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DrDLove, Doctor
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 18671
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years, Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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I was wondering how I could go about finding out exactly how

Customer Question

I was wondering how I could go about finding out exactly how many calories I burn each day. The calculators online don't seem to be helping me at all, and I fear that my fitbit overestimates the amount of calories. I'd like to find a Metabolic Specialist.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  DrPhilMD replied 2 years ago.
still need help?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Expert:  DrPhilMD replied 2 years ago.
Why do you suspect the fitbit overestimates?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
My dietitian said so... And I believe her because I haven't lost weight even though I've stayed within my calorie budget (using the Lose It app)... I would really like to find some sort of metabolic specialist who could factor in my age, my hormonal levels, etc. and tell me exactly (on an average) how many calories my body burns in a day.
Expert:  DrPhilMD replied 2 years ago.
i will opt out for another expert
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Will someone else contact me?
Expert:  DrDLove replied 2 years ago.
There is no easy way to directly measure the amount of calories that you burn in a day.
The calorie calculators are good for what they are, but they must rely on statistical averages. The majority of people are close to the statistical average, but there will always be individuals that are a few standard deviations above or below the average, and these are the people for whom the calculators are not accurate.
To even directly measure the amount of calories during a specific activity is quite involved, either by measuring oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide generation or by measuring heat generation. Either of these methods require a closed system to be able to accurately perform the measurement, such as wearing a mask during the exercise. For example, see This type of measurement would be done by an Exercise Physiologist or at a Sports Medicine research facility.
To perform a similar measurement over the course of a day is generally unreasonable, although theoretically possible. Usually, the best reflection of the number of calories that are burned in a day is the number of calories consumed when the person is neither gaining or losing weight, and your dietitian can assist you with that.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you...that helps a lot. I guess I'd like to discuss my situation (specifically my hormonal history as it influences my ability to gain or lose weight) with a specialist (preferably on my insurance's preferred provider list). Do you know what kind of doctor I should see for this?
Expert:  DrDLove replied 2 years ago.
That would involve an Endocrinologist.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok thank you
Expert:  DrDLove replied 2 years ago.
You are very welcome.