Our LB was on Sky News the other morning talking about the conclusion of the recent study by J. Jakicic et al. that the use of fitness trackers did not promote more weight loss vs. regular methods of tracking exercise and diet.
So what are our thoughts on the study and fitness trackers?
It is a well performed study, although participants were gifted the fitness trackers. As the participants did not buy the trackers themselves (as regular users would), there is no escalation of commitment as they have not invested their own earnings into the device. Regular users are likely to feel more emotionally invested having bought the device, and therefore more likely to keep up the use and commitment to their daily activity.
We feel the conclusion that ‘fitness trackers don’t work’ is unfair. How many people buy a pair of running shoes, bike or set of dumbbells with good intentions and lose motivation? We know it’s not that the equipment doesn’t work, it’s human nature.
Fitness trackers are great for measuring your daily activity, but weight loss and health cannot be boiled down to calories burned each day, our diet also needs to be taken into take into account.
Losing weight requires a daily calorie deficit (burning more calories that you are consuming) and you cannot be sure of this without knowing both calories consumed and calories used each day. Most fitness trackers don’t place emphasis on tracking your food intake, lacking any sort of calorie counting function, nor provide any education on nutrition. Without any knowledge of nutrition or how to count calories, there is no way we can be sure that we are in a calorie deficit and therefore going to lose weight.
So if you already know how to track your calorie intake, the current generation of fitness trackers can be a useful tool for helping stay on top of your daily activity. But for people just getting into health and fitness, they might not be enough to help you lose weight without also tracking your diet.
If you want to take control of your diet and achieve sustainable, enjoyable fat loss; all of our flagship guides have detailed information on nutrition, helping to educate you about your diet and how to eat so you can get the best results possible. Click here to start your transformation.