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The Secret to Making the Most of Your Fitness Tracker

You may have seen this study on how fitness trackers may not help you lose weight. It certainly made headlines and it certainly got our attention. We mean, how can more info and actual real-time reminders of how much (or little) you’re moving be a bad thing? After using fitness trackers for years, we do feel like they’re helpful (as long as you don’t let them drive you batty). But, it’s hard to ignore research and, you know, science.

So we decided to chat with Dr. Andreas Michaelides, who also studies weight-loss and is chief of psychology at Noom, a holistic weight-loss app. And his take was kind of fascinating.

According to Dr. Michaelides, it all comes down to mindfulness.

“Fitness trackers and other technologies make it easier for people to understand and monitor progress, but these technologies frequently make people passive participants in their health,” he says. “If consumers want more sustainable weight-loss over the long-term, they need mindfulness because it prepares them for the difficult work that is needed for meaningful behavior change.”

So, What Is Mindfulness?

A basic form of mindfulness is having “a non-judgmental awareness with what’s taking place in the present,” he says. “The brain is the reason why weight-loss is either successful or unsuccessful. It’s where all your unhealthy habits live and also where your motivation is formed.”