Fitness Tracker Pros and Cons – Can This Device Help You Lose Weight?

by Editor on May 22, 2019

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The fitness tracker craze has been going strong for the past couple of years. Many proponents of fitness wearables claim that they are an incredible tool for helping with weight loss. This makes sense, right? After all, wouldn’t wearing a device that can track your steps, calorie count, and other health data go a long way in supporting your efforts to slim down?

The reality is that while these activity trackers can be beneficial for some people, they’re not always effective for individuals seeking to lose weight. Why? Here are the main Fitness tracker pros and cons to help you understand just what’s good about these devices and what might not be so great.

The Fitness Tracker Pros

  • You can track your activity level – Fitness trackers do help you get a look at just how much your moving, how frequently your moving, and whether or not your hitting your workout or daily step goals.
  • You’re reminded to move – Many fitness trackers can be programmed to alert you to move if you’ve been sedentary for too long. According to the Exercise and Sport Science Reviews, sedentary behavior can be bad for cardio-metabolic health.
  • Consistently track your progress – Most fitness trackers, even today’s less expensive models, are accompanied by an app that lets you keep consistent track of your progress on a day-to-day basis, so you can see how well you’re doing and can make adjustments if you’re not quite meeting your goals.
  • Stay motivated – Speaking of that companion app, it’s not uncommon for you to be able to connect with other users of your device brand, giving you the chance to find workout buddies, be it friends, family or a total stranger. When others can see your progress this may motivate you to stay on target.

The Fitness Tracker Cons

  • Obsession with numbers – When some people see numeric data they can become obsessed with it. Although there’s nothing wrong with wanting to improve your performance, overdoing it or working only for the numbers to the point that you’ve lost the joy of your workout can be a problem as it can negatively impact you mentally.
  • The data isn’t always accurate – It’s important to use the numbers that you see as a guideline and not take them as fact. Wearable fitness trackers estimate your calories based on your BMR (basal metabolic rate) and your daily-detected activity. Your BMR is the number of calories you burn at a resting state, which is calculated through your age, weight and height. The tracker combines this data with your daily activity to provide the final calorie expenditure. The issue is that the equations used to calculate BMR are commonly incorrect, which was found in a study conducted by the Journal of American Diabetic Association.
  • Counted steps and distance can be inaccurate – Some fitness trackers do not recognize some activity on certain exercise equipment or exercise movements. For instance, some might not register light steps or if you’re cycling. On the other hand, if you swing the arm wearing the fitness tracker back and forth, you might notice that this will be recorded as a step, even if you’ve only moved your arm.
  • Resistance training isn’t on the radar – Fitness trackers fail in the resistance training department, either not recording the activity or providing spotty data at best.

On the whole, if you’re thinking of getting a Fitness Tracker to help you with your weight loss goals, think of them in the same was as you would think diet pills or any weight management aid. They aren’t miracles on their own. They can be of assistance, but it’s up to you to make the effort.

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