Do you really think that the fitness tracker that you have been using for months really helps you lose weight? A new study has revealed that fitness trackers may not help you lose as much weight as you think they do. The study says that a simple diet and regular exercise is more helpful.
Well, I have always believed that digital devices and tools like fitness trackers in themselves don’t help you achieve, what help you achieve are the good old habits. Digital devices and tools like fitness trackers can help you monitor your diet and exercise, but ultimately, it’s your diet and exercise that help you lose weight rather than digital trackers themselves. In fact, according to the study, once people start using gadgets like fitness trackers, they start depending on them and develop a false sense of security – the fitness trackers tell them that they are following a healthy lifestyle whereas, they might not be following a healthy lifestyle.
The study was carried out on 470 overweight or obese people aged between 18 years and 35 years and the period of study was 24 months. Initially everybody participating in the study was put on low-calorie diet and was given an exercise plan. They were also invited for regular group sessions.
After six months, a slight change was introduced. Half of the group was given a fitness tracker called Fit Core armband to track activities of the participants and feed the data into a computer program. The participants could regularly log their diet and activities using the fitness tracker.
The other half of the group was simply asked to carry on with exercise and diet.
Surprisingly, the study found that participants using fitness trackers didn’t lose as much weight as those who were not using fitness trackers. The group using the fitness tracker on an average lost 7.7lb in two years whereas the group that simply used good diet and exercise lost on an average 13lb.
Why does this happen? Why didn’t fitness trackers help the focus group lose more weight?
As the study revealed, people begin to depend a little too much on the devices and they also begin to believe the data. Sometimes these fitness trackers give you a false sense of security. It might also be counting physical activities that you should be performing anyways and you end up feeling as if you are performing these physical activities in order to lose weight. The same goes for your diet. You don’t depend on common sense, you start depending on the data being provided by fitness trackers.
Another problem with solely relying on a fitness tracker in order to lose your weight is that whenever you feel like cheating, all you have to do is, simply switch off your fitness tracker or don’t allow it to transmit the information on your computer or smartphone. This, you cannot do when you are using your willpower instead of a fitness tracker to lose your weight. Although this is not the fault of the fitness tracker.
A big reason why the fitness trackers didn’t seem to be working in the study, according to the fitness manufacturer called FitBit, is that the study was conducted between 2010 and 2012. Since then, a lot has changed and these days we have got much more advanced fitness trackers.
The results of the study were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Technology like fitness trackers can definitely help people lose more weight but eventually, it is the will power that helps you lose weight, not a gadget.