Do you have a fitness tracker that you rely on? If you hoping it will help you lose weight, you may be disappointed. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association seems to prove that other methods of encouraging weight loss is better than a fitness tracking device.
The study followed almost 500 young adults who had conditions ranging from overweight to obese. All the participants were prescribed a low-calorie diet, increased exercise, and counseling for six months. After this time, half the participants were give a fitness tracker armband to wear that would automatically upload their diet and activity to a website. The other half of the participants had to report their diet to staff via a website manually.
After two years, weight loss data was collected on both groups. The group that had the fitness tracker armband lost on average 7.7 pounds, while the group that didn’t have the tracker lost on average 13 pounds. The study raised a lot of questions. Did the novelty of the device wear off? Did the act of self-reporting make participants more aware of the choices they were making? When people see their activity tracker says they are getting plenty of activity, do they see it as a reason to eat more?
More studies need to be done, but the bottom line is this: If you have an activity tracker and enjoy using it, feel free to enjoy it! Just remember that it takes more than one fact to lead to health and weight loss. Make sure you are eating well, getting a good night’s sleep, managing your stress, and getting coaching or counseling to help you through the weight loss process.
I am a Duke Integrative Medicine trained Health Coach located in Charlotte, NC. I hold a B.S. and M.A. in Wellness Management. I have a passion for health and for helping others achieve the healthy life they desire.