Fitness Trackers And The Weighty Question

I’ve had various fitness trackers over the years, starting from a little known brand called Basis from 5 years back to the current one, a Fitbit.

Have they helped?

Motivation through FitBit Challenges

In my experience, my tracker has helped keep me motivated enough to complete those extra steps to reach my target of 11,500 steps per day.

Stepping it up

I like Fitbit’s gamification with their various challenges. My friends and I can challenge each other to out-do each other on their step counts. The challenges can last for a day, weekdays or weekends.

I look forward to one or more of these every week to see if I can beat the lot and win the challenge. Some of my friends are really hard to beat. They walk/run miles a day, and I can’t seem to keep up with them.

Sleep & Weightloss

Only 8 Days a month with more than 7 hours of sleep

Sleep, or the lack of, is one of the major factors which contribute to weight loss. I’ve noticed that the less sleep I get over a few weeks, I seem to gain weight during that period. The body appears to go into storage mode when sleep is lacking over long periods.

I keep a target of at least 7 hours of sleep, which I need to get rested. Anything less than that seems to get me down the next day. Even that’s a hard target to achieve consistently, with work eating up into the late hours in the evening.

Healthy Heart

Apart from the step counts to keep me active, the Fitbit I have also tracks my heart rate throughout the day. This feature is especially important for me, with my heart condition, to ensure I don’t go overboard while exercising.

The tracker also lets me know what my Resting Heart Rate since that’s a good indicator of the cardiovascular health. The lower it is, the healthier I am.

Does all this help?

All this is a lot of data, which is useful. But how helpful is it when it comes to losing weight?

Original source:

I regularly find myself on the failing end of the battle, since all this technology and data misses out on an important factor – Diet!

While I can take the pain to record what I eat and see if I’m within my daily calorie limit, it’s just cumbersome to do that for everyday and for every meal of the day.

That’s also where most of the battle is lost – when I sneak in that extra bite of sinful chocolate or that scoop of  ice cream. No amount of technology can help me if I’ve lost the willpower to stay away from that temptation.

To wear or not to wear?

Yes, if you are motivated enough to lose weight, a fitness tracker can help you with a lot of actionable data. But then you can lose that even if you didn’t go out and buy an shiny new band.

Most folks I know end up ‘misplacing’ their bands after a few months. It’s like that Annual Gym membership which you stop using after a month or two.

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