There’s a classic equation that every person attempting to lose weight knows: Calories in (what you eat and drink throughout the day) has to be less than calories out (what you burn throughout the day from exercise, regular activities, and your baseline metabolism). When that happens, you’re in what’s known as a calorie deficit. Keep that up on a daily basis and the number on the scale should start to go down (for every 3,500 calories in your deficit, you could lose a pound of fat).
But as simple as it seems, that equation can be hard to keep track of. Your goal was to burn 300 calories on your run, but did you? What about your half-hour of swimming laps in the pool—did that torch as many calories as you wanted? Well now, a brand new feature on Fitbit Charge 3 can make reaching your calorie deficit goal easier than ever. Before you start to exercise, put in how many calories you want to burn during the workout. You’ll get to watch in real time as you get closer and closer to the number. After you hit it, your tracker gently vibrates—and you’ll know you’ve accomplished exactly what you set out to do.
Before this feature was developed, you would likely start your workouts with one of two goals: You’d either run for an amount of time, like 30 minutes, or a certain distance, like four miles. But now that you can set a goal for calories burned, you can make sure you actually hit that—no matter how fast or slow you go. “People tend to think they’ve burned more calories during a workout than they actually do,” says Adrian Richardson, activity and exercise curriculum designer for Fitbit and a certified personal trainer. “But now, you don’t just assume you’ve burned a certain number of calories during a workout, you make sure you get there.” Feel like taking easing up on the speed during your run today? You’ll just need to jog a little longer until you feel that buzz on your wrist. Ready to go all out? You’ll reach that point faster.
Being able to see your progress in real-time can also be super motivating. “You’re going to see the number count down until it reaches zero, so you’re going to keep pushing yourself,” says Richardson. “You’ll see you only have 150 calories to go, then 50, then 20.” You’ll be less likely to call it quits early when you see how close you are to hitting your goal.
Combine this feature with the work you’re doing on the nutrition side (choosing healthy foods and drinks, and logging what you eat throughout the day) and you’re well on your way to hitting your desired calorie deficit—and with that, your goal weight.
Ready to update your device? Get the new calories burned feature and other helpful goal-hitting tools on Fitbit Charge 3—our most advanced fitness tracker yet!
This article is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.