How Accurate Is Whoop Calories?

Fitness trackers are becoming more commonplace among fitness enthusiasts and gym goers. 

How Accurate Is Whoop Calories?

The market for fitness trackers and watches is absolutely flooded and although technology is advancing very quickly, it can be hard to know which products are worth the money. 

One of the most important aspects of a fitness tracker that is likely to make it worth the price is how accurate it is. 

The same applies to the Whoop fitness tracker.  In this article, we will look at how accurate Whoop calories are and how it achieves that accuracy. 

What Is Whoop?

The Whoop fitness tracker is very similar to other trackers on the market, but with a few crucial differences. 

In terms of the appearance of the whoop tracker, it is very similar to most other popular fitness trackers, featuring a flat, tight strap and a slim screen with sensors on the back. 

The Whoop tracker works best placed on your wrist or bicep and straps are offered for both positions.  

Whoop works slightly differently from other leading trackers in that you don’t buy the hardware. 

Instead of purchasing the tracker and downloading a free app, you have to subscribe to Whoop fitness tracking services and commit for at least six months. 

Once you have signed up, you will be sent a tracker and can purchase various straps depending on where you want to wear the device.

This membership format means that you have to keep renewing your subscription in order to maintain access to the app that allows you to see the data and information that Whoop is tracking.  

How Does Whoop Track Calorie Burn?

One of the most important aspects of a fitness tracker is the accuracy of the calorie burn data. 

Calories burned compared to calories consumed remains the most common way for people to track and quantify their weight loss journey, therefore, it is the most commonly used metric on fitness trackers. 

Whoop fitness trackers take into account all of the possible aspects of calorie burn to predict the number of calories burned by the user as accurately as possible. 

It is important to note that all fitness trackers are simply predicting calories burned and cannot be 100% accurate in their calorie tracking. 

However, as technology advances, calorie burn prediction becomes more and more accurate.

Predicting Basal Metabolic Rate

Predicting Basal Metabolic Rate

One of the first things most fitness trackers do, including Whoop, is to gather data to help predict the user’s basal metabolic rate (BMR).  This is done mostly through the app that accompanies the physical tracker. 

When setting up the Whoop tracker app, it will ask for details such as the age, height, weight, and gender of the user. 

It may also ask for categorization of your established level of activity from sedentary to very active. 

All of this data helps the app to make a prediction about the calories burned by the user simply to keep their body functioning.

Accurate information must be supplied to the app about weight and activity to allow the app to accurately predict BMR. 

The information should be updated regularly as your weight changes to keep it as accurate as possible. 

This prediction is also informed by data collected from other users.

Predicting Active Burn

Once the BMR of a user has been predicted, it is possible to begin predicting the calories that are burned during active burn or exercise, although this calculation is a lot more complex than BMR. 

There are limitations on how accurately you can calculate calories burned through exercise with wrist-worn devices, however, using heart rate (HR) monitoring can produce an accurate prediction.

Whoop’s tracker uses the influence of a prominent South African formula for predicting calories burned using HR, combined with masses of data that has been obtained through wearable fitness trackers. 

The combination of this data and formula allows Whoop to accurately predict active calorie burn in both high and low-intensity workouts. 

This gives Whoop an extra edge in the market of fitness trackers as there are still many trackers that struggle with the tracking of calorie burn during low-intensity workouts.

Predicting Thermic Effect Of Food

In addition to the calories that we burn performing basic bodily functions that keep us alive, and the calories we burn during active exercise, we also burn calories when digesting our food. 

This type of calorie burn is known as the thermic effect of food.  This is the one type of calorie burn that is almost impossible to predict through a fitness tracker. 

The thermic effect of food is affected heavily by the type of food that is being consumed. 

For example, studies suggest that 20-35% of calories consumed from protein are required for the body to digest that protein. 

Whereas, fat requires very few calories for the body to digest and your body can be left with 97-100% of the calories consumed from fat. 

Although many fitness trackers are accompanied by an app that allows you to track your food consumption, these apps often do not take the thermic effect of food into account when calculating overall calorie burn.  

Extra Tracking Abilities

The more recent versions of the Whoop fitness tracker feature extra tracking abilities that allow you to track your overall health metrics.

This includes identifying spikes in resting heart rate, temperature changes, and blood oxygen changes. 

All of these things can help to predict developing illness and infection in the body which can be a useful way to help you know when to rest and adjust your diet to help aid recovery. 

Final Thoughts

The Whoop wearable fitness tracker features a highly accurate calorie burn prediction. 

Although wearable technology cannot be as accurate as other fitness tracking appliances such as oxygen and breathing tracking, the Whoop device is one of the most accurate in its field. 

Using established formulas, combined with existing data from other users, the Whoop can accurately predict the calories burned by a user throughout times of exercise and rest.

Jenna Priestly
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