First of all, let me say that I’ve been eyeing an activity tracker for quite some time now. However, I’ve held off because I’ve never seen the overall value of such an item if it will interfere with my day-to-day mental health.
Let me explain…
Back when I was calorie-counting obsessed, it was difficult for me to really focus on food as fuel. All I saw was a round number, at the end of the day, and that number became my friend, or my enemy, based on my particular goal for that month. Eventually, I began to wean myself away from the practice and focus solely on what I felt my body needed to properly maintain muscles and function at optimal levels.
That said, some people still don’t know how to do that, and they rely on activity trackers to keep them honest. While that’s fine and dandy, those things are hardly the only method you need to be using to get/keep the weight off.
Weight loss is more an art than a science. While we might like to think it’s a simple calculation of calories in and calories burned, most of us have numerous, fluctuating variables in our personal weight-loss equation.
“So many people get fixated on the number of calories they are getting every day,” Wertheim explained, “and don’t think about all the other factors that will create a lot of individuality that a wristband doesn’t track, like the kind of calorie you are consuming.” Wertheim says she starts with the composition of a patient’s diet and the first culprit is always sugar and refined carbohydrates, which have a higher glycemic index, causing the body to produce insulin and store fat. “If a person is drinking sweetened beverages or some of the coffee drinks like chai tea lattes, those calories aren’t going to allow them to lose the weight they want,” Wertheim warns. (Today.com)
Some of those “fluctuating variables” include how much you’re sleeping each night, the quality of the calories you’re eating, the balance of those calories (how much of them are carbs, protein, sugar, etc.), the quality and intensity level of your workouts (if you’re focused only on cardio and aren’t incorporating strength training, your resting metabolic rate will be different than others), and how much water you’re drinking.
In other words, if you’re not paying attention to all the elements, don’t expect your activity tracker to do it for you.