose 1 pound per week, you will need to deduct 500 calories a day (7 days in a week x 500 calories = 3500 calories). Therefore your given calories from MyFitnessPal will add back in the amount of calories needed to reach the goals you have elected. The MyFitnessPal given calories will also include any other exercise you’ve added to your diary manually, as those calories are instantly accounted for in your diary.

Basically, the all day tracker will provide you with a total of calories you’ve burned all day. If you then ate back that exact number you should maintain your current weight. However, if you would like to also lose weight, you have to account for a subtraction of calories. That formula is provided for you by MyFitnessPal and is then calculated against your all day tracker.

The comparison between the two totals will then provide you with an adjustment. If our projection was not as much as what your tracker says you’ve actually earned for the day, then we will provide you with additional calories to consume. However, if our projection was too much, then we will actually take away calories, if you have the negative calorie option elected. Or if you prefer not to lose calories, you can turn the negative calorie option off and we will just show that you did not earn an adjustment for that day, which will be represented by a 0.

To elect to turn on or off the negative calorie option, please go online to, and then go to the main “settings” tab, then go to “calorie adjustments” and either put a check in the box to enable the negative option or remove the check to disable it. Then make sure to update the changes at the bottom of the page.

If you are also using an iOS or Android app, please make sure your all day tracker is listed as your Step source. If your tracker is not available as a Step source, please make sure there is not any Step source elected at all. As you can only have your tracker elected, but some trackers do not offer this option, so in those cases you can not have a Step source elected. You can check this by going to the menu or “More” page, then settings, then Steps.

Hope this helps to clarify,
MyFitnessPal Staff

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