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Should I buy a smart watch or fitness band?? To Help With Weight loss Pro’s & Con’s

Looking to understand if smart watches like Apple IWatchFitbits are good device to invest in to help you in your quest to lose weight and start feeling better about yourself?

Getting those steps in

Getting Out There & Getting It Done!

When it comes to losing weight, everyone is looking for the next big thing. Everyone is looking for that little boost, that secret trick, or anything to push them to where they want to be. For a lot of people, the issue is a matter of staying on track. However, the issue for a large group of people looking to lose weight is knowing whether or not they are on track, or even where the track actually is. One of the things people have begun to utilize is this advancement in technology that allows a wearable device to track and calculate a multitude of things on your way to your fitness goals. These fitness trackers, usually in the form of a bracelet or watch, have been proven to be very successful in helping people looking to drop some extra pounds to stay on track and know exactly what they need to do in order to reach their goals. These wearable devices boast features such as calculating calorie output, calculating exercise intensity and duration, and even having the ability to calculate the amount of sleep you get each night and the quality of the sleep you get. But how accurate are they really? With the explosion of these devices on the market in recent years, there are many variations and each version offers its own sets of pros and cons when compared to the others. As we go through some of these devices in their features, it’s important to remember that the best device for you may be different than the best device for someone else. Focus on your goals and which style of fitness tracker has the features that will allow you to make the journey to your fitness goals that much easier.

Probably the most important function of these devices is the accuracy in which it tabulates the numbers of your day. Step counters have been on the market for a long time, but there has always been suspicion of their accuracy. With these devices that connect to your phone, the accuracy has been much improved. In a recent study, eight wearable tracking devices were tested for their accuracy. The Apple Watch, which was measured as the most accurate wearable device in the study, has a deviation percentage of 0.3%. A 0.3% deviation percentage is considered extremely accurate. The way the Apple Watch calculates your steps is by taking the information that you put into the app when you get the watch (such as height weight and age) and combining that information with tracking distance and actual footsteps to get the most accurate number of steps. Being able to track your steps is a very valuable tool when you’re trying to lose weight because it gives you an idea of how much you move in that can greatly impact the number of calories you burn during the day.

One of the other valuable tools these wearable trackers advertise is the ability to track your heart rate throughout the day. Some are more accurate at tracking this than others, and with something as important as your heart rate, it’s best to make sure that you are utilizing the most accurate devices. The way these devices track your heart rate is pretty much the same across the board, with LED lights on the bottom of the watch against your skin flashing hundreds of times per second in order to calculate the changes in volume of the blood in your capillaries as you go through your day. You will see an increase in your heart rate as your activity level grows and you should see a decrease in your heart rate as your activity level dissipates. This is a specifically useful tool when trying to lose weight because the change in heart rate is a critical component to calculating the number of calories you burned throughout the day. The most important number when it comes to losing weight, and specifically losing body fat, is the number of calories you’ve burned versus the number of calories you’ve eaten. Having a more accurate way to know how many calories you burn throughout the day will only serve to make your weight-loss journey easier.

The Whoop 3.0 device actually measures 100 MB of data per day in order to give you the most accurate reading on your health. If you fill out the information in the smartphone app component, and you are consistently wearing your device, the technology will then take over and calculate accurately.

For the majority of people, one of the most important factors when choosing any new technology is the ease in which you can use it. The best features in the world don’t mean anything if you don’t know how to use the device, and these companies know that and have been improving the user experience tremendously. Almost all of these fitness trackers are linked to your smartphone in order to make the experience familiar and also easier to navigate. Some of them, such as the Whoop 3.0, even offer a more detailed desktop version so that you can truly see every measurement and every detail the fitness tracker has to offer. There’s an old saying that the best diet is the one you’ll stick to, and in this case, the best fitness tracker is the one you can use. Whether it’s being able to start tracking a specific work out, like the Apple Watch or Whoop 3.0, or having alerts pop up on your smartphone screen to remind you to stand or just to provide updates throughout the day on your progress, it’s very important to pick a tracker that makes the actual tracking part easier and more user-friendly. If your fitness tracker is too difficult to use, you won’t use it for long.

One of the things that has seen a surge in progress with the abundance of these fitness trackers is the ability to track not only the amount of time you’re sleeping but the quality of the sleep you’re getting in that time. The battery life on most of these devices will allow you to wear it while you sleep in order to get an accurate reading of the type of sleep you get which is a critical component to recovery. A recent study took subjects looking to lose weight and put them on different sleep programs. While each group lost weight fairly equally, the group that slept more lost the weight predominantly from the fat storages in their body, while the group that got less sleep lost the weight from predominantly muscle. This speaks to just how critical sleep is when you’re trying to lose weight and some of the sleep tracking functions on these devices have improved to impressive levels.

Sleep don’t you love it

Fitness trackers track sleep in a few ways– they track sleep duration by tracking the times that you’re not active versus the time when you are active. They also track sleep quality by measuring how often you toss and turn during the night as well as taking factors into consideration based on the information that you provide, such as caffeine intake, stress levels and activity. There are also advanced trackers, designed specifically for tracking sleep patterns, that have more features such as being able to detect noise in the room while you sleep, and some that can even detect the level of light in the room. If sleeping is one of the big issues standing in the way between you and your weight-loss goals, it may be worth looking into a sleep tracker that can give you a more accurate picture of what goes on while you sleep and the ways in which you can correct it, rather than something like an Apple Watch, or a FitBit which is going to be limited in the amount of data it can provide.

While it is not precise, the calculation of sleep done by these trackers is the best and most convenient way to track your sleep for the cost. It’s a rough estimate, but it does give you something to work with and can absolutely help you on your path to losing weight.

There was a study done recently with the aim of tracking whether or not fitness trackers and wearable devices were actually helping people lose weight, or if they were just claiming to help people lose weight. The study provided participants with the same weight-loss counselling for six months including nutrition, fitness and all the support they needed. After the six months, one group was given fitness trackers and the other group was not. Both groups were able to maintain their weight after the six months fairly well, but the group with fitness trackers lost 2 to 3% less fat than the group without fitness trackers. The explanation given by Katherine Zertsky was that the participants with the fitness tracker were able to see every calorie and every detail and would reward themselves in the form of food and indulgence whenever they completed a workout or had a “good day“. It’s best to know that the fitness tracker is not a coach. The fitness tracker is a tool that should be used in combination with a healthy diet and exercise and should serve as a way to measure progress, not provide it.

The other issue that can arise with fitness trackers is dishonest participants. If you’re not honest when inputting the information into the app, the app will not be able to correct the errors in a way that’s useful to your weight loss. It can be hard, even if the only eyes on the tracker are our own, to be completely honest and face some of the hard truths that a lot of us avoid when it comes to our health. The trackers are only accurate for us when we are accurate with them, so it is best to put your pride aside and be as honest in the input of information as possible in order to get the absolute best results from your fitness tracker. A lot of these fitness trackers have social capabilities on the smartphone app linked to it, and it can be easy to flub the numbers in order to avoid embarrassment. It can also be easy to say you were more active than you were in order to keep up with friends or a spouse or even just to feel better about yourself at the end of a tough week, but it only serves to hurt your chances of hitting your goals in the long run. As long as you stay accurate and consistent with the app in the device, you will be painting the most accurate picture of your lifestyle and allowing the tracker to help you in the best and most efficient way.

It’s important to wear your tracker every single day if you want the best experience for losing weight. If you only wear it on the days when you work out or only on the weekdays and take the weekends off, you aren’t painting an accurate picture of your lifestyle and the tracker will fail you. It’s important to wear it on the off days as much as it is to wear on the days when you were highly active, because that allows the tracker to know when you are likely to be active and how to get you to be more active on the days it’s seeing you inactive.

Fitness trackers can be a great tool for losing weight, and when used properly, have been proven to provide accurate and timely information that will assist you in achieving your fitness goals.

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