HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Activity Trackers May Und...

Wed Sep 21, 2016, 02:44 AM

Activity Trackers May Undermine Weight Loss Efforts

Wearable activity monitors can count your steps and track your movements, but they don’t, apparently, help you lose weight. In fact, you might lose more weight without them.

The fascinating finding comes from a study published today in JAMA that found dieting adults who wore activity monitors for 18 months lost significantly fewer pounds over that time than those who did not.

Those who had not worn activity monitors were, on average, about 13 pounds lighter now than two years ago.
Those who had worn the monitors, however, weighed only about 8 pounds less than at the start.

The people using the monitors may also have assumed that, in some roundabout way, the technology removed responsibility from them for monitoring their energy intake, Dr. Jakicic says. “People may have focused on the technology and forgotten to focus on their behaviors” and ate too much, he says.

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/09/27/well/activity-trackers-may-undermine-weight-loss-efforts.html

Who would have guessed your fitbit is keeping you fat?



26 replies, 1804 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 26 replies Author Time Post
Reply Activity Trackers May Undermine Weight Loss Efforts (Original post)
SunSeeker Sep 2016 OP
hlthe2b Sep 2016 #1
Proud Public Servant Sep 2016 #2
woodsprite Sep 2016 #3
GreenPartyVoter Sep 2016 #7
Orrex Sep 2016 #20
GreenPartyVoter Sep 2016 #5
Proud Public Servant Sep 2016 #9
GreenPartyVoter Sep 2016 #14
reflection Sep 2016 #10
GreenPartyVoter Sep 2016 #15
woodsprite Sep 2016 #17
reflection Sep 2016 #19
Hugin Sep 2016 #12
Johonny Sep 2016 #25
Skittles Sep 2016 #4
GreenPartyVoter Sep 2016 #6
linuxman Sep 2016 #8
GreenPartyVoter Sep 2016 #16
Hugin Sep 2016 #11
alarimer Sep 2016 #13
kcr Sep 2016 #18
OnDoutside Sep 2016 #21
Avalux Sep 2016 #22
OnDoutside Sep 2016 #23
GreenPartyVoter Sep 2016 #24
shenmue Sep 2016 #26

Response to SunSeeker (Original post)

Wed Sep 21, 2016, 04:35 AM

1. If they didn't adjust diet then this is to be expected.

Diet, after all accounts for the major part of weight loss. Exercise helps, but only on the order of about 25% or so.

But, it is a valuable tool for those who actually commit to do both. I know my fitbit has for me.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SunSeeker (Original post)

Wed Sep 21, 2016, 04:49 AM

2. Here's a first-person account

Over 16 months, starting in July 2014, I lost about 60 lbs. A Fitbit was crucial to that process, since it showed me my calorie output. But, without monitoring calorie intake, the Fitbit would have been useless. Thankfully, there are good calorie-counting apps that sync with Fitbit (I used My Fitness Pal) and, in combination, they proved to be a powerful set of tools.

So there's nothing wrong, or counterproductive, about wearing a Fitbit. What is wrong or counterproductive is not understanding that calorie intake needs to be monitored as well; there's nothing magical about "10,000 steps" and it certainly won't much mitigate a crappy diet.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Proud Public Servant (Reply #2)

Wed Sep 21, 2016, 05:02 AM

3. Congrats on your success!

That's awesome! I've been doing the same thing for the past year and have dropped 48 lbs. Still
Have about 60 to go, but I'm heading in the
right direction.

When I'm tired and just don't feel like moving, my Fitbit is my motivation.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to woodsprite (Reply #3)

Wed Sep 21, 2016, 06:18 AM

7. You are doing a great job!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to woodsprite (Reply #3)

Wed Sep 21, 2016, 10:09 AM

20. Congratulations--that's an excellent accomplishment!

I think the thing to consider isn't whether you lose more weight doing the same activity with or without a Fitbit but rather "would the people who feel motivated by Fitbit be as motivated to exercise without it?"

Your story is similar to what I've heard from a number of friends: having the Fitbit inspires them to get moving, whereas they otherwise might not exercise at all.

Keep up the great work!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Proud Public Servant (Reply #2)

Wed Sep 21, 2016, 06:15 AM

5. Absolutely! My digital kitchen scale and my MFP food journal helped me lose 130lbs with my

Fitbit: http://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10428970/2-years-130lbs-and-a-very-long-post-with-a-pile-of-pics-at-the-end

Calories in, calories out. For most people, it's that simple.

Congrats on your weight loss!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to GreenPartyVoter (Reply #5)

Wed Sep 21, 2016, 07:06 AM

9. Great job! (NT)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Proud Public Servant (Reply #9)

Wed Sep 21, 2016, 08:43 AM

14. Thanks!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Proud Public Servant (Reply #2)

Wed Sep 21, 2016, 07:19 AM

10. I swear by MyFitnessPal

In three months, I've gone from 201 to 173, with a few minor tweaks in my diet. The app works if you don't lie to it. And I've learned all kinds of things I never knew about caloric deficits, plateaus, metabolism, and so on. My wife is using it now, and she's already down 15 pounds in about 2 months. Strongly recommend. The only downside I have now is I look like I borrowed someone else's clothes - haven't gotten around to buying smaller stuff yet.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to reflection (Reply #10)

Wed Sep 21, 2016, 08:45 AM

15. Consignment and thrift shops are the way to go. Donate your old stuff and get some new duds!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to reflection (Reply #10)

Wed Sep 21, 2016, 09:11 AM

17. I finally got to the point where I couldn't "shop" from my closet anymore.

Since this is a continuing journey, I only bought about 3 pr jeans and half a dozen tops in the new size. I donated a lot to the clothing bank.

Now to get hubby to do the same. He's still trying to eek by in his 38's with a belt, when he should be in a size 34.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to woodsprite (Reply #17)

Wed Sep 21, 2016, 09:58 AM

19. Ha!

That's the exact differential in my closet, 38s hanging everywhere, 33/34 waist now. I feel his pain. I look goofy as hell walking around with my current wardrobe, but I'm an engineer so I'm used to looking goofy anyway.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Proud Public Servant (Reply #2)

Wed Sep 21, 2016, 07:56 AM

12. Wonderful! Congratulations.

Yeah, people are still seeking an easy way to lose weight... Sadly, there is none. One still has to EAT LESS and EXERCISE.

Keep going! I bet you feel every ounce better for that 60lbs you've shed!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Proud Public Servant (Reply #2)

Wed Sep 21, 2016, 02:34 PM

25. Yeah, my activity tracker helped me track my activity

It doesn't help with any other aspect but it does do a good job of telling me when I've been lazy and inactive.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SunSeeker (Original post)

Wed Sep 21, 2016, 05:12 AM

4. gimmicks never work in the end

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Skittles (Reply #4)

Wed Sep 21, 2016, 06:17 AM

6. It's only a gimmick if you pretend that exercise is more important than portion control.

I think the problem is that so many of us want that fit body without having to give up the way we eat.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SunSeeker (Original post)

Wed Sep 21, 2016, 06:58 AM

8. Got one for my sister in law.

 

I'm firmly convinced that she made up the "calories burned" data by eating it later in the day as a reward for her "exercise" (which were calories she burned every day prior just by walking around). She's at her all time heaviest.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to linuxman (Reply #8)

Wed Sep 21, 2016, 08:45 AM

16. Yes, that can happen if you don't know how to use it right.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SunSeeker (Original post)

Wed Sep 21, 2016, 07:51 AM

11. I don't have a fitbit, but, I do have a fitness tracker.

I think the 'step counting' function is fairly poor at helping weight loss. In fact, I consider the counter on mine to be very inaccurate even with calibration.

However, it has been a great tool for my weight loss journey and I've lost 50+ pounds. Where I've found my fitness tracker useful is in the fact it monitors my pulse rate throughout the day. I use it to make sure I keep my heart rate in-the-zone, so to speak.

So, no fitness trackers are not a silver bullet for weight loss, but, they can help. If they are used properly and with dedication.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SunSeeker (Original post)

Wed Sep 21, 2016, 07:59 AM

13. Having one has made me move around more.

I like the reward of meeting the target. But that, by itself, is not enough for weight loss.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SunSeeker (Original post)

Wed Sep 21, 2016, 09:26 AM

18. Not to be a shill for these things, but simply being lighter isn't what matters.

The fit bit wearers who are not quite as light may very well be in better shape because they are exercising more. If the non-fit bit wearers weight less only because they're reducing calories but not exercising as much, then that's not better. Muscle mass weighs more, so the fit bit wearers will weigh more.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SunSeeker (Original post)

Wed Sep 21, 2016, 11:11 AM

21. I agree that it is a combination of exercise and food intake, one without the other is hard to

sustain.

I bought a Fitbit Surge (smartwatch) last month and I find it to be fantastic. I have it connected to the MyfitnessPal app as well as the Fitbit app, and it's already showing trends in my sleep pattern as well as, pointedly, which is the least active day.

I respond better to accountability, and the Surge is excellent in that I prompt myself to make progress to my daily steps goal etc.

You can wear all the monitors you want, but if you are not also reducing your calorie intake as well as matching it with exercise, then you're not going to succeed.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SunSeeker (Original post)

Wed Sep 21, 2016, 11:23 AM

22. Trackers are unnecessary.

I am not thrilled with our growing dependence on technology - saw a commercial for a mattress cover that's wired to track a person's sleep patterns. More information doesn't equate positive changes though, as this article points out.

It really comes down to being in touch with your body, learning to listen to it and giving it what it needs. No special bells and whistles needed.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Avalux (Reply #22)

Wed Sep 21, 2016, 12:38 PM

23. I largely disagree with that. Yes, one needs to be in touch with one's body but there are so many

issues in people's lives that affect how you feel and how you react to stress/challenges. If technology could bypass the need for medicine, so much the better. Lots of people need the equivalent of the donkey with the carrot out in front, to give them a goal and direction. Worst case if it helps 10 or 20%, that's another group leading a healthy lifestyle.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Avalux (Reply #22)

Wed Sep 21, 2016, 02:11 PM

24. Some of us are very bad at estimating food proportion and calorie burn. For me,

trackers and scales are the only thing that have worked, especially since I am a compulsive emotional eater and need to see my food and exercise in a clear, unemotional, objective way.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SunSeeker (Original post)

Wed Sep 21, 2016, 02:36 PM

26. I used my tracker and the doctor said to keep doing what I was doing

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread