Use Your Fitbit Wisely

A recent article on CNBC points out that there is a growing movement of consumers who are publicly upset about the fact that they are gaining weight after buying a Fitbit, or a similar type of fitness monitor. While those who are behind this movement are understandably upset, their sentiment is nothing new. Often times consumers purchase fitness devices or diet plans assuming that the products will independently lead to direct weight loss. This is not the case. According to CNBC:

Weight loss is more an art than a science. While we might like to think it’s a simple calculation of calories in and calories burned, most of us have numerous, fluctuating variables in our personal weight-loss equation.

“So many people get fixated on the number of calories they are getting every day,” Wertheim explained, “and don’t think about all the other factors that will create a lot of individuality that a wristband doesn’t track, like the kind of calorie you are consuming.” Wertheim says she starts with the composition of a patient’s diet and the first culprit is always sugar and refined carbohydrates, which have a higher glycemic index, causing the body to produce insulin and store fat. “If a person is drinking sweetened beverages or some of the coffee drinks like chai tea lattes, those calories aren’t going to allow them to lose the weight they want,” Wertheim warns.

Hormones, sleep and the time you eat can play key roles in weight loss, too, according to Dr. Holly F. Lofton, director of the NYU Langone medical weight management program.

Consumers need to be aware that though beneficial, tools such as the Fitbit are not miracle cures.  Weight loss can be a complicated process that requires changing and manipulating a variety of different factors such as calorie intake, diet, exercise, and sleep patterns. While the Fitbit is a very helpful tool in monitoring some of these factors, it is not the only thing that consumers need to do in order to lose wight. As every person is different, there is no exact way to gaurantee weight loss. Yet, if consumers try to eat a healthy diet, as well as maintain a level of fitness, this will more than likely benefit them. Doing this in addition to monitoring with a Fitbit, or a similar device, will make weight loss easier, as well as allow consumers to use Fitbit more effectively.

Read More- “Users complain of weight gain with fitness bands” (Jacoba Urist, CNBC)

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A rising senior at Colgate University, John is currently working as a research fellow with Consumers' Research.

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