Tech

Tips for Using your Fitbit to Lose Weight

A woman wearing Fitbit

If you’re trying to lose weight, several fad diets can clamor for your attention. There are so many of them, plus tens and thousands of websites and books, to explain these diet regimens. But if you don’t have unique medical needs, going on a special diet will only make things worse in the long run. Starving your body of food or avoiding certain food groups just make your body miss certain nutrients that can keep your body healthy. Instead, use Fitbit and commit to working towards your target weight.

Fitbit is a helpful weight loss tool, but it’s up to you to make progress with your body by making solid efforts. Here are some tips to help maximize your use of Fitbit to lose weight effectively:

1. Set weight loss goals

Before you can start your weight loss journey, you need to record your baseline numbers and set a weight loss goal. The Fitbit app allows you to set realistic, measurable goals like a target weight for a specific date. When you create an account in the Fitbit app, you need to input your weight and height. Ensure that these are accurate, as calorie deficit requirements, as set by the app, will be based on these numbers.

Clinically trained dietitians and nutrition experts say that you don’t want to lose more than two pounds in a week. Any more than that, you will start compromising your metabolism.

2. Set step goals

If you’re sitting in front of your computer for too long, you can set your Fitbit to give you a little reminder to take a short walk. Movement is important, not just in losing weight, but also for overall health.

Set a goal of how many steps you’d like to take each day. The most common goal is to take 10,000 steps a day, but you can set any number you want. Setting a step goal for yourself every day will help increase the likelihood that you will follow through. If you’re just getting started, you may want to start with 3,000 steps, and once you hit those numbers consistently, you can slowly increase the goal over time.

To make sure you can reach your step goals, activate movement reminders in your Fitbit. You can break down the movement requirements to hourly goals, so the device will remind you to move regularly.

3. Check your sleep patterns

Fitbit can track your sleep patterns. A good night’s sleep is important for a healthy body and mind. If you don’t sleep well, you will lack energy and can become more likely to crave junk food and skip workouts. Does your Fitbit indicate that you are not in a deep sleep very long? Does it say that you wake up a lot of times during one night? If your sleep patterns are abnormal, you can improve the quality of your sleep so you can choose better food choices and be motivated to work out the next day.

4. Cut your calories

Fitbit can track your steps and show how many calories you burn, but you can also use it to track your food intake. Wearing a Fitbit can inspire you to change and make healthier habits to lose weight in a more sustainable way. The simple act of recording your meals and snacks, and seeing how many calories you have taken in will not only help you lose more weight but keep it off for longer. By checking where those extra calories come from, you will gain helpful insights. Exercise is vital, and it helps in losing weight, but the most merit depends on what you take in.

First, crunch the numbers. Identify how many calories you really need per day to achieve your weight loss goal. You’ll generally want to reduce your total calories by 500 to 750 per day to lose one to two pounds a week. The food logging feature in Fitbit makes it easy. Don’t just eat below the bare minimum that your body needs: 1,200 calories per day for women or 1,500 for men.

5. Pair your Fitbit with a diet app

You can do calorie tracking directly on the Fitbit app, and it even has a barcode scanner to easily log any food you buy off the shelf. The data can be viewed through the Fitbit app or your Fitbit account’s dashboard.

But if you prefer to use other apps, there are a handful of great apps out there that are designed for tracking your every food consumed, like MyFitnessPal and Noom. These apps have an extensive list of different types of food and the number of calories they contain, making it easier to log in foods in your tracker. Plus, these apps can be paired with your Fitbit device so you can store and receive the calculated calorie values.

6. Eat fresh

Where the calories come from makes a big difference in losing weight and being healthier overall. Natural detox is the best way to lose weight – no pills, no shakes, just fresh and whole foods. Eat lots of colorful vegetables and fruits, drink lots of water, cut salt and junk foods, cut added sugar and processed foods, and avoid alcohol.

7. Log as you eat

To make calorie counting accurate, log the food in the app as you eat. It’s easy to forget details on a meal when you’re only relying on memory. If you don’t have the time to log your food intake immediately, take a photo. The first few days can be tiresome, but it gets easier the more you do it. Use the “scan barcode” feature when consuming foods with a barcode on their packaging for easy logging. You can also use “most popular” or “common foods” for a food item, so you can save some time trawling over a long list of brands.

But don’t worry, you can still log in the food you bought from a wet market or farmer’s market – all you need to do is to select the serving size of the specific food you ate. If you’re new to calorie counting, it helps if you use measuring cups and spoons and a kitchen scale. You only need to measure a few times before you get the gist of how much you must eat. You’ll also get better at estimations, too. If you have a rough idea of what a cup of pasta or three ounces of steak looks like, entering your food servings can be easier and more accurate.

8. Be honest

Log every morsel you eat and drink – even the milk you added to your brewed coffee, the cheese on your taco, the dressing on your salad, and your kid’s half-eaten sandwich. The more detail you give, the more accurate your data will be. There is no shame or judgment here – it just helps to know that you’re much closer to reaching your goal.

9. Don’t eat your burned calories

While the Fitbit app is fairly accurate in computing, calories consumed, and expended. It helps to note that you don’t want to eat whatever calories you burned. For instance, just because you burned 400 calories by working out doesn’t mean you can eat 400 calories more. Remember, weight loss is about a caloric deficit. It might be tempting to reward yourself with “cheat” foods after a great workout, but this will only delay your progress.

10. Keep up the momentum

The key to being successful in losing weight is to commit to it for at least seven days. One week of consistency can help you get an accurate assessment of your eating and workout habits. If you want to change or establish new habits, just keep using your Fitbit for calorie logging and step counting. If you want to lose 5 pounds or more, keep it up for at least a month. Then, check-in regularly with your mindset and motivation. Always monitor your progress to keep yourself motivated. Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight can keep your happiness and good health at bay for the long-term.

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