- Fitness trackers can help you lose weight, but they aren't successful in the long-term. Relying too much on them might be a reason why you won't shed pounds.
Starting the fitness program or weight loss plan became unimaginable to some people, without the aid of fitness trackers. People use them to keep track of their progress and are convinced it’s the only way to improve health or get a dream body. Shockingly, these gadgets aren’t quite helpful.
The study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) showed that these little devices aren’t more efficient for weight loss than following a diet and exercise plan.
In fact, participants who had to use fitness trackers lost less weight than those who had to follow a weight loss plan and monitor their own activity.
Since these gadgets are invented to help us stay in shape, the question is:
Why aren’t they helping us lose weight?
You’ll find the answers below.
1. False sense of security
You buy a fitness tracker, synchronize it with your tablet or smartphone, and take a look at your results at the end of the day or on a weekly basis. To most people that’s enough, mostly because they are convinced since the device is programmed to help you stay in shape, you don’t have to do anything else.
The false sense of security is one of the major reasons why these devices don’t help you lose weight as much as they should, according to the team of scientists who conducted the study mentioned above.
They suspect that users become dependent on gadgets which is a big problem because you feel like it’s okay to eat more since you were active a lot.
2. It’s not just about exercise
Just like their name says, fitness trackers primarily focus on increasing your fitness levels in a bid to lose a few pounds, maintain a healthy weight, and stay in shape.
As much as being active is necessary, exercise alone doesn’t help you lose weight.
A study published in the Current Biology showed that physical activity isn’t enough for weight loss due to the fact our organism reaches a plateau where working out more doesn’t necessarily burn more calories.
On the other hand, the journal Obesity featured results of the research showing that the greatest change in body weight and fat adiposity comes with combined intervention of exercise and healthy diet.
Fitness trackers make you move more, which is incredible, but relying too much on these devices makes you forget that you also need a well-crafted eating plan to lose weight successfully.
3. No long-term motivation
Everyone’s using fitness trackers, they come in different designs, shapes, and colors, and you want one too. Your brand new gadget is interesting and makes you want to exercise, walk, and be more active – for a while. Then, you lose interest. You’re not alone.
In fact, a survey carried out by Endeavor Partners showed that most people lose interest in their fitness trackers. The research included 6223 US adults and revealed that more than half of them didn’t use their devices any longer, and a third of the total number of participants gave up after six months.
Successful weight loss requires strong willpower and constant motivation since fitness trackers prove to be ineffective in this area, relying too much on them would make you give up on the physical activity and weight loss in general.
As a result, you could gain more weight due to a sedentary lifestyle.
4. All calories aren’t created equally
Fitness gadgets offer different options, but they’re usually based on the same theory that you should eat less and exercise more.
Some devices even require you to track what you eat in order to quantify a number of calories you consumed vs. the ones you spent. Saying you should consume fewer calories than you spend is too simple, and it’s not always how things work. You see, not all calories are created equally.
For instance, some foods prompt the body to store fat by increasing the release of hormones such as insulin.
If you’ve ever wondered why you aren’t losing weight even if don’t eat too many calories, you have your answer. For instance, to fitness app or gadgets a calorie of high-fructose corn syrup is the same as a calorie of protein, even though the science and you know otherwise.
5. Not adjusted to the lifestyle
Your fitness tracker measures the physical activity, steps you make, calories burned, and other parameters, it isn’t adjusted to the average person’s way of life.
You have many commitments during the day, family, or some errands to do, and it’s not quite easy to stay at the same level of activity every day.
Then, there are also some people who are unable to move regularly due to illness, injury, but they still want to maintain a healthy weight.
When you notice the fitness activity dropped that day, you feel bad and assume it’s impossible for you to lose weight. Confidence in yourself and what you do is necessary for the endeavor and motivation.
6. Weight loss seems like a chore
At first, it’s incredibly fun to reach the certain level of activity every day and each night you go to bed thinking you can’t wait to wake up and start again. The excitement declines soon, but you still have to be active because your fitness gadget says so.
That’s when weight loss isn’t just about improved health, smaller dress size or waistline; it becomes a chore. Exercise isn’t a way of becoming healthier anymore; it becomes like a job that you aren’t even paid for.
Unfortunately, this also affects your motivation and willpower to lose weight, and you end up making excuses not to be active, or you just give up, but excess weight is still there.
7. Not helpful for overcoming problems
Fitness devices don’t consider the daily struggles that people experience when trying to lose weight.
They don’t factor how difficult it is to start exercising after years of inactivity or to begin with a healthier diet after a lifetime of unhealthy food consumption.
The fitness tracker doesn’t and can’t help you with the moments when you cave in temptation and eat French fries in the middle of the night.
Although they promote activity and help you keep track of progress, they don’t provide the support that every person is wanting to lose weight needs. In turn, you don’t learn how to overcome these problems and repeat these mistakes over and over again.
Fitness trackers are invented to help you stay fit and lose weight, but they aren’t successful in the long-term. The article showed you seven reasons why you might not be losing weight with your device.
That said, it doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t use this gadget. Instead, you should try not to be dependent on it. Don’t assume that tracking physical activity is enough or that calorie is a calorie. Seek support, have a healthy diet, and remain active for successful weight loss.
What's Your Reaction?
Madeline Longville is a Registered Dietitian who obtained her B.S. in Dietetics from Michigan State University.