Are fitness trackers the weight loss tool they are advertised to be? Such monitors count your steps and track movements, but do not assist with weight loss according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study claims using such accessories may actually hinder your weight loss efforts.
The study involved 471 people, three-quarters of which were women ages 18 to 35. All participants were overweight, and followed a low-calorie diet, attended group counseling sessions, and exercised regularly during the first six months of the study. At the six-month mark the participants started receiving motivational calls and text messages, as well as online support. Weekly meetings became monthly meetings.
Half of these participants were randomly selected for the “enhanced” group and were provided with wearable diet and exercise monitors. Devices could be synced with participants’ computers to help them track their progress. The ‘BodyMedia’ device was worn on participants’ upper arms.
Lost Less Weight
Study author John Jakicic, director of the Physical Activity and Weight Management Research Center at the University of Pittsburgh, remarked that about three-quarters of participants completed the 24-month study, and that the fitness tracker group actually lost less weight. Those who participated in the standard group lost an average of 13 pounds, while the fitness tracker group lost an average of 7.7 pounds.
“We went in with the hypothesis that they would do better – that it [the device] would help us improve their outcomes. We were a little bit surprised,” said Jakicic.
“So we stepped back and said wait a minute, maybe these devices aren’t as effective for everyone. Anecdotally, after a few months people start to find these devices less useful. They become stagnant. It lasted about 12 weeks and then lost its luster. Sometimes between three and maybe six months they used them less and less,” he added.
More research needs to be done on fitness trackers, however at this time they do not appear to be a helpful weight loss tool. A healthy diet combined with exercise and Phentermine 37.5mg is enough to achieve your weight loss goals!
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