Do Fitness Trackers Really Help You Lose Weight?

By Tracey Dowdy

When the first wearable fitness trackers became popular in back 2014, “The Year of Wearable Technology,” individuals looking to improve their overall health and encourage them to exercise thought they’d discovered the Holy Grail of fitness. Since then, they’ve been used to monitor weight and to supporting healthier habits, including sleeping, eating and exercising by millions of users.  But the question remains, are they actually effective in promoting your health and fitness?

Scott Stein, Senior Editor/Reviews – Wearable Tech at CNET,  recently wrote a piece, “I Wear Fitness Trackers all the Time… and I still Gained Weight. Here’s Why.”  In his story, Stein writes, “I’ve always hoped that a smartwatch could be the Marie Kondo of my future health, eliminating the distractions, focusing on the real goals and clearing my cluttered, easily distracted mind. Instead, every day I get notifications, messages and occasional end-of-day “close the activity ring!” reminders.”

Stein asserts that while great for tracking steps and reminding you to get up and move around, an individuals’ “holistic health picture isn’t contained on the watch.” For example, his Apple Watch can remind him to close his fitness rings, but it doesn’t accurately measure calorie intake vs. calories burned.

More importantly, research has found that some of the devices produced inaccurate fitness data, which may affect users lifestyle and fitness goals or potentially lead to unnecessary activities. Fitness trackers use different sensors to collect data, and most products, regardless of brand or maker, use heart rate to calculate the number of calories burned, and motion sensors are used to measure movement. The problem is, “Heart rate alone is not an ideal indicator of calorie burn,” says Adam Sinicki of Android Authority. “The assumption is that when the heart pumps faster, you are creating a demand for oxygen and energy and thus probably engaging in an activity that is ‘costly’ from an energy perspective.” Of course physically fit individuals like my brother in law Ken, who regularly runs marathons, have lower resting heart rates than someone like me, who regularly runs her mouth. Factors like blood and air pressure, the ambient temperature of your environment, as well as your current mood can cause sudden heart rate changes.

A 2015 study by the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity found that fitness trackers frequently overestimated total sleep time, provided inaccurate data about the distance an individual traveled, and miscalculated number of calories burned.

Perhaps the biggest issue is that over time, users got very good at ignoring prompts and a third lost interest in their results after just six months. Stein summed it up best, “The fitness trackers cannot force you to be healthy, and smartwatches aren’t designed to replace doctors (in fact, the Apple Watch specifically is designed to dovetail with doctor visits). But if the Apple Watch intends to eventually be a medical tool, trainer and fitness buddy for my life — and anyone else’s — it could be a lot better at meeting me at my needs faster. After all, these apps already have years of my data: my sleep, my steps, my heart rate, my weight. Put it together already. Use machine-learning magic. Tell me the big picture. Do something that slaps me in the face the way my doctor does when she tells me I need to lose weight.”

 Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Washington DC. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances, edits and researches on subjects ranging from family and education to history and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.



  1. Howdy, I think your web site could possibly be having web browser
    compatibility issues. When I take a look at your web site in Safari,
    it looks fine however when opening in I.E., it has some overlapping issues.

    I simply wanted to give you a quick heads up!
    Aside from that, excellent blog!

  2. Simply desire to say your article is as amazing.
    The clarity to your put up is simply spectacular and that i can assume you’re a
    professional on this subject. Fine with your permission let me to seize your RSS feed to keep updated with forthcoming post.

    Thank you 1,000,000 and please carry on the
    gratifying work.

  3. Hi, I do think your website may be having browser compatibility problems.
    When I look at your website in Safari, it looks fine however when opening in Internet Explorer, it’s got
    some overlapping issues. I merely wanted to give you a quick heads up!
    Apart from that, fantastic website!

  4. My brother recommended I might like this blog.

    He was entirely right. This post actually made my day. You cann’t imagine simply how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

  5. We are a group of volunteers and opening a brand new scheme in our community.
    Your website offered us with helpful information to work on. You have performed an impressive job and our whole community will likely be thankful to you.

  6. Hey very nice web site!! Guy .. Beautiful .. Wonderful ..

    I’ll bookmark your web site and take the feeds additionally?
    I’m satisfied to seek out so many helpful info here in the post, we
    need develop extra strategies on this regard, thank you for sharing.

    . . . . .

  7. Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon every day.
    It’s always interesting to read articles from other writers and practice a little something
    from their web sites.

  8. Hey! Do you know if they make any plugins to help with SEO?
    I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very
    good results. If you know of any please share.

  9. Undeniably believe that which you said. Your favorite justification seemed to be on the net the simplest thing to be aware of.

    I say to you, I certainly get irked while people consider worries that they just do
    not know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top
    and also defined out the whole thing without having side effect ,
    people could take a signal. Will probably be back to get more.


  10. Wow! This blog looks just like my old one! It’s on a totally different subject but
    it has pretty much the same layout and design. Outstanding choice of colors!

  11. I love what you guys tend to be up too. Such clever work and reporting!
    Keep up the amazing works guys I’ve added you guys to our blogroll.

  12. Today, I went to the beachfront with my kids.
    I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4
    year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She placed the shell to her ear and screamed.
    There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is totally off topic but I had to
    tell someone!

  13. You actually make it seem really easy together with
    your presentation but I in finding this matter to be
    really one thing that I believe I might by no means
    understand. It kind of feels too complex and very large for
    me. I am having a look ahead to your subsequent publish, I’ll try to get the cling of it!

  14. Hello there! This post could not be written any better!
    Reading through this article reminds me of my previous roommate!

    He continually kept talking about this. I’ll send this post to him.

    Pretty sure he’s going to have a great read.

    Thanks for sharing!

  15. When someone writes an post he/she retains the plan of a user in his/her mind that
    how a user can know it. Therefore that’s why this article is great.

  16. Excellent website. A lot of helpful information here.
    I’m sending it to some buddies ans also sharing in delicious.

    And certainly, thank you for your sweat!

  17. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to
    say that I’ve truly enjoyed surfing around your blog posts.
    After all I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again very soon!

  18. Wonderful blog! Do you have any helpful hints for aspiring writers?
    I’m hoping to start my own site soon but I’m a little lost on everything.

    Would you propose starting with a free platform like
    Wordpress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m totally overwhelmed ..
    Any recommendations? Many thanks!

  19. Aw, this was an exceptionally good post. Taking a few minutes and actual effort to generate a
    superb article… but what can I say… I hesitate a whole lot and don’t seem to get anything done.

  20. Excellent way of telling, and pleasant piece of writing to obtain facts about my presentation subject matter, which i am going to convey in college.

  21. What i do not understood is in reality how you are no longer actually
    much more neatly-appreciated than you might be right now.

    You’re so intelligent. You understand thus significantly relating to this topic, produced me in my opinion imagine it from numerous various angles.
    Its like men and women aren’t interested except it is one thing to accomplish with
    Woman gaga! Your own stuffs outstanding. All the time deal with it up!

  22. Link exchange is nothing else except it is only placing the other person’s weblog link on your page at suitable place
    and other person will also do same in favor of you.

  23. It’s very straightforward to find out any topic on web as compared to textbooks, as I found this piece of writing at this web page.

  24. Usually I don’t learn post on blogs, but I would like to
    say that this write-up very forced me to check out and do so!
    Your writing style has been surprised me. Thanks, quite great article.

  25. Appreciating the time and energy you put into
    your blog and detailed information you offer. It’s awesome to come across a blog
    every once in a while that isn’t the same unwanted rehashed material.
    Fantastic read! I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my
    Google account.

  26. An outstanding share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a co-worker who was conducting a little
    homework on this. And he in fact ordered me dinner simply because I found
    it for him… lol. So let me reword this….
    Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending time
    to discuss this issue here on your web page.

  27. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to
    be actually something which I think I would never understand.
    It seems too complex and very broad for me.
    I’m looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

  28. I’m really enjoying the theme/design of your weblog. Do you
    ever run into any internet browser compatibility issues?
    A number of my blog audience have complained about my blog not operating
    correctly in Explorer but looks great in Opera.

    Do you have any suggestions to help fix this problem?

  29. Hey there! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new iphone!
    Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward
    to all your posts! Keep up the outstanding work!

  30. You really make it appear so easy along with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually
    something which I believe I’d never understand. It sort of feels too complicated and
    extremely broad for me. I’m having a look forward for your subsequent submit, I’ll attempt to get the dangle of it!

  31. Good day very nice web site!! Man .. Beautiful .. Wonderful ..
    I will bookmark your blog and take the feeds also?

    I am happy to search out a lot of useful info here within the submit, we
    want work out more strategies in this regard, thank you for sharing.
    . . . . .

  32. Do you have a spam issue on this website; I also am a blogger, and I was wanting
    to know your situation; many of us have
    created some nice methods and we are looking to exchange solutions with others, be sure to shoot me an e-mail if interested.

  33. I truly love your website.. Excellent colors & theme.
    Did you develop this amazing site yourself? Please
    reply back as I’m attempting to create my own personal
    site and would love to learn where you got this from or what the theme is called.


  34. Excellent post however I was wanting to know if you could write a litte more on this subject?
    I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit further.
    Bless you!

  35. We’re a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our
    community. Your website offered us with valuable information to work on. You have done a formidable job and our whole community will be grateful to you.

  36. Aw, this was an extremely nice post. Finding the time and actual effort to produce a very
    good article… but what can I say… I put things off
    a whole lot and never manage to get nearly anything done.

  37. Have you ever considered about including a little bit more than just your articles?
    I mean, what you say is important and all. However think of if you added some great photos or video clips to give your
    posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with images and videos,
    this website could certainly be one of the best in its niche.
    Wonderful blog!

  38. Thanks for your marvelous posting! I definitely enjoyed
    reading it, you’re a great author. I will make certain to bookmark your blog and may come back from now on.
    I want to encourage that you continue your great writing, have a nice evening!

  39. Excellent blog here! Also your web site loads up very fast!
    What web host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your
    host? I wish my web site loaded up as quickly as yours lol

  40. Hi! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any trouble
    with hackers? My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing several weeks of hard work
    due to no backup. Do you have any solutions to stop hackers?

  41. An interesting discussion is worth comment. There’s no doubt
    that that you should publish more on this issue, it may not
    be a taboo subject but usually people don’t discuss such
    issues. To the next! Many thanks!!

  42. What’s up everyone, it’s my first pay a quick visit at this website, and piece of writing is truly fruitful for
    me, keep up posting such content.

  43. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though
    you relied on the video to make your point. You definitely know what youre talking about, why throw away your intelligence on just posting videos to your weblog when you could be giving
    us something enlightening to read?

  44. My partner and I absolutely love your blog and find most of your
    post’s to be what precisely I’m looking for. Would you
    offer guest writers to write content in your
    case? I wouldn’t mind publishing a post or elaborating
    on some of the subjects you write about here.
    Again, awesome weblog!

  45. If you are going for best contents like I do,
    simply pay a quick visit this web site everyday since it provides feature contents, thanks

  46. I’m no longer positive the place you are getting your info, however great topic.
    I must spend a while studying much more or working
    out more. Thank you for excellent info I used to be in search of
    this information for my mission.

  47. We’re a group of volunteers and opening a new
    scheme in our community. Your site offered us with helpful info to work on. You have done an impressive
    job and our whole group will be grateful to you.

  48. Howdy! This article couldn’t be written any better!
    Going through this article reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He constantly kept preaching about this. I am going to forward this
    article to him. Pretty sure he’ll have a
    very good read. Many thanks for sharing!

  49. Magnificent goods from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff
    previous to and you’re just extremely great. I actually like what you have
    acquired here, certainly like what you’re stating
    and the way in which you say it. You make it enjoyable
    and you still take care of to keep it wise. I cant wait
    to read far more from you. This is really a tremendous website.

  50. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was wondering what all is required to get setup?
    I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny?

    I’m not very internet savvy so I’m not 100% certain.
    Any recommendations or advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks

  51. Nice post. I learn something new and challenging
    on websites I stumbleupon every day. It will always be interesting to read articles from other writers and practice something from other web

  52. great issues altogether, you just received a new reader. What would you recommend about your post that you made a few days ago?
    Any sure?

  53. An intriguing discussion is definitely worth comment.
    I think that you should write more on this subject, it
    may not be a taboo matter but typically folks don’t speak
    about such issues. To the next! Kind regards!!

  54. I simply couldn’t depart your web site before suggesting that I really enjoyed the usual
    info an individual supply in your visitors? Is
    gonna be back regularly to investigate cross-check new posts

  55. Hi! This is kind of off topic but I need some advice from an established blog.
    Is it very hard to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty quick.
    I’m thinking about creating my own but I’m not sure where to start.
    Do you have any tips or suggestions? Thanks

  56. Do you have a spam problem on this blog; I also am
    a blogger, and I was curious about your situation; many of us have developed some
    nice methods and we are looking to trade solutions with other
    folks, why not shoot me an e-mail if interested.

  57. It’s genuinely very difficult in this busy life to listen news on TV, therefore I simply use web for that
    purpose, and get the hottest information.

  58. Magnificent goods from you, man. I’ve bear in mind your stuff
    previous to and you’re just extremely magnificent. I really like what you have
    obtained right here, really like what you are saying and the best way through which you are
    saying it. You are making it enjoyable and you continue to care for to keep it wise.
    I can not wait to read much more from you. That is actually a great web site.

  59. Howdy just wanted to give you a quick heads up.
    The words in your post seem to be running off the screen in Ie.
    I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to do with internet browser compatibility but
    I figured I’d post to let you know. The design look great though!
    Hope you get the problem resolved soon. Cheers

  60. each time i used to read smaller articles
    that as well clear their motive, and that is also happening with this post which I
    am reading at this place.

  61. It’s perfect time to make some plans for the longer term and it is time to be happy.
    I’ve learn this put up and if I could I desire to counsel you few interesting issues or advice.
    Maybe you can write subsequent articles regarding this article.
    I want to learn more things approximately it!

  62. What i do not understood is if truth be told how you’re now not
    really a lot more well-favored than you may be right now.
    You are so intelligent. You know thus significantly
    when it comes to this topic, produced me in my opinion believe
    it from numerous numerous angles. Its like women and men aren’t involved unless it’s something to accomplish with Girl gaga!
    Your own stuffs great. At all times care for it up!

  63. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own weblog and was curious what all is needed to get
    setup? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny?
    I’m not very web smart so I’m not 100% positive.
    Any recommendations or advice would be greatly appreciated.

  64. Having read this I believed it was extremely enlightening.
    I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put this article together.

    I once again find myself spending a lot of time both reading and posting comments.
    But so what, it was still worthwhile!

  65. Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your web site and in accession capital to assert that I
    get actually enjoyed account your blog posts.
    Anyway I will be subscribing to your feeds and even I
    achievement you access consistently quickly.

  66. It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d certainly donate to this outstanding blog!

    I guess for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS
    feed to my Google account. I look forward to fresh updates and will talk about
    this website with my Facebook group. Talk soon!

  67. My coder is trying to persuade me to move to .net from PHP.

    I have always disliked the idea because of the
    expenses. But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using
    Movable-type on a variety of websites for about a year and am nervous about switching
    to another platform. I have heard excellent things about
    Is there a way I can transfer all my wordpress content into it?
    Any kind of help would be really appreciated!

  68. Hello everyone, it’s my first go to see at this web page, and piece of writing
    is really fruitful in favor of me, keep up posting these types of articles or

  69. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know a
    lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something.
    I think that you could do with a few pics to drive the message home a bit, but instead of that,
    this is great blog. A great read. I will definitely be back.

  70. Excellent weblog here! Also your web site a lot up very fast!

    What web host are you the use of? Can I get your affiliate hyperlink for your host?
    I wish my site loaded up as fast as yours lol

  71. I’m gone to convey my little brother, that he should also
    pay a visit this web site on regular basis to get updated from most recent
    news update.

  72. Pretty component of content. I simply stumbled upon your website and in accession capital to
    say that I get actually loved account your blog posts.
    Any way I’ll be subscribing in your feeds or even I fulfillment you get right of entry to
    constantly rapidly.

  73. A motivating discussion is worth comment. I believe that you ought to write more on this subject, it might not
    be a taboo matter but usually people do not discuss these issues.

    To the next! All the best!!

  74. Hey there, I think your site might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your website in Opera, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.
    I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, terrific blog!

  75. I’m not sure why but this website is loading incredibly slow for
    me. Is anyone else having this issue or is it a issue on my end?
    I’ll check back later and see if the problem still exists.

  76. Hello just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a few of the pictures aren’t loading
    properly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue.
    I’ve tried it in two different browsers and both show
    the same results.

  77. Hello! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to
    give a quick shout out and say I truly enjoy
    reading your blog posts. Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums
    that cover the same topics? Thank you!

  78. When someone writes an article he/she keeps the thought of a user in his/her mind that how a
    user can be aware of it. So that’s why this paragraph is great.

  79. I blog frequently and I genuinely appreciate your content.
    This article has truly peaked my interest.
    I will take a note of your site and keep checking
    for new information about once a week. I opted in for your RSS feed too.

  80. May I just say what a comfort to uncover somebody that genuinely understands
    what they are discussing on the net. You definitely understand how to bring an issue to light and make it important.
    A lot more people have to check this out and understand this side of your story.
    I can’t believe you’re not more popular since you most certainly
    possess the gift.

  81. I was ѵery һappy to uncover this page. I need to to thank you ffor oneѕ time due to this fantastic
    гead!! I ɗefinitely гeally likеd eveгу bit of it and I һave
    ʏou saved to fav tⲟo seе new tһings on уour site.

    Ꮋere is my web-site: slot deposit 5rb

  82. Tгuly no matter if ѕomeone doesn’t be aware of then its upp to
    ogher usеrs tһаt thry wіll help, sо here
    іt occurs.

    Here iѕ my web-site: 老虎机

  83. Nice post. I ѡas checking continuously thgis
    blog ɑnd I’m impressed! Very helpful information particսlarly
    the lɑst part 🙂 I care fօr sᥙch info a ⅼot. I wаs loooking foг this certaіn infoгmation for a
    ᴠery long tіme. Thank yoս and gkod luck.

    my web site – 抓住我

  84. Іt iis perfect ime to makе ѕome plans fоr the future and it’s time to be һappy.
    I have read thiks post annd іf І coսld I waant
    tߋ ѕuggest yοu feԝ interesting thigs or advice. Perhaps you can write next articles referring to thiѕ article.
    I desire tо read mmore things аbout it!

    Feel ffree tо surf tօ my web blog:

  85. You can definitelyy ѕee ykur enthusiasm ѡithin tһe article you write.
    Ꭲhe sector hopes fߋr even more passionate writers lіke you who arеn’t afraid to sаy hoow
    tһey belіeve. At alll timeѕ folpow your heart.

    My web site … 获取更多信息

  86. It’s tһe bedst timе tоо make some plans foor the future aand іt
    iis tіme to be hɑppy. I have learn thіs post and if I may I desire tо suggeѕt you fеw
    intеresting issxues ߋr tips. Maybe you couⅼɗ ѡrite subsequent articles relating to this article.
    I want to learn еven morе issues ɑpproximately it!

    Hеre іs my blog – 슬롯 머니

  87. Fantastic beat ! I would like to apprentice even as you amend your web site,
    how could i subscribe for a blog site? The account helped me a acceptable deal.
    I have been a little bit familiar of this your broadcast offered vivid transparent idea

  88. I appreciate, result in I discovered just what I
    used to be looking for. You have ended my four day long hunt!
    God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye

  89. Hmm іt appears ⅼike your blog ate my fіrst comment (it wass super ⅼong) so
    I guess Ӏ’ll jսst sum it upp wwhat I submiitted аnd say, I’m thoeoughly enjoying your blog.
    І as well am an aspiring blog writer but I’m
    stiⅼl neԝ to tһe wһole tһing. Do you have anyy pօints foг rokie bpog writers?

    Ӏ’d genuinely appreciaqte it.

    my web paցe – इस जानकारी का पालन करें

  90. Pretty element οff ϲontent. I simply stumled uрon yoսr website andd in accession capital tο assert tһat I gget in fact loved
    account youг blog posts. Αny ѡay Ӏ wіll be subscribing
    оn your augment or еven І fulfillment yyou ցet admission tto consistently գuickly.

    Feel free t᧐ visit mу site: 遵循此信息

  91. Have yoս eve thought abօut including a littⅼe
    bіt more than јust your articles? I mean, ᴡһat you sаy iis impoгtant
    and everything. Howwver think аbout iff yоu аdded ѕome grеat pictures oor videos to give your
    posts more, “pop”! Youг content is excellent but witһ images and videos, tһis website could undeniably
    Ьe one of tһe Ƅеst in іtѕ niche. Excellent blog!

    Μy blog post; slot demo gratis indonesia

  92. Hi therе I ɑm so excited I foսnd your webpage, I reaⅼly found үou
    by error, ѡhile I ԝɑs sedarching on Askjeeve foor ѕomething eⅼse,
    Anyow I am here now and wοuld jᥙst like to saу thank you for a marvelous post аnd a all
    roսnd exciting blog (І also love thhe theme/design), Ι dߋn’t һave time
    tо go tһrough it alⅼ at the minute but І have book-marked it
    ɑnd also added yoᥙr RSS feeds, ѕo when I haνe tіme Ι ԝill bee bаck tо read
    more, Pⅼease do keeep uup the superb jo.

    Review mү blog: 나 좀 구해줘

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *