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Study: Fitness Trackers Don’t Help with Long-Term Weight Loss

One in six Americans wears fitness trackers or other devices on regular basis to help them manage their weight, according to Forrester Research.

A recent medical study shows that people are actually wasting their money. The apps on your smartphone do a better job in terms of measuring your steps and your calories. Consumers who didn’t wear a fitness tracker actually lost more weight than those who did wear the device.

But wearable devices not work when it comes to managing weight over the long-term. The author of a new weight study published in the British Medical Journal says they are missing a crucial connection with the brain – changing the mind leads to better results.

People seem to have become obsessed with wearable fitness technology, “because they think it’s a quick fix,” Dr. Andreas Michaelides, practicing psychologist and chief of psychology at Noom, says. “They think they feel better because they pay money for the service and think it will substitute hard work.” It doesn’t work that way. A person buying a fancy book won’t learn the material he or she actually reads the book. Continued.

5 thoughts on “Study: Fitness Trackers Don’t Help with Long-Term Weight Loss”

  1. Kristin Kowalczyk says:

    I’m pretty sure that nobody believes that simply wearing a device causes weight loss. The point is to get an idea of how active you are and set goals to increase your activity.

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      Thank you, Kristin. That was what I was going to say. A fitness device + logging foods + the necessary behavioral changes that noom promotes is what will work for me in the end.

      Taking my phone with me everywhere is simply not an option. A bracelet? Doable.

  2. Kevin Little says:

    The main advantage here for me, I have gone through 3 or 4 fitbit devices, and my dogs think they are nice chewy toys so if I ever leave one where it may fall on the ground, well they just aren’t likely to last over 6 months in my house.

    In comparison, iPhone will do step tracking more effectively in that I’ll nearly never leave the house without my phone, while I may forget to put on the step tracker, and for the clip on type it can be a trick figuring out where to securely clip it, and I lost one in airport security aside from the ones my dogs chewed on. Meanwhile I have left my iPhone on the ground now and then, and my dogs will not eat it, and that is really part of my advantageous strategy to maintain long term tracking.

  3. Rajeev S says:

    Did you know there’s a “deep detox” you can do first thing in the morning to burn more fat?
    And the good news is it only takes 13-seconds! Here it is:

  4. Jamie Crosby Reeves says:

    Unless I’m misunderstanding something, the study cited in the article didn’t even study step trackers, nor did they include a control group. The participants followed a diabetic diet, used an app and had human coaching. Hardly a source I’d choose to write an article about the effectiveness of wearable technology. This article is bogus. I’m disappointed in you, noom.

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