March 28, 2023

I just caught an interesting story over at the Today Show website. It seems that some people have been actually gained weight using the Fitbit.

First of all do you know what the Fitbit is? It is a little wristband that tracks your steps you take, figures out how well you sleep, and based on your weight and steps it can calculates how many calories you burn in a day.

The added bit of gamification of the Fitbit is that you can friend and compete against others so that your walks and steps are not just you against yourself.

Could the Fitbit Lie?

Well as cool as this little piece of tracking is it seems that people are having trouble with taking the numbers just a little too seriously and eating based on the calories burned on the walks.

And people are gaining weight! So what can possibly be going wrong?

Well I am guessing there are a couple of things at work here. I don’t myself have a fitbit but am guessing that the numbers might lie. If the fitbit says you burned 2500 calories well maybe they are a bit wrong, maybe is was only 2000 calories.

No one is trying to be deceptive but sometimes we will believe a bit of a lie. “I’s low cal cake”, “One cup of ice cream won’t hurt”, “My steps all day burned more calories than usual”

The best bet with the fitbit, just like any of these type of tools, is to use it for info and comparison. The first few days you use the fitbit you can see where you stand compared to your usual days. Do you walk a lot of steps usually? Do you think you are walking more now than before?

Track Everything and Compare

When you figure out what you do now, what you eat now, and compare it to the fitbit then the truth will really come out. If you do this then it will become pretty obvious to you when you are working harder than normal and when you are just doing your regular amount of exercise.

Oh, and one other thing to be super aware of is that the fitbit is great at being a pedometer and watching your steps but you still need to find a better way to track the rest of your exercise. If you do weights, ride a bike, play tennis, anything other than the regular walking then these calories burned, and fitness gained will not be tracked.

I love the idea of the fitbit, I know that Apple has big plans for their next phone and so this will spur on the Android folks as well, so this method of tracking exercise is at least a long term trend and hopefully something that will help even more people to track their exercise and get healthier

1 thought on “Can a FitBit Make You Fat?

  1. It is so wildly inaccurate. I went on a hike with a woman a foot shorter than me, and it said she burned 1400 calories while my Body Bugg/Body Media tracker (94% accurate because it measures four data points from your body) said I burned about 500. I knew from eight years of tracking with this device that it was super accurate as I always lost according to calories burned – consumed = calorie deficit. It was spot on for eight years. Too bad Jawbone bought out the company and discontinued the product!

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