The popularity of fitness gadgets and fitness applications have elevated ever since the introduction of smart phones and more technology inclined products. While this has been beneficial for many, along with it comes a dark side with can do the opposite of its intentions. Today I have Erin who blogs over at The Almond Eater to give her point of view- Ironically, Erin interned with Bodymedia Inc- a fitness gadget I have quite the history with.
| She thinks…|
When Arman asked for a he thinks/she thinks discussion topic, I immediately thought of fitness gadgets and/or apps. In particular, the BodyMedia Armband and the Lose It!app, both of which I’ve used in the past. Do I think they can help with weight loss? Absolutely. Were they for me? No. Let’s dig a little deeper…
Calorie counting: Two simple words that can be so controlling. But before I start bashing it, I do know that calorie counting can work for some people, like my father. He lost 30 pounds simply from calorie counting and regular exercise. You go, Dad 😉
On the other hand, I believe from personal experience that calorie counting can be taken too far, and people can become dependent and/or addicted to their fitness gadget. Being addicted to your fitness gadget means that you will become obsessed with entering every.single.calorie into your app. Omgsh I ate 3 chips at a work function—better add that into my app! Wouldn’t want to ignore those calories! Or Eshhhhh my friends invited me out tonight but I probably shouldn’t drink. Maybe I’ll just stay home tonight.
I was constantly weighing myself out of curiosity. For myself, personally, I didn’t need to lose weight. I needed to “tone up” AKA gain muscle and therefore constantly weighing myself was the opposite of what I should have been doing because, as well all know but often times forget, muscle weighs more than fat. I also think it’s important to eat when you’re actually hungry (though this is no easy task!) not when an app tells you you’re allowed.
This has been my experience with fitness gadgets and I’m happy to report that I no longer (obsessively) use them. I do think it’s important to be aware of what you are taking in and burning, but not to the point where you track every single calorie. There is a difference between having the calorie burn/intake knowledge and becoming obsessed over it, and I think it’s so important to allow yourself to have control of your diet rather than some fitness gadget.
| He thinks…|
I remember the day when I was browsing a popular bodybuilding forum and seeing a thread about this ‘magic’ gadget which could track your activity, monitor your sleeping patterns and had features to could calories of food for you. This was when I found out about the Body Media Fit.
The time I stumbled upon this gem, I was in the mindset to ‘build muscle’– and after reading the rave reviews thought this would be the absolute perfect thing for me- It would dictate to me exactly how much I needed to eat to gain X amount of weight per week for a solid lean bulk.
I remember digging into my savings account and justifying to myself that the $400 armband and body monitoring device was ‘absolutely necessary’ in order for me to ‘properly’ gain muscle.
Long story short- I wore the arm band religiously. I monitored my activity levels to a T and saw my daily ‘calorie’ burn and steps taken. This went on for a good 4-5 months. You’d probably assume I managed to gain at a decent rate and build muscle, right?
After my calorie counting days, this new gadget further fuelled my obsession with numbers- and I found every excuse in the book to not ‘stick’ to the numbers it provided.
‘The calorie burn is FAR too high- there must be something wrong with the gadget.’
‘I must have bumped my hand somewhere and it spiked the energy burn- there must be something wrong with the gadget.’
‘People on the forum said there was a 10% discrepancy either end of the calorie burn. Mine MUST be overestimating my activity by 10%- there must be something wrong with the gadget.’
Mentally, I was still in the mind frame where sticking to or even going over the number was ‘bad’– and I never did go over it. So once again, my initiatives were plateauing. My justifications for investing in this product was a big bust up- all thanks to my irrational fears.
The best decision I made for myself was to leave the device behind when I went to New York on my exchange. To this day, it still remains in my cupboard.
Do I think think these gadgets are effective?
Yes and No.
For those who are training for a competition, are needing to lose weight or are not the obsessive kind and want to make solid gains in the gym- these kind of products can definitely be beneficial.
For those of us who tend to have negative experiences with calorie counting or tend to be on the obsessive side- No. I would not recommend you do this- It only fuels the obsession and deviates you from listening to your body and judging for YOURSELF what is appropriate and what is not.
Have you ever owned a Bodymedia Fit/ Bodybugg or something similar?
Do you use any fitness/calorie counting applications?
What are your thoughts on these kind of products?
General thoughts on the topic?
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