If you are trying to lose weight, it may be a good time to step away from the fitbit, according to research.

Research published in The Journal of the American Medical Association found that those who use wearable technology to assist weight loss were not as successful as those not using technology. The study took into account 2 groups of participants with a body mass index (BMI) between 25 to 40. The wearable technology group were put on a low calorie diet, had increased physical activity levels and group counselling sessions. After 24 months, the researchers found that those who were not using wearable technology lost more weight over the time period compared to those who were using the technology, with a difference of close to 5 pounds in weight loss between groups (approximately 2.2 kilograms).

The researchers were surprised with the result, with their hypothesis stating that there would be more weight loss achieved in conjunction with wearable technology. So why was this the case?

  • False sense of security- “I achieved my step goal today, I don’t need to exercise!”-
  • Some people naturally don’t like exercising- “I’m not going to reach my step goal today, so why bother?”
  • The novelty: Research has shown that some people tend to become bored after frequent usage of wearable technology.
  • 24 months is a long time to be on a regime of that intensity- low calorie diets are most effective short term (less than six months) and with weight loss, plateaus can happen.

Again, this isn’t a one size fits all approach. Some people may love using wearable technology and see the benefit of using it. It can make people accountable and can potentially make people more active through the day. Wearable technology can have its advantages and disadvantages. It’s an individual decision and everyone has their reasons to use or not to use it. 

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