How accurate are your wearable calories?

Aug 03, 2023


Calorie counting has become increasingly popular in recent years, with many people using wearables to track their daily intake. However, the accuracy of these devices has been called into question. In this blog post, we will explore how accurate calorie counting on wearables really is.

How do wearables track calories?

Wearables use a variety of sensors to track calories, including accelerometers and heart rate monitors. They combine this data with information about the user's age, weight, and height to estimate the number of calories burned throughout the day.

Factors that affect accuracy

While wearables can provide a rough estimate of calories burned, there are several factors that can affect their accuracy. For example, the accuracy of heart rate monitors can be affected by factors such as skin color, ambient temperature, and the fit of the device.

heart rate monitor

Additionally, wearables may not take into account individual differences in metabolism, which can vary significantly from person to person.

How accurate are wearables?

Studies have shown that wearables can be accurate to within 10-20% of actual calorie burn. However, this level of accuracy is not consistent across all devices and can vary depending on the activity being tracked.

wearable accuracy

Limitations of calorie counting

It is important to note that calorie counting is not a perfect science. Even the most accurate wearables can only provide an estimate of calorie burn, and this estimate may not take into account factors such as the thermic effect of food or individual differences in metabolism.

The importance of context

While wearables can be a useful tool for tracking calories, it is important to keep in mind that they are just one piece of the puzzle. Context is key when it comes to calorie counting, and factors such as the quality of the food being consumed and the individual's overall lifestyle can have a significant impact on weight management.


While wearables can provide a rough estimate of calorie burn, they are not a perfect solution. Factors such as individual differences in metabolism and the limitations of calorie counting mean that wearables should be used as part of a broader approach to weight management.

wearable conclusion