If you’ve been following our blog for a while you’re probably well aware of the fact that weight loss is multi-dimensional. What do you eat? What do you avoid? How much do you sleep? How do you exercise? There are so many different aspects that it can sometimes get confusing, but at the same time it’s important to keep track of everything on your weight loss journey. So, in comes the Fitbit, a device to help keep track of your physical activity and diet. It’s marketed as a way to help make losing weight easier. At a considerable cost. So, is it worth it?
The Fitbit didn’t seem to help
According to a recent study from the Journal of the American Medical Association: probably not. The study tracked almost 500 people, between the ages of 18-35, for a six month clinical trial diet, which included prescribed exercise and group therapy regarding weight loss. The study then continued with another 18 months of low monitoring from researchers, where some of the people wore wearable fitness tracking devices, similar to the Fitbit though not that exact type, while others went without and used a website provided by the researchers.
The researchers found, “Devices that monitor and provide feedback on physical activity may not offer an advantage over standard behavioural weight-loss approaches.” This was based on the fact that by the end of the two years, the people who used the website lost, on average, five pounds more than those who used the mobile tracking apps. The people using the website had also lost more weight at the 12 and 18 month points of the trial.
Why didn’t the Fitbit get results?
The researchers weren’t exactly sure why the results ended up the way they did, but said it was probably due to the behavioural change the devices caused in the test subjects. For example, some people who used the mobile tracking devices probably assumed it would do some of the work for them, and then slacked out on their own responsibilities. This is pretty common with technology, as people often view it as a way to do work for them, instead of complementing the work they already do.
With that said, though, the researchers pointed out that some of the people using the mobile trackers achieved really great results. John Jakicic, one of the co-authors of the report, told the CBC that, “We should not send the message that these wearable technologies do not help with weight loss — there were some in our study for whom it made a difference. There is so much more that we need to learn about how these devices lead to behaviour change.”
Should I get a Fitbit?
So, what does this mean for you? Well, as you can see, Fitbits and other mobile devices are a bit of a gamble. They may help, or they may be a waste of time. If you want a guaranteed return for your time though, get in touch with us, and continue reading our blog. We will not only track your results, but help you achieve them.