Can Using a Fitbit Help You Lose Weight?

Last Updated on July 8, 2016 by Michael Brockbank

Wearable technology is one of the coolest additions to the world. As I am approaching 40, I’ve been a witness to many changes in technology. And the things like a Fitbit Charge HR are still quite the marvel to me. When my wife first got hers, I was jealous. It did all these really fun things that I wish I had. Since I bought mine last year, I only take it off to charge it. What kind of an impact has it made on my life?

What the Fitbit Does For You

There are several types of Fitbits available now. You can go with a small and affordable pedometer or go as elaborate as the smartwatch with a menagerie of features. What you need to keep in mind is that no tool will benefit you if it’s not used. In other words, you have to make the decision to lose weight before products like a Fitbit can be of any benefit.

Keeping Track of Progress
A Fitbit is a great tool for tracking your progress. Whether you’re counting steps or keeping an eye on calorie burn throughout the day, it’s all about the data. Since these products are capable of connecting to your computer or smartphone through Bluetooth, you can upload stats as they happen. For someone who likes to crunch numbers like myself, this is a bonus.

Visual Reports
One of the things I like most about Fitbit is that it will give you visual reports of your progress. At a glance, you can see how you measure up for the day in terms of activity as well as food intake. This is especially useful if you connect it with MyFitnessPal like I do. The tool also provides you with progression badges. For instance, I recently earned the “747” badge, meaning I climbed more than 4,000 floors since slapping the Charge HR onto my wrist.

Setting Goals
Using a Fitbit can help you set manageable goals for yourself. Beating your personal bests not only fills you with pride but also confidence to keep going on the road to fitness. With the tools in the more grand Fitbit products, you can set goals for a wide scope of things. Here are a few of my examples:

  • Number of steps in a day
  • Number of calories burnt
  • Distance traveled
  • Number of hours slept – yes, sleep is important in fitness

Friendly Competition
My wife, her friends and I often get into friendly competitions throughout the day. For instance, who can walk the most steps. When you are trying to one-up each other, the fitness level can increase exponentially. Setting goals for yourself is nice, but isn’t it nice to surpass someone’s numbers? I remember one time I stayed up until 11:45pm walking around the neighborhood just to make sure I had enough steps to beat my brother. Coincidentally, I burned a ton of calories in the process.

Having the Right Attitude to Lose Weight

Like I mentioned earlier, losing weight is all about having the right attitude. If you don’t want something to work, you’re going to find every fault in existence. You need to make the conscious decision to live a healthier lifestyle. The Fitbit is just a piece of technology. It’s not going to burn the fat away for you. It’s a guide; a tool to be used to discover your own potential.

Understanding Fitness
Learning more about fitness will be the most beneficial when trying to lose weight. Too many people put absolute faith in tracking products without really understanding how the human body works. For instance, I am allowed 1760 calories per day because I spend most of it sitting on my ass. That doesn’t mean I can eat 8 cupcakes from Walmart throughout the day and still lose weight. The carbs and sugars alone will do the most damage. This is aside from the fact that this increases the chance of developing diabetes.

If you want to get the most out of the Fitbit, you’re going to have to learn key points about your health. Remember, this is just a tool to help you explore getting into better shape. It’s not some magic wand you can wave over your gut to make the pounds disappear.

Complaints of Inaccurate Data

I’ve read a few complaints, including some where people blamed their tracking devices for causing them to gain weight. While not all devices may be perfect, it’s the “gaining weight” part I am curious about. It all falls back on understanding how health works and realizing if your device is feeding you incorrect data. Although I’ve never had this problem, learning more about eating and exercise should prompt you to think, “Hey, this is wrong” if you find yourself eating more sweets than usual because the tracker “says” you can. It doesn’t work that way, and neither does proper health.

One of the most common mistakes people make when using tracking apps and devices is assuming you can eat what ever you want by hitting your goals. For instance, I read an article where a person complained of not losing weight even though the author was achieving 10,000 steps in a day. In reality, it all depends on your activity and food intake. You can do 10K within 16 hours and still gain weight if you eat terrible items. It’s all about finding a balance for yourself that is conducive to health.

How I Lose Weight with My Fitbit Charge HR

I am still in the process of losing weight. Not because my tracking technology has failed me, but because I tend to make crappy decisions throughout the day. However, using the Fitbit in conjunction with all my other tools helps me achieve goals such as losing 10 pounds in a week.

Using the data from my Fitbit, I am able to chart areas where I need to work on. For example, I surely don’t get enough activity throughout the day to burn off the foods I eat. My Charge HR shows this to me any time I load up my profile page on the Internet. Walking 10,000 steps doesn’t mean anything if you don’t burn off the calories you consume.

As long as you learn more about health for yourself, you don’t have to fear false data. There is a great deal to learn from eating habits to exercise throughout the day. A fitness tracker is only as effective as the person using it. Make better decisions when it comes to meals and exercise. The data from the Fitbit can be very useful as long as you understand how to use it.

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About Author

Michael Brockbank

Since 2015, Michael has put in the effort to lose more than 80 pounds by gamifying fitness and eating proper portion sizes. He conducts extensive research into various health and fitness products to provide the best answers possible according to his own experience and knowledge.

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