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Wednesday
Jul162014

Will Your Fitbit Make You Gain Weight?

Being fitness lovers here at IHRSA, we enjoy covering the newest in wearable technology. Many of us in the IHRSA office also use wearables to count steps and track our fitness. So we were surprised yesterday when The Today Show featured a piece about wearable technology causing weight gain. So, will wearing a step counter or fitness tracker make you gain weight?

The answer is, according to the article, no - if you are using it correctly. According to the article published on the Today Show website, the problem seems to occur when people start adhering strictly to the daily calorie recommendations generated by their device. The more active they were, the more they could eat, which makes sense - unless your estimate of energy output is off. 

Fitbits and other wearable technologies are able to estimate calories burned based on your height, weight, and movement. You can also use most apps to create a weight loss plan based on height, weight, and goal. But what they can't do is factor in other improtant things like your heart rate, perceived intensity, body composition, hormone levels, history of yo-yo dieting (which can slow the metabolism), health history, gut microbiota, or any other factors influencing your metabolism. So while these technologies are great for giving us an idea of our acitivity levels, assuming that they can provide exact measures can cause problems.

The bottom line is that weight loss is complex and influenced by numerous factors, and wearable technology has not reached the point where it can address many of them. So continue using your wearable device to track your sleep, steps, and activity. Just don't expect it to write you an accurate calorie prescription just yet.

You can check out the full article on the Today Show website

Reader Comments (3)

An interesting post, it seems that people rely too much on the technology counting calories for them that they forget to consider other important factors.
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August 16, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterfitbit sleep tracker

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