How to Go From Sedentary to Active | Using a FITBIT to Lose Weight
As a follow-up to the article LOSING WEIGHT WITH THE AID OF TECHNOLOGY I’m going to tell you all about the Fitbit Ultra and how this amazing gadget helped me achieve my weight loss goals.
My BMI was not ideal; I knew that I needed to lose approximately 35 lbs. The problem was my motivation. Like everyone, I said to myself “tomorrow I’m going to the gym and I’m going to eat much better “, but as you know that’s hard to maintain and I was no exception. I turned to the internet and I started to Google what other people were doing beyond the typical fad diets. I stumbled across a high-tech weight-loss tool called the Fitbit ultra from Fitbit. The Fitbit is the activity tracker that most geeks like me have been waiting for. It is small, easy to wear, and really easy to use. Now, unlike the Shopping Channel gadgets like the Ab Rollers or Ab Flex, the Fitbit alone won’t get you in better shape. You have to do that yourself, but, Fitbit provides all the data you need.
What is a Fitbit?
The Fitbit Ultra is a sophisticated pedometer. You simply attach the Fitbit to your waistband (ladies can attach it to their bra), and the built-in 3D accelerometer tracks your movement throughout the day. The device has a blue OLED display that cycles through the basic data to see how many steps you’ve taken, how many miles you’ve covered, or approximately how many calories you’ve burned. The embedded altimeter can also report how many floors of stairs you’ve climbed that day. The good news is, the data is fairly accurate.
The Fitbit synchronizes via your computer to the Fitbit website, were you can review all of your data on Fitbit’s website or through its free apps for iPhone and Android. You get access to a whole assortment of reports, graphs and tables showing your activity over time. The website has integration to various social media applications should you wish to share your data, or you can do what I did and link the Fitbit data to myfitnesspal and withings to bring together your activity, your food consumption and the all-important daily weigh-in. Fitbit does offer a calorie tracking function on the website and via its mobile apps, but I personally found it cumbersome and somewhat limited compared to myfitnesspal. The tight integration allows you to pick the strengths from all these gadgets and applications and bring them together in one place.
My experience with Fitbit support was amazing. I wanted another docking station for my office, but they didn’t offer the accessories outside of the full Fitbit package. I sent an inquiry via the website and they offered to ship a docking station free of charge. I also accidentally damaged the Fitbit holder and once again, Fitbit, replaced the whole unit under warranty. They totally stand behind their product.
I have never lost my Fitbit, but that could easily happen if you don’t take precautions. Now, what I did when attaching my Fitbit to my waistband, was to secure it with a simple hair-tie looped first through the Fitbit and then through a belt loop. This avoided losing the Fitbit or having it drop in the toilet – like cells phones I don’t think a Fitbit would survive a swim.
So, I first bought my Fitbit a year ago, am I still wearing the Fitbit Ultra every day? Absolutely! My Fitbit hasn’t left my side; literally, it is always clipped to a belt loop. I don’t check my current step count, calories burned or flights of stairs climbed as obsessively as I did when I first got the device, but I still find the information it provides to be important in ensuring I get up and move around. Walking 10,000 steps a day is not hard, but you have to remember to do it, and this really helps. If I didn’t have the Fitbit, I do not believe I would have lost as much weight, and I don’t think I would have kept it off.
The Fitbit is an excellent accessory to support weight loss.
I would be interested in your own experience with the Fitbit, so please post a comment. Also, if you are a Fitbit Ultra user, have you made the move to some of the newer versions showcased at the CES 2013?