Is your fitness tracker hurting your diet?
Fitness trackers are everywhere, and many tout their ability to track almost anything from your physical activity, to your allergies, to the quality and quantity of your sleep every night. But do fitness trackers help you stay healthy and lose weight? A recent study discovered that dieters who wore activity trackers actually lost less weight than those who didn’t.
The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. While the author, John Jakicic, hypothesized technology would be a diet aid, he discovered the opposite.
Researchers separated participants into two sets of groups for a two year weight loss study. As part of the experiment, all members received tips about nutrition and physical activity: the basics of healthy eating and exercise.
They found that the change in weight at the two year mark fluctuated “significantly.” The group wearing the activity trackers lost, on average, 7.7 pounds, compared to those who didn’t have the trackers, who lost, on average, 13 pounds. The researchers did find that both groups showed progress in body composition, fitness, physical activity and nutrition.
“The cause of why the group that didn’t wear the fitness tracker lost more weight compared to the group that did wear the fitness tracker is still unknown and needs to be researched further,” says David Yonco, a fitness team lead at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital Health and Fitness Center in Barrington, Ill. “Many people use their fitness trackers for counting steps, calories burned and tracking heart rate. Although these things help with weight loss, the trackers cannot be what you rely on to lose weight. You should be focusing more on your weight-reducing diet over your fitness tracker.”
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