1. Black3ternity's Avatar
    Hi there,

    I'm reading the forums for a few weeks now for the band and as soon as I read the news for the MS Band to arrive in the UK, I immediately pre-ordered mine because I can ship it to Germany without a big fuss.

    Now I'm getting a bit deeper in all the data that the band can provide and how it shows that stuff.
    But one mystery remains unsolved so far:

    How do I use it properly?
    I'm waiting for mid-April for the band to be delivered to me, but I'm getting a bit confused with MFP, HV, MS Health and all that stuff.

    A little bit about me and why I want the band:

    I've started to workout in the January because it was time to do something and a colleague of mine said it would be fun to workout together and motivate each other. So I started to workout and I was (or still am) in not so good shape. 185cm with 93,8kg as a starting point (forgive me for non-US values, I'm not using lbs. and feet :-P )
    Since January, I lost nearly 6kg and I'm down to something between 87,9 - 88,5 (Usually weighing once a week 5 minutes after getting out of bed and getting rid of water).

    When working out, we're starting with the cross trainer for something like 30minutes up to 45minutes on a good difficulty so I'm burning some calories and I'm getting ready to do weight lifting. To keep track of that I'm using my iPod Nano 6th gen because of the built in pedometer and connectivity to Nike+ which allows me to keep track of my trend. I know that the "running" mode on the Nano does not properly reflect a workout on a cross trainer but because of knee problems, a treadmill or regular jogging is out the window. Again, the trend is pretty important to me, not the exact distance down to the meter or a caloric burn (because it just uses formulas to calculate that which does not apply on the cross trainer properly).

    After I preordered the Band, I started to dig through the forums and saw that I can track my caloric input based on MyFitnessPal which I started to use for 10 days now. It gives me a pretty good overview of what I'm eating and how much I have "left" to eat. For now, I was sick the last week, so I could not add any "burnt calories" and it's just a tracker of what I'm stuffing down my throat but that will change starting with the following week.

    Now to where MS lost me completely:
    I can track my sleep and my workouts like the cross trainer with the Band and thus, with the MS Health app.
    What exactly is included in that? Do I start a "run" on the band and it tracks Heartrate, caloric burn and so on for that workout, and as soon as I end it, it regularly tracks my "normal" burn?
    What do I need to do in order to properly track me during weight lifting when I do not want to do exercises that are given from the MS Health app? Because my buddy and I have a custom set of workout, will it work with the band? It monitors my HR and whatnot so it should be able to properly track my caloric burn and other stats like heartrate.
    How can I view that data? Is it shown as per day so I can see when I got up and how I progressed?

    How does it connect to MyFitnessPal? Will it push my calorie data into MFP so I can see what I've burnt and how I progressed through the day so when I enter my daily food, I can properly see if I'm good or if I could've worked out more?
    Is there any way to do that within MS Health or on a MS platform?
    And that leads to my last question:
    I've just checked HealthVault and it's confusing. It looks like it is the platform that I'm asking for but the food input is really hard for non US-citizens because of OZ, cups, tblsp and stuff like that. Is there a way to import data from MFP or some place else?
    Or do I need to keep MFP and MS Health seperate and look at my Band to see what I've burnt and then compare that manually to MFP to see if I'm green?

    Sorry for the pretty long and somewhat confusing post, but I'm just starting to do fitness-stuff and I really like to be able to keep track of everything without the need of multiple platforms and a ton of manual input and I'm way too excited for the band to arrive so I need to know as much as possible before it arrives


    Thanks for reading that post and for all comments.
    Regards,
    Last edited by Black3ternity; 03-28-2015 at 05:17 PM. Reason: corrected spelling mistakes.
    03-28-2015 05:16 PM
  2. gadgetrants's Avatar
    Great questions! A couple quick answers:

    Do I start a "run" on the band and it tracks Heartrate, caloric burn and so on for that workout, and as soon as I end it, it regularly tracks my "normal" burn? The Band has several workout "modes"...one of them is Run. So yep, you click the Run tile and push the "Action" button and away you go. At the end of your run, you push the Action button again and select "End". If your phone is nearby, your Band will then push the data to your phone -- you can then immediately view the workout on the phone Health App...which shows you things like the duration and pace of your run, as well as your HR during the run. Total calories as well. When you wake up the following morning, you can go back into the Health app and then look at your activity over the previous day, including an hour-by-hour chart that will clearly highlight the time where you ran. In this view, the workout is embedded within your total activity within the day. Within the Run view, you can see JUST the data for the run.

    What do I need to do in order to properly track me during weight lifting when I do not want to do exercises that are given from the MS Health app? Don't know much about this. However, there is an "Exercise" mode (like the Run mode, but without GPS to track your location). You start it and use it exactly like the Run mode. Comments I've read here from weightlifters is that it doesn't sample HR often enough to capture bursts of activity. So maybe a so-so way to track things like weight-training.

    Because my buddy and I have a custom set of workout, will it work with the band? It monitors my HR and whatnot so it should be able to properly track my caloric burn and other stats like heartrate. The way it's advertised, yes. In practice, maybe not so well.

    How can I view that data? Is it shown as per day so I can see when I got up and how I progressed? Recently, the Band Dashboard was launched. It's a great step forward in viewing your activity data over time. The HealthVault also has some limited data available, but the Dashboard is the best option for now....day view, week view, month view, averages, etc. For runs and walks, the Dashboard also includes your HR data and if you turned GPS on, a map of your location(s).

    How does it connect to MyFitnessPal? Will it push my calorie data into MFP so I can see what I've burnt and how I progressed through the day so when I enter my daily food, I can properly see if I'm good or if I could've worked out more? When you register for each, there is an option to link/sync to the other system. It then happens automatically. Regarding MFP, I used it for a month and then abandoned it. It has the deepest food/calorie library, but I found it too disorganized for my tastes. Also, exercise/calorie burn data flow from the Band into MFP, but not without lots of problems (e.g., MFP has a crazy system for computing your target calorie goals). I found it unreliable, plus calories consumed data from MFP do not flow into the Health app, the Band Dashboard, or HealthVault (as you noted, HV's food system is clumsy).

    Is there any way to do that within MS Health or on a MS platform? Is there a way to import data from MFP or some place else? I don't think so. I think manual entry of food eaten is your only option.

    -Matt
    Black3ternity likes this.
    03-28-2015 07:54 PM
  3. NBrookus's Avatar
    To add to Matt's comments:

    As of now, there is no way to import food into HealthVault. You can enter it there, but it's not a good experience. Unless you want to use HealthVault, you don't need to in order to use the Band and MS Health.

    I'm using MFP, but the integration leaves much to be desired. It will add calories from MS Health, but won't subtract them. I recommend telling it you are sedentary so it doesn't ever inflated your calories if you don't exercise that day. At least, I think that will work. In my case "sedentary" is below their lower limit of 1200 calories, so it gets complicated some days.
    gadgetrants and Black3ternity like this.
    03-28-2015 08:10 PM
  4. Black3ternity's Avatar
    Thanks guys,
    You cleared up much confusion and helped me a lot.
    I'm really looking forward to receive the Band to tinker around with it.

    NBrookus:
    Could you please explain what you mean by that? I'm new to MFP and sonI'm not completely understanding what's going on with the miscalculation.

    gadggetranzs:
    Thanks for your good explanation. I'm really excited to get hold of the Band in mid April and I think it will perfectly fit my needs to track and better understand what's going on with fitness and sleep and how to get better with all
    03-29-2015 04:37 AM
  5. NBrookus's Avatar
    It goes like this...MFP uses some sort of calculation based on your height/weight/gender/age and your self-reported activity level to determine the number of calories MFP thinks you burn on an average day. Let's say that number is 2000.

    You go out and exercise, and that day you burn 2400 actual calories as measured by the Band. MFP will add 400 calories to the number you can eat that day. If your self-reported activity level included exercise already, you will be overeating if you eat 2400 calories.

    On the other hand, one day you are a slug. The Band measured that you actually burned 1800 calories. MFP won't do a negative calorie adjustment with the Band -- it will still say you should eat 2000 calories, and again, you will be overeating. (They did do negative adjustments at one point, but it had bugs and they turned it off. Some users of the Band can still see negative adjustments, but as a new user, you won't.)

    Hence my recommendation to set your activity level to "sedentary." That way you won't get double credit for exercise, and you are less likely to need a negative adjustment.

    Now let's say you are female and middle-aged. Your daily burn without exercise is about 1600 calories. You want to lose 1 pound a week. Does MFP give you a baseline of 1100 calories per day? No. 1200 is the minimum caloric level it will assign. So again, if you follow MFP, you will be overeating to begin with.
    gadgetrants and Black3ternity like this.
    03-29-2015 08:19 AM
  6. Black3ternity's Avatar
    Thanks NBrookus for the info,

    Now I understand the problem with the estimation. When I setup my account on MFP, I already selected "sedentary" because of the regular daily activity. So I'm working in an office and selected sedentary because it fits my regular activity without working out (that is declared further down with "how often do you want to track expended energy"). So it should be fine as soon as my Band arrives.

    Thanks and regards,
    03-30-2015 02:07 AM

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