They track your steps, they monitor your sleep, they log your heart-rate, they show you how many calories your burn…FitBits are the in-vouge fitness gadget!
Since 2014 it’s been reported that more than 36.7 million people have bought an activity tracker like a FitBit.
So what is all the fuss about? How do you lose weight with a FitBit?
Could this small black wristband be the answer to all of our fat loss goals?
In this blog we will give you 5 good reasons why a FitBit is a great tool for helping you lose weight and burn body fat.
Just a heads-up, this article is in no-way endorsed by FitBit. We’ve received no financial compensation or promotion from them (although it would be great if we did). We genuinely think they are badass and they have been a huge help to our clients, hence this glowing review!
1. FitBits ramp-up your NEAT
NEAT is short for Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis and it is essentially the calories you burn doing movements outside of “formal” exercise. From extremely small actions like fidgeting and twiddling your thumbs to sprinting for the bus as it pulls away, all of these actions contribute to our total levels of NEAT.
We’re all different and our NEAT levels vary between person to person. For example a construction worker who is lifting heavy objects for 7 hours a day will have much higher NEAT than someone who sits at a computer all day.
Personality traits can also impact NEAT too. Someone who is really excitable and animated will have higher NEAT than someone who is super-chilled and relaxed and so on.
Now the good news is that NEAT is one of the largest contributors to your overall daily calorie expenditure which means that it can have a huge effect on weight loss.
Increased NEAT = increased fat burning.
Now you don’t have to start pacing around the office the entire day and burning holes in your shoes. You can make little adjustments to your daily routine to reap the rewards.
A 2000 study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition measured calories burned in different positions (sitting, lying, standing etc). The results were pretty surprising, researchers found sitting up, motionless, increased calorie expenditure by 4%, whereas sitting up but fidgeting increased calorie expenditure by 54%!
A win for the fidgeters.
The researchers also looked at difference between standing verses sitting. Standing resulted in a 13% increase in expenditure!
If you then add slow walking into the equation, it caused a huge spike in calorie expenditure. Walking at just 3mph saw a massive increase of 292% over baseline expenditure!
If you want to ramp-up your calorie expenditure, get on your feet.
Other than the basics like walking to work, going for a stroll on your lunch-break, consider the huddle-meeting!
If you’re based in an office try and implement ‘huddle meetings’.
If the meeting is less than 15 minutes everyone has to stand, rather than sit. Not only will you burn more calories but you’ll be more productive and the meetings will be considerably shorter too!
So how does this relate back to you having a Fitbit?
Well just by having a Fitbit it makes you more consciously aware of your NEAT levels. You can see the calories you’re burning and you can see how much, or how little, you’ve been moving that day.
By increasing your daily step count, you can seriously increase how many calories you burn that day and the Fitbit does an excellent job of helping you track this.
Want to know more about increasing NEAT for faster fat loss? Listen to this.
2. They keep you accountable
The Oxford Dictionaries definition of accountability is the fact or condition of being accountable; responsibility.
Whether it is heading to the gym with a buddy, doing a challenge at work or hiring a personal trainer or nutrition coach, having someone or something to keep us on track is key to long-term weight loss success
The science proves this:
..participants experienced 100% better weight loss and fitness results, dropping pounds faster and keeping them off longer, when they teamed up with a buddy with whom they have an existing relationship. ~ National Weight Control Registry
Study participants reported significantly greater weight loss, health and fitness results when they had the support of family and friends ~ Families, Systems, & Health
Study participants who actively enlisted the social support of 3 or more friends experienced 176% greater long term success with their exercise and nutrition program than those who tried to do it on their own. ~ Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
Where do FitBits come in this?
They act as your own personal coach which is on your wrist 24/7. If you are not hitting your goals – for whatever reason – your Fitbit will tell you.
Fitbit’s have lots of great ways to increase your accountability too. You can set daily step goals, calorie targets, ‘stair climbing goals’ and active hour goals too. The new Fitbit charge 2 will also send you “reminders to move” every hour. If you’ve been sitting at your desk for too long, you’ll get a little reminder to go and take a short walk.
3. FitBits are great for creating healthy habits
Habits are extremely powerful tools when it comes to fat loss. If you can form a strong habit it can be extremely hard to break.
When was the last time you forgot to brush your teeth? Exactly. It’s a habit that you don’t break, it’s a routine, it’s something you do every day without fail.
FitBits can help you create lasting activity habits.
Let me tell you a short story about Claire.
Claire decides to buy a Fitbit (because all her friends at the office keep talking about them saying how great they are). She heads to the shop and picks up a brand-new shiny one.
After the first few days of wearing it, she realizes that she only takes 3000 steps a day! Pretty low. Much lower than she thought. Turns out her walk to work was much shorter than she thought.
Anyway, she then makes a conscious effort to double her step count every day to 6000 steps. She takes a longer route to work, she goes for a short walk at lunch and she stands at her desk for 15 minutes every hour (benefit of having one of those height adjustable desks in fancy offices).
After two weeks of 6,000 steps, she’s upped this to 8,000 steps per day. Not only is she feeling great from all the walking but she’s noticed her clothes are becoming looser and she’s lost weight already!
Feeling pumped with her progress, she decides to take the next step and decides to join a gym.
She then starts going to the gym twice a week and has upped her steps to 10,000.
She feels great, she’s getting stronger, she’s toning those stubborn fat areas and she is feeling amazing.
Claire is loving her Fitbit and she’s started to go into her data in more detail and she notices that her sleep quality is not great.
Claire then creates a sleep goal, no more phaffing on Facebook late at night, instead she commits to a solid 7 hours of sleep per night. She crushes it, her recovery is faster, she is more alert at work, she feels much better every morning……
See where we’re going with this.
As you can see from our “imaginative” story, it is not the act of buying a Fitbit that has made Claire healthier, confident and more active. The Fitbit has made Clare more aware of her activity levels and she has built up momentum slowly. The Fitbit has allowed her to form small easy but effective habits that help her with her fat loss goals.
4. They help you set realistic goals
If you want to improve something, you need to be able to measure it.
Fat loss isn’t any different. You need to set some numbers to see where you’re at now and to determine where you want to be.
Losing weight isn’t a goal, there are no numbers and there is no time-fame.
However, losing 0.5 to 1 kg per week is a goal.
It’s short-term, it’s realistic, it’s achievable and it’s time bound.
The problem many people encounter when they set long term goals is that they can get overwhelmed by the size of the task and the daunting timeframe ahead of them.
Say your big goal is to lose 6 to 12 kg in 90 days – which is definitely achievable with some work and dedication on your part.
A Fitbit can help you break this down by focussing on daily and weekly goals which will contribute to the overall ‘big goal’.
Lots of goals going on here, it’s like Match Of The Day….
Anyway, a really simple goal would be to aim for 10,000 steps every day along with a good quality sleep every night.
Do this for a month and you’ll be amazed at the result.
5. They build community
Nobody wants to be a loner.
Fitbits are great for creating community, healthy competition and increasing accountability.
A great thing is that you can set up challenges like the “workweek hustle” or “weekend warrior” between you and your friends who also have Fitbits to see who can do the most steps in a week or over a weekend.
Being in a group or challenge with other individuals who share the same goal as you and that are striving for the same things is a huge motivator. Depending on how competitive you are it can get ridiculous. There are stories of people going on huge walks to boost their step count. Some folks watch 90 minutes of football while running on the spot. Others take unnecessary detours, on foot, to the shop, just to get to the top of the leader-board to earn the bragging rights.
No one remembers second place!
What is the best FitBit?
Now we have explained all of the wonderful benefits of a Fitbit and how it can help you with your fat loss goals. But which one do you go for, as there are several different ones on the market now.
Let us give you some advice on which one we feel will do a stellar job without breaking the bank.
Fitbit now do a huge range of products ranging from £49 all the way up to £199.
But we think without a doubt, one of their best products is the Fitbit Charge HR. It tracks everything that you need: steps, distance covered, calories burned, your heart rate and it also has the sleep tracker.
It is extremely versatile, discreet and very stylish for a wristband that only weighs 140 grams.
One of the best features of the Fitbit Charge is the price. You can now pick up this excellent tracker for £79.99 over on Amazon. So, it’s definitely not going to break the bank, but has everything you need.
So, there you have it!
5 simple but effective FitBit weight loss tips, in which a Fitbit can help you achieve your fat loss goals. By no means are we saying that a Fitbit is a magic gadget and as soon as you buy one it will make fat loss happen overnight.
But by doing the 5 points we have highlighted in this article, it can definitely help you become more active in the day, create a form of accountability which is key, help you form healthier habits and have a bit of fun with friends and family whilst you’re at it!