being silly vs smart about using your activity tracker

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Repeat after me: I solemnly swear to not use my watch to determine how many calories I burn or need.
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So your watch says you burned 780 calories in your bootcamp class today. Choose your own adventure:⁣⁣⁣
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1. Eat back those calories you burned without guilt because you created space for them. Bring on the chips + queso + wine!⁣⁣⁣
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2. Pat yourself on the back for burning more than you’ve eaten today. Keep this up and before you know it, you’ll fit into those skinny jeans again.⁣⁣⁣
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3. Feel a sense of relief because you undid the damage from last night. Now, if only you can control your appetite tonight and avoid repeating it all tomorrow. ⁣⁣⁣

4. Tell yourself you’re a bad ass for pushing hard in class. Enjoy eating up to your macro targets today, just like you did on your rest day yesterday, just like you’ll do tomorrow when you hit yoga class with your BFF. ⁣⁣⁣

Which did you choose?⁣⁣⁣

Your goal is to get strong, be fit and feel lean – so why you stressin’ if you just PR’d your back squat, your booty is looking perkier, and you graduated to real push ups from your toes? ⁣⁣⁣
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If your watch says you burned <200 cal, does it mean you deserve to eat less food because you burned fewer calories [allegedly]? ⁣⁣⁣
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Naw, sure doesn’t. ⁣⁣⁣
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Here’s an incomplete list of things your watch doesn’t know about you:⁣⁣⁣
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>> the muscle mass you have on your frame ⁣⁣
>> your perceived rate of exertion ⁣⁣
>> your conditioning or fitness level ⁣⁣
>> if you’re holding onto the rails on a treadmill, leaning on handlebars at spin class, using bands to help with pull-ups, and so on.⁣⁣⁣
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Ok, you’re starting to get it now: wear a fitness watch, but ignore the calorie burn data. ⁣⁣⁣
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Wear it to see (a rough estimate of) heart rate data, trends in non-exercise activity (like steps per day, standing hours per day). Heck! Wear it to tell time + talk to your friends through your wrist. How back-to-the future of you!⁣⁣⁣

What’s the most inaccurate calorie burn number (high or low!) you’ve seen on your wearable?

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