Electronic trackers can help us get more active, record our daily activity and improve our fitness. Thanks to creative high-tech designers, you can now wear fashionable fitness trackers that are more appealing to wear than those devices that make it look like you are on house arrest!
But simply slapping one on your wrist isn’t going to translate into weight loss.
At the Consumer Electronic Show 2014 in Las Vegas, a reporter from TechCrunch sat down with the founder of Fitbit, pointed to his wrist, and pronounced, “To be honest, I’ve not taken this thing off for months, but I haven’t lost any weight.”
Upon hearing this, I just had to laugh out loud! I’ve been working in online weight management for a dozen years, and my favorite saying about weight loss on the web is, “You have to use it to lose it!”
Many people have the best intentions when they sign up for a weight loss program or buy a diet book, treadmill or gym membership. But, without further action, they get no results.
Wearing an activities tracker, whether it’s a simple pedometer or a sophisticated arm band that tracks acceleration, activity and sleep is only the first step. But, it’s a huge first step.
In the transtheoretical theory of change, moving from contemplation to preparation to action means that you’ve decided that you want to get more active. It’s up to you to identify the tracker you want, buy it, wear it – and get moving!
Using your tracker and its software to set goals, monitor behaviors, and graph progress – well, that’s the ACTION part of the equation.
Here at eDiets, we proudly offer the Fitbit Flex. This slim, stylish device is with you all the time. During the day, it tracks steps, distance, and calories burned. At night, it tracks your sleep quality and wakes you silently in the morning.
Jill Duffy of PCMag.com recently rated some outstanding fitness trackers. She said that today’s trackers are a huge advancement over the original trackers (simple pedometers or “step counters”) because they’re intelligent, accurate, and some track much more than just steps taken.
As Jill says, today’s integrated trackers can be paired with a web-based account and/or mobile phone app, and that can make them indispensible for people who really want to change their behavior. With just a glance, you can see how you’ve performed compared to your goal.
Food and fitness complement each other.
Making better food choices and increasing activity are synergistic – and the proven way to achieve lasting weight loss. With eDiets, members can sync their Fitbit data with their mobile phones, when they choose the eDiets Vitabot meal plan platform.
Corby Martin, the director of Behavioral Science and Epidemiology at Pennington Biomedical Research Center, is a clinical psychologist and leader in researching innovative ways people can modify food intake and exercise. He’s tested many fitness trackers, so I asked Dr. Martin how to choose the right fitness tracker.
He said that trackers vary widely in their shape, size, color, features and price. Depending on your budget, how you like to wear your device, and what you want to track, it’s not a one-size-fits-all answer, so check out the marketplace and choose the one that works best for you.
PC Mag likes the Fitbit Force wristband best. I’ve been wearing my wristband Fitbit Flex for months now – ever since I lost my clip-on Fitbit 1 last summer. I’ll never go back to a clip-on activities tracker – it’s too easy to lose. The waterproof wristband model is just right for me. I’ve been wearing a watch since I was 12, so I just wear my Flex alongside my watch.
Fitbit remains on the cutting edge of technology by fusing fitness with fashion.
At the CES show, Fitbit unveiled an exciting new partnership agreement with the popular fashion brand Tory Burch for a line of accessories. I’m excited about being able to “transform your tracker into a super-chic accessory for work or weekend, day or evening.”
According to a CNN report, "Wearables is a broad and fast-growing category that, as the name implies, includes any small piece of technology that can be worn. Research firm ABI estimates the wearables market will hit $6 billion by 2018.
"The most popular wearables are fitness trackers, which use sensors to detect movement, heart rate, body temperature, breathing, sleep patterns, location and speed. In the fitness area at CES, low-profile and colorful bracelets inspired by the Nike FuelBand and Fitbit Flex and Force are the most common. There are the Garmin Vivofit and Jaybird Reign trackers, and the LG Lifeband Touch and Razer Nabu, which add in notifications from smartphones."
I’ll leave you with a testimonial from a friend who has seriously increased her activity.
She told me, “I went for my physical today. I'm down 28 pounds since this time last year. I want 28 more this time next year! I Love my Fitbit! It keeps me moving in ways I never expected before. A new attitude of, ‘I'll do it because I need the steps!’ goes a long way!”
Susan Burke March is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator, who as chief nutritionist for eDiets promotes the dietary health and wellbeing of consumers worldwide.
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