A fitness tracker is an excellent tool for health. It visualizes your accomplishments and progresses each day, such as how many calories you burn.
But with so many styles and brands on the market, it can be challenging to pick the most accurate one. Some fitness trackers don’t provide 100% accurate information or metrics as shown on the device. Instead, they simply give you an estimate.
Don’t worry, though, as we tested and picked which fitness tracker is most accurate for calories burned. We also consider its wearability and ease of navigation so you can easily customize the workout types you want to see.
So, What is The Most Accurate Calorie Burn Tracker?
Fitbit Charge 5 is our top pick for calculating calorie burn. It is accurate for calculating energy expenditure compared to other trackers. Of course, the Apple Watch is a clear winner regarding tracking heart rate.
Fitbit At Calculating Overall Energy Expenditure
We believe Fitbit Charge 5 does better when it comes to calculating your overall energy expenditure. It does so by measuring your basal metabolic rate. BMR estimates your body’s energy when not performing extraneous activity or while at rest.
Moreover, it provides a rough estimate of your BMR using your data, such as age, height, gender, and weight. Other data often used are your blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing rate.
The Fitbit tracker will still show your information when you haven’t done your workout or you’re just lounging watching Netflix all day. The device also uses your heart rate data to calculate energy expenditure.
Furthermore, it interprets faster metabolism if you have a higher heart rate and slow calorie burning if you have a slower heart rate. It’s also a plus point that this featured-packed activity tracker records various activities and is simple to use.
While you can’t see more than six activity modes at once in the device, a heart rate monitor does its job pretty well.
Related: Best Fitness Tracker For Crossfit
Tips in Choosing the Most Accurate Fitness Tracker
After some research, I looked for the main features when choosing the most accurate fitness tracker. These are as follows:
The heart rate monitoring feature is essential when choosing an accurate fitness tracker. This feature gives you a clear idea of your daily workouts and routine.
The good news is that most fitness trackers can measure heart rate fairly. The latest fitness bands, including Fitbit Alta HR, provide accurate heart rate data on every activity you perform. You can use this information to track calories burned and reach your fitness goals.
Choose the most accurate fitness tracker based on its bioimpedance sensors. These sensors use small electronics that rest against your skin and measure your pulse. It’s also better if it has a GPS capability to measure the distance you traveled during your sessions.
If you notice the built-in GPS of your health and fitness tracker to be inconsistent sometimes, it could be because you’re wearing the band too tightly.
Fitbit devices have a 3-axis accelerometer feature that counts your steps. The sensor determines your movement’s patterns, intensity, duration, and frequency. If you’re wondering how to calculate the distance you traveled, devices calculate your steps and stride length.
Choose a fitness tracker that not only measures the calories burned and tracks the efforts you put in to burn those calories. Devices from Fitbit, Apple, Samsung, and Garmin are generally accurate in tracking your activity to provide an estimate of your caloric burn.
If you’re trying to lose weight, focus more on your weekly goal for activity and exercise, as they may be a better approach than measuring every calorie you burn from one day to the next.
Related: Best Pre-Workout Fat Burner
General wear and design also matter a lot. Aside from tracking your calorie intake and other metrics, is the tracker comfortable enough when worn for a more extended period? Picking a lightweight tracker is a better option for someone with a small wrist.
How to Improve the Accuracy of Fitness Trackers
No fitness tracker is perfect, but there are things you can do to improve their accuracy. For example, wearing it on your non-dominant wrist is best to ensure an accurate heart rate reading.
To improve the accuracy, update it with your weight. Doing this helps the watch calculate the information more accurately. Also, keep it snug. It may not get an accurate reading if it’s too loose.
Lastly, go out there and move. It is most accurate when you’re active.
Honorable Mentions: Top Fitness Trackers for 2022
If you’re looking for the best fitness trackers on the market that accurately track your heart rate, stress and hydration levels, and sleep quality, our top pics are as follows:
- Apple Watch Series 7
This fitness tracker’s fitness software is well-suited for casual fitness fans. Its built-in GPS is reliable, and it supports plenty of third-party services.
- Garmin Fenix 7
Garmin Fenix 7 has an outstanding heart rate accuracy and is the best choice if you’re looking for a smartwatch with a comprehensive set of exercise features. It lets you download podcasts and music from the most famous music services.
- Fitbit Sense
This one is also our favorite from the Fitbit brand because of its AMOLED display, high-end features, and GPS functionality. It comes with an ECG scanner, which provides insights into your heart health. It gives you alerts if your heart rate is unusually low or high.
- Polar Vantage V2 Smartwatch
This smartwatch is one of the best choices for triathletes and runners. It has excellent tracker features backed by a wealth of recovery and training insights. The downside is that its app is relatively limited and doesn’t have impressive battery life compared to other fitness trackers on this list.
- Garmin Epix (Gen 2)
The software of Garmin Epix is best-in-class in breadth and depth. This smartwatch is super handy even without a phone. It has downloadable maps, too, and the screen looks sharper than the Fenix 7.
Overall, these fitness trackers do more than just count steps. They’re some of the most sought-after fitness trackers, from giving you real-time heart rate data to checking your sleep quality and stress levels. These are meaningful choices for anyone looking to improve their fitness, health, and well-being.
Choosing the most accurate fitness tracker for calories burned doesn’t have to be difficult. May our guide help you pick the right one based on your most valuable features.
Remember, a good fitness tracker is one you’re happy to wear and will lead you to a healthy lifestyle. It’s got to have a long battery life, looks good, and is comfortable for daily wear.
For access to more exercise and fitness articles, lifestyle tips, celebrity workouts, nutrition and health info, visit ExpertFitness.org.
Nathan Lloyd, MSc
LICENSED PERSONAL TRAINER
I’m a personal trainer, based in Boulder, Colorado.
I service clients physically in the Boulder area, mainly in the ONE Boulder Fitness Gym, but am also available for online consulting and coaching.
If you’re interested in my personal coaching programs, please contact me via the contact page.