How Accurate is Apple Watch Calories Count? A Closer Look


Michael Collins

When it comes to tracking our fitness goals, the Apple Watch has become a popular tool for many. But how accurate is the Apple Watch when it comes to counting calories? In this article, we’ll dive into the world of the Apple Watch’s calorie tracking capabilities, and give you the lowdown on what to expect from this nifty device.

How Accurate is Apple Watch Calories?

First things first, let’s talk about how the Apple Watch tracks calories. It uses a combination of your heart rate and movement data to estimate the number of calories you burn throughout the day. This includes both active calories, which are burned when you’re moving around and exercising, and resting calories, which your body burns just by being alive.

Step 1: Wear your Apple Watch correctly

Make sure your Apple Watch is snug on your wrist, with the sensors making good contact with your skin.

The Apple Watch’s heart rate sensor is key to its calorie tracking accuracy. If the watch is too loose, it might not be able to get a good read on your heart rate, which can throw off its calorie estimates.

Step 2: Calibrate your Apple Watch

Take your Apple Watch for a spin by walking or running outside with your iPhone to calibrate the watch’s accelerometer.

By calibrating your Apple Watch, you’re giving it a better idea of your stride length and pace, which it will use to more accurately estimate your calorie burn during workouts.

Step 3: Input accurate personal information

Make sure your personal information like age, weight, height, and gender is up to date in the Health app.

Your personal information plays a huge role in how the Apple Watch calculates calories burned. The more accurate the information you provide, the more accurate your calorie count will be.

Step 4: Use the Workout app for exercises

Start workouts using the Workout app on your Apple Watch to get more accurate calorie counts for specific activities.

If you’re going for a run or hitting the gym, using the Workout app allows the Apple Watch to tailor its calorie estimates to the type of activity you’re doing.

Step 5: Check your progress in the Activity app

Review your daily and weekly calorie burn in the Activity app to see how your efforts are adding up.

The Activity app on your iPhone gives you a comprehensive view of your calorie burn over time, which can help you track your progress and make adjustments as needed.

After you’ve gone through these steps, you should have a more accurate calorie count from your Apple Watch. You’ll be able to use this data to better understand how your daily activities and workouts contribute to your overall fitness goals.

Tips for Improving Apple Watch Calorie Accuracy

  • Wear your Apple Watch on the same wrist consistently to maintain data consistency.
  • Keep your Apple Watch’s software up to date for the latest improvements in calorie tracking accuracy.
  • Use third-party apps that are designed to work with the Apple Watch for more specialized workouts.
  • Understand that no device is 100% accurate, and the calorie count should be used as an estimate and guide, not an absolute measure.
  • Remember to take rest days into account, as your body burns calories even when you’re not actively working out.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I calibrate my Apple Watch?

Calibrate your Apple Watch every time you change your exercise routine or notice a significant change in your fitness level.

Calibrating your Apple Watch ensures that it has the most up-to-date information about your movement patterns, which it uses to estimate calorie burn.

Can the Apple Watch track calories burned during strength training?

Yes, the Apple Watch can track calories burned during strength training using the Workout app.

While it may not be as accurate as tracking cardio activities due to the less consistent heart rate, it still provides a useful estimate.

Does the Apple Watch calorie count include resting calories?

Yes, the Apple Watch’s calorie count includes both active and resting calories.

The total calorie count you see in the Activity app includes the calories you burn just by being alive (resting calories) in addition to those burned during movement (active calories).

Can I manually add calories burned to my Apple Watch?

No, you cannot manually add calories burned to your Apple Watch, but you can manually log workouts which will contribute to your calorie count.

By logging workouts, you give the Apple Watch more data to work with, which can help improve the accuracy of your calorie count over time.

How does the Apple Watch calculate calorie burn for different types of workouts?

The Apple Watch uses a combination of heart rate data and movement patterns to estimate calorie burn for different types of workouts.

For example, it will estimate higher calorie burn for high-intensity workouts like running compared to lower-intensity activities like walking.


  1. Wear your Apple Watch correctly
  2. Calibrate your Apple Watch
  3. Input accurate personal information
  4. Use the Workout app for exercises
  5. Check your progress in the Activity app


In the end, while the Apple Watch is a powerful tool for tracking fitness and health data, it’s important to remember that its calorie count is just an estimate. Factors like the fit of the watch, the accuracy of your personal information, and the type of workout you’re doing all play a role in how accurately your Apple Watch can estimate your calorie burn. But by following the steps outlined above and keeping our tips in mind, you can improve the accuracy of your Apple Watch’s calorie tracking and use it as a helpful guide on your fitness journey. Whether you’re aiming to shed a few pounds or just wanting to keep an eye on your daily activity levels, the Apple Watch can be a valuable companion. Just remember to pair its data with your own body’s feedback and consult with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns. Happy tracking!