What do you think our caveman ancestors would say to us, if we told them we need to use a fitbit for weight loss ?
My guess is they would wonder what is wrong with just getting up and moving. It worked for them they were fit and healthy because they had to walk everywhere, they didn’t have trains, buses or cars. The ran after their food if they were hungry, they didn’t have Uber eats deliver to their door step.
Yes they were a lot more active !
However, they didn’t live in towns or cities where you need to move long distances to get to work, where they had to work 10 hours a day, and sit in an office, they didn’t have large families that needed to be fed and looked after, driven places for sports or other things.
They just didn’t have the busy lifestyle, that we do as modern man. They didn’t have to plan the spare time to exercise in a busy life.
So can you use a Fitbit for weight loss ?
Well using a Fitbit on its own won’t help you do much at all, its the data from the Fitbit that can give you the help you need to change your lifestyle, monitor you food, sleep and activity, what will help you lose weight.
So lets do a deep dive into Fitbit’s and what the latest crazy fitness invention means to you.
What is a Fitbit
Fitbit firstly is an American company, that makes activity trackers, which are wireless-enabled wearable technology devices that measure data such as the number of steps walked, heart rate, quality of sleep, steps climbed, and other personal metrics involved in fitness.
So Fitbit is the brand, what they make are Activity trackers.
Why Use a Fitbit to Lose Weight ?
So now you know that a Fitbit is really an activity tracker, they are literally dozens of activity trackers on the market. With such a wide range of activity trackers out there, you can bet that they have a wide range of functions. any thing from
- Tracking your Athletic performance
- Sleep habits
- Even promoting posture
But I like using my Fitbit activity tracker to help me with weight loss and maintaining that weight loss.
I liked it so much, I bought a Fitbit Ionic for my 73 year old mother to use for her general fitness. OK, yes I spoilt her for Christmas.
How do I Choose the right Fitbit for me ?
Fitbit have a wide range of products to choose from. Which is great, as you can choose the right activity tracker that will work with your fitness goals and fitness lifestyle.
- Charge 3
- Alta HR
- Flex 2
They also have a decent range of accessories with things like different colour bands and headphones as well as training apps.
Is Fitbit Activity Tracker Hard to Use
For the most part no they are not. The Fitbit dashboard is simple and easy to use, and is well suited to weight loss and fitness
The dashboard is customisable as well, they can also sync stats wirelessly and automatically from what ever Fitbit device you have, to either your phone or computer.
Once online on the dashboard, you have tools that can show your progress as charts.
Fitness goal setting and monitoring has never been, you can see progress notifications , as well as celebrate achievement milestone with achievement badges, that you can share with friends and family.
It can also help you manage what calories are coming and and what calories are going out. It helps keeping fat, carbohydrates and protein grams in balance, which in turn helps your overall food intake.
Does it work with Other Fitness Tools and Fitness Apps
Yes, the Fitbit will also pair seamlessly with other helpful apps and other tools, that will assist you in weight loss. You can also pair the Fitbit wireless fitness headphones to your Fitbit activity tracker. But they do also pair well with other apps like
- Mtfitness pal
Which Fitbit is Best for Weight Loss?
Well, you really need to know what you want your Fitbit for. You want to choose the right one for you that you will wear often, and actually use.
Tip – DON’T BUY ONE because you think it s a magic pill to loose weight.
If you are looking to buy one, here are some things to consider :
What’s the budget?
A Fitbit price can vary form Under $60 up to the high endFitbit Ionic for nearly $300. While its great you want to invest in your healthy and fitness, don’t spend money on features that you won’t use.
How do You Dress ?
Fitness and dressing for exercise usually means a sports casual look. Buy how do you dress through the day, if you are a professional that needs to look a certain way, or wears a uniform You need to make sure you get the model that can blend in with both worlds.
The best way to get the most out of your Fitbit is to wear it all the time, so don’t buy a model that you wouldn’t be seen dead out in public.
What type of job do you do?
Do you work in an industry or around machine where a loose strap might get caught, or if you Fitbit band is banging against what ever you working on. You might need to choose a softer band, or even one of the models that can clip on your clothing.
What about Wearing it to Bed ?
Some dietitians will tell you its helpful to track sleep data, so do you need to wear your Fitbit to Track Sleep ? A select few Fitbit modesl will have the sleep tracking function, that can track information about sleep stages, and how long you spend in the stages of sleep. Just keep in mind that some of the bigger models will be a little bit more clunky and coudl be a little uncomfortable in bed.
Are you planning on training hard ?
Depending on the type of activity you are doing you need the right model. As example if you are swimming you need the Fitbit Ionic, as its designed to be water resistant and is better suited to water based workout.
If you are sweat and doing things like Tough mudder, you might need to choose a more robust band, as some of them might not hold up to heat, excessive sweat and being banged around.
Are you looking for Special Features ?
If you have been to your doctor to talk about exercising and you have a heart condition, you might need features like heart rate monitoring. If you are a runner, you may want to track you pace and distance. Models like Fitbit Blaze and Charge 3 can provide GPS functionality to your smart phone.
What about lifestyle features ?
Used properly any Fitbit will help you lose weight. But technology being what it is, you can also mange basic lifestyle activities. You can get notifications on your smart phone. The Fitbit Blaze and Fitbit Ionic have a Relax app for stress management. The Ionic also has a wallet app the sores credit card information so you can make payments via your watch with pay wave.
How to use Your Fitbit for Weight loss
Here is the most important part, at the end of the day, the Fitbit activity tracker is a tool. A tool that can help you loose weight and manage that weight loss, ONLY if you use it right.
The dashboard tiles are cutomisable so you can actually set it up to give you the best chance of hitting your goals with weight loss. The whole idea of the dashboard design and layouts are meant to promote good health.
Here are the most import Fitbit dashboard tiles
You can use this tile to set your weight loss goal. Once you decide how much weight you want to lose and how hard you are willing to work to reach that goal. Then based on your goal, you are assigned a daily calorie deficit. One you have that set, all you need to do is check through out the day, to find out how much you need to eat to maintain the deficit.
Calories In vs Out
This tile will tell you how many calories you have eaten in the day vs’ the number of calories you’ve burned. The tile displays a meter on the front. Basically its simple at the end of the day you need the meter to be in the middle of the green zone. Its simple to do that, you just eat fewer calories then you burn.
You essentially create a calorie deficit . Once you set up your food plan, and your calorie deficit matches the deficit you will end up in the green zone.
Hourly Activity Goal
This tile will help boost your metabolism. all you need to do is check it out throughout the day, making sure you are moving around enough to burn as many calories as possible. You can set a reminder to make sure you get up and move as well. You can also use the Hourly activity goal to analyze the times of day when you are less active. So you can use it to set up activities reminders and schedule to move during those times.
They are plenty of other dashboard tiles that can be helpful, when you are targeting weight loss. But you only need to add them if you think you will use them
Tip : Don’t clutter you dashboard
If you are starting our, its easy to get overwhelmed with to many, tiles, numbers and date. After a while your head will be swimming and you will give up using your Fitbit.
Tip: KISS – Keep it simple stupid
Here are a few more tiles you can use :
The Sleep tile
Works well for those who skip exercise because they are tired. You can use it to make adjustments to your sleep habits, making sure you get adequate rest.
The Recent Exercise tile
This one shows you how close you are to achieving your exercise goals you’ve set.
The Water tile
This one works well for dieters who tend to eat when they are thirsty.
The Resting Heart Rate tile
This one is helpful, you can check your resting heart rate. It works well for people who ten to eat in response to stress. You can use this in conjunction the Relax app to help calm yourself with deep breathtaking instead of food.
Top Badges, and Friends
This is a great resource for anyone who enjoys challenge and needs support of others.
I tired to loose with my Fitbit activity tracker but it didn’t work ?
OK, we have all been there, been out and bought a shiny new toy that we thought would give us some great results for weight loss, but it just didn’t. Hey, any one buy a treadmill, to use at home, and found it holds clothes really well.
If you find yourself disappointed with the results and your Fitbit. Its generally because people have unrealistic expectations.
Think of it like this, the data that you can collect with your Fitbit activity tracker can help you when you are planing your exercise and nutrition goals.
BUT, there is no device in the world, that will motivate you to throw on a pair of sneakers and go for a walk or a jog, or instead of the 3rd pizza for the week, eating a chicken and salad instead. (maybe Fitbit and add a electric shock option).
You need to be consistent and wear your activity tracker all the time, not just some of the time, so good days and bad days. You need to be able to track your exercise and food habits through it all.
Just remember the more data you have the better your informed decision can be, and the better you can make your training program and diet plan.
So as a wash up, yes your can use Fitbit for weight loss, it can you help you collect data for your diet and exercise plans, which can help you change those old unhealthy habits to healthy ones
Just choose you Fitbit activity tracker wisely, its a decent investment in your health.