Fitness Trackers and Weight Gain

Although millions of us love our fitness trackers, the popular devices may not help as much with weight loss as we think. An article on the Mayo Clinic News Network cites research saying that one in five Americans wears a tracker, but most aren’t seeing the hoped-for results.

“Having an activity tracker doesn’t necessarily translate into ‘I’m a more fit person,’” says Kathleen Zeratsky, clinicial dietician at Mayo, “or it’s going to lead to automatic weight loss. An activity tracker is just a tool.”

In the report, Zeratsky says that the trackers do help keep people be more aware of the need to be active, but that isn’t enough. You need to burn more calories than you’re taking in, and for most of us, that means a change in eating habits.

“If you’re looking to lose weight, you want to have a calorie deficit from your activity,” she says. “You don’t want to override that by, say, rewarding yourself with more calories with a rich dessert or a rich meal.” In other words, don’t sabotage your progress by eating too much.

Zeratsky acknowledges that exercise can lead to hunger. But, she says, “if your body says ‘I’m hungry’ because you’re having more activity, well, then just choose to eat in a smart way that won’t sabotage your weight-loss efforts.”

For more information on health issues, visit www.mayoclinic.org.



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