Fitbit Step Counting/Backpacking Topic


I use the Fitbit to track and count my steps. However, there are times when in the airport and walking to get my daily step goal in, that I am carrying at least a 25lb backpack (two laptops, iPad, books, cables, etc.). Should that be counted as a separate exercise? along with the steps Fitbit has tracked...If so, is there a formula to calculate the calories burned?


Hi Gary, it does burn more calories to carrry a 25 lb load vs. carrying no load. If you are using FitBit to count steps, you could just accept the underestimation of your exercise calories burned and know that it is contributing to creating a slightly larger calories deficit than actual. That is what I would do in a regular basis (and I am in maintenance mode). This is especially helpful when you travel since most of us have to dine out a lot and that can add a lot of calories intake error in our logs.

If you decided you wanted to account for those extra calories burned, there is a way to do it.

1. Keep track of the minutes walked with the heavy backpack (weigh the backpack to get an accurate weight), then search the exercise log for "walking carrying" to find the different options ? choosing the correct walking MPH and carrying weight. Enter the number of minutes you walked with the backpack on to see the calories burned (let?s call this Calories Value A).

2. Next, search walking at the same MPH but without carrying a weight. Log the same # of minutes to see the calories burned (let?s call this Calories Value B).

3.Calories Value A ? Calories Value B = Calories Value C (this is the extra calories burned by walking with a weight).

4. Log exercise item ?Calories? and use Calories Value C as the amount.

5. Finally, delete the Calories Value A and B from your exercise log (that is, just keep Calories Value C).

Let me know how it goes.

Best,
Kathy, MPS, RDN, CDE

Fitbit Step Counting/Backpacking