What are active calories vs total calories on the Apple Watch

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By Erric Buttlar

If you’ve ever used your Apple Watch for exercise or any other fitness monitoring device, you may be curious about the difference between active calories and total calories. When you exercise, you can see this on the Apple Watch’s display, and once your session is over, you can view it in the Fitness app.

The Apple Watch has some amazing fitness and training functions. It is a convenient tool for working out and it can show you how many calories you have burnt.

How do our body’s burn calories?

Every day, everyone expends a certain number of calories, whether they are walking, sleeping, watching TV, eating, or simply sitting at their desks. In other words, everything you do, even resting, will expend some calories.

Everyone associated burning calories with exercise, yet we all burn calories constantly. The quantity you burn will depend on your age, weight, level of activity, and a number of other factors.

Based on your age, height, weight, and level of activity, you may calculate the number of calories you expend each day. This is referred to as your Basal Metabolic Rate, or BMR, and there are various calculators available to assist you determine it.

What is the difference between active calories vs total calories?

Active calories, which are shown in the image above as active Kilocalories, are the calories expended when you are exercising. According to the image, the activity resulted in the burning of 867 active kilocalories, or active calories. This is the overall number of calories expended throughout the workout.

The picture also indicates Total Kilocalories or Total Calories burnt; in this instance, the workout resulted in a total calorie burn of 1, 0414. This includes the 867 calories you burned while exercising and an additional 174 calories that would have been naturally burned if you had been sitting at your desk or watching TV instead of exercising.

The Apple Watch differs from other fitness trackers in that it displays the number of calories you are actively burning during exercise as opposed to total calories burnt.

How do I see what calories I have burned on the Apple Watch?

The Apple Watch utilizes the iPhone and its Activity app to measure your fitness, including how many calories you burn each day, how active you are, and more. Depending on the settings you have entered, it can offer you reminders throughout the day.

Use the steps below to determine how many calories you have expended during the day.

  1. On your Apple Watch, launch the Activity app.
  2. Use the Digital Crown to swipe down or to scroll down.
  3. Look at the Move goal; it will display the number of calories you have already burned.
  4. Additionally, the Fitness app on your iPhone lets you see how many calories you’ve burned.


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