Sorry, But Fitness Trackers Might Actually Make You Gain Weight
Nobody thinks that fitness trackers will help you lose weight on your own, but most of us are under the impression that having a fitness tracker will push us to move more, which will make us lose more weight, right?
Well, we’re all wrong, according to a new study published in The Journal of American Medical Association.
The study tracked the weight loss of 500 adults who were instructed to follow a reduced calorie diet. Six months into the study, they had half of the adults start using fitness trackers, and guess what? The 250 adults who didn’t use fitness trackers lost an average of five more pounds than the adults who wore a fitness tracker.
Weird, right? But maybe not that weird.
Making healthy choices generally leads to other healthy choices, but sometimes, we want to reward ourselves for making those healthy choices. For example, if I’ve eaten really healthy all week, I’ll probably reward myself by going HAM on donuts and cheese that weekend.
For the adults in this study, it’s likely that when they saw how many steps they were getting (or how many calories they were burning), they actually overate under the assumption that they were burning enough calories to compensate. Or maybe they thought they were doing so much physical activity that they needed to eat more to give them enough energy, you know?
Obviously, strapping a FitBit on your arm isn’t going to suddenly make you start gaining weight, especially because the fitness tracker used in this study was a super old one that was worn on the bicep instead of on the wrist. But if you’re one of those people who (like me) tend to gain weight when you’re working out a lot because you over-eat, or if you simply hate the idea of fitness trackers, then don’t bother with one!