How to Change Calorie Goal on Apple Watch

One of the main reasons that many people will purchase an Apple Watch is because it is such an effective tool to monitor and assist with exercise. One of the ways that it accomplishes this task is through the use of three different goals, one of which shows how many calories you have burned. But you might be wondering how to change this calorie goal on your watch if the number is too easy or tough to reach.

Everyone has different fitness goals and needs, so there isn’t a “right” calorie goal that will suit everyone. Someone that doesn’t exercise for hours every day might struggle to burn 500 or 600 calories a day, while a marathon runner could easily reach 1500 to 2000 calories burned.

Regardless of your current fitness level there is a significant benefit to reaching a health goal for a day, and achieving that goal can provide motivation to continue each day. And while simply closing some arbitrary rings on your watch might seem trivial, it can be oddly satisfying.

So if you are finding that the current move goal on your watch is either impractically high or too low to provide a challenge, then our guide below will show you how to change it from your watch.

How to Change the Apple Watch Calorie Goal

  1. Open the Activity app.
  2. Swipe up on the screen, then tap and hold on the Move row.
  3. Select Change Move Goal.
  4. Set the desired new goal then tap Update.

Our article continues below with additional information on changing your calorie goal on the Apple Watch, including pictures of these steps.

How to Change the Move Goal on Your Apple Watch (Guide with Pictures)

The steps in this article were performed on an Apple Watch 2 using WatchOS version 6.3. These steps will also work on other Apple Watch models using most versions of the Watch OS operating system.

Step 1: Press the crown button on the side of the watch to open the Apps menu, then select the Activity app.

The crown button is the digital crown on the side of the watch. You can turn it or press it.

You may need to scroll around a bit on this screen until you locate the app. The Activity app is the one with the three rings, as indicated in the image below.

open the Activity app

Step 2: Swipe up anywhere on the screen, then tap and hold on the Move option.

tap and hold on Move

You may need to press a little harder if nothing is happening.

Step 3: Touch the Change Move Goal button.

select the Change Move Goal option

Step 4: Use the + and – buttons to raise or lower the current move goal, then tap the Update button to apply the change.

how to change calorie goal on Apple Watch

Our guide continues below with additional information on the Apple Watch goals.

What are the Three Apple Watch Goals?

The three goals on the Apple Watch are Move, Exercise, and Stand.

To complete the Move goal you will need to burn the number of calories that you set using the steps in the previous section.

To complete the Exercise goal you will need to perform at least 30 minutes of exercise. You can do this by actively launching an app and selecting an exercise (such as the Fitness app, or a third party exercise app like RunKeeper) or by moving with an elevated heart rate for at least 30 minutes. Note that you can often achieve this at just a brisk walking pace, or by mowing the lawn.

To complete the Stand goal you will need to stand for at least a minute during 12 separate hours throughout the day.

Only the Move goal can be changed in WatchOS 6 or lower. You can change all three goals in WatchOS 7.

More Information on How to Change Calorie Goal on Apple Watch

If you are using an Apple Watch with a WatchOS version lower than 7 then you will only be able to change your Move Goal. If you have a newer Apple Watch model and are using WatchOS 7.0 or higher then you will also be able to change your Exercise and Stand goals.

You can view a lot of details about your daily activity by opening the Activity app on your Apple iPhone.

If you are wondering how to set the right calorie goal, I have always found that I should perform an exercise during the day, whether it’s running, biking, walking, for an amount of time that is difficult, but not too difficult. Then I can see how many calories I have burned at the end of that day and set my goal to be slightly lower than that.

In my personal experience, I feel better about my daily activity if my goal requires a little effort, but doesn’t require me to do anything too crazy. Your personal fitness levels and motivation can vary, but that is what keeps me trying to close all of my rings every day.

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