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Are fitness trackers worth it?

pink_mintpink_mint Member Posts: 89 Member Member Posts: 89 Member
Also what is an affordable, but reasonably accurate fitness tracker? I'm trying to decide if it's worth it.

Calculating calories in seems to be much easier for me the than figuring calories out. I really have no idea how much various activities burn. I don't think I'm even close, and I think that throws things off.

What difference has a fitness tracker made for you?
edited September 15

Replies

  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Member Posts: 23,832 Member Member Posts: 23,832 Member
    I have had good results from my Fitbit (I have a Charge 2, I think the current model is 2). It does everything I want, without having too much stuff that I don't want. I personally have found the results to be very accurate for me. I know there are people here who have the same experience with Fitbit, while others have found it to be less accurate for them. I appreciate how it syncs pretty well with MFP so that I don't have to figure out my own adjustments.

    I've been using Fitbits since 2015, this is the second one I've had. It lasts well for something that is on my wrist 24/7 except for charging.
  • nanastaci2020nanastaci2020 Member, Premium Posts: 586 Member Member, Premium Posts: 586 Member
    Fitbit has a couple of low $ models.

    Whether or not its worth it will depend on the person. For me, my first Fitbit at the end of 2013 (which I wore for YEARS) was a major eye opener. It gave me a way to 'count' my activity level, and that encouraged me to be more active & move more. Moving more = burning more calories. Game changer. Without intentional activity, even at an ideal weight, my total daily energy use would only be about 1400-1500 calories. Moving more & being more active has many health benefits, and makes my TDEE 1900+. Meaning once I reach 'ideal weight' that my normal food intake will be higher to maintain. Living on 1800-1900 is easier for life than 1400.
    edited September 15
  • fitoverfortymomfitoverfortymom Member, Premium Posts: 3,449 Member Member, Premium Posts: 3,449 Member
    I use a Vivoactive 3. I'm a runner and do a lot of other fitness activities so it's a good fit for me.
  • Dogmom1978Dogmom1978 Member Posts: 601 Member Member Posts: 601 Member
    Fitbit charge is up to 4 FYI. I have a charge 2 and I do not find it particularly accurate, but I like having it for my heart rate and as a watch. 😜

    It also depends on what activities you do. For instance, if you walk, you could download Gaya gps app to track your distance and speed so you can input that in MFP.

    For treadmill, arc trainer, rower, and summit climber cardio pieces, I use what the machines say I burned minus 20% to account for error.
  • Go_DeskerciseGo_Deskercise Member Posts: 1,398 Member Member Posts: 1,398 Member
    I love my Versa 2 for the every day tracking abilities but (without plugging anything) I make some extra money wearing my Fitbit with it connected to several apps so that pretty cool too!

    I love that it reminds me to move and I can set little alarms to remind me to do stuff (take medication..etc.)
    I have friends and family with them so the challenges are neat!

    So many positive things imo!
  • durhammfpdurhammfp Member Posts: 368 Member Member Posts: 368 Member
    I use Pacer, which is a free pedometer app. It counts steps, but does not adjust for running in the background. I have learned to turn on GPS when I want my runs recorded as runs. It ports over to MFP pretty easily. Since I have no other fitness activities at this time it is good enough for what I need.
    edited September 15
  • springlering62springlering62 Member, Premium Posts: 1,417 Member Member, Premium Posts: 1,417 Member
    My Apple Watch has made all the difference for me. I feel like it accurately posts excercise stats to MFP, tracks steps accurately, it reminds me to get up, reminds me my rings are behind or ahead, and I found the Apple Watch Challenges so motivating I actually had to back off this month.

    Plus it has text, WhatsApp, phone calls, voice mail transcripts for declined calls, music, podcasts, calendars, timer (which I use ALL the time in the kitchen and to remind me to take wet clothes out of the washer) and so much more. It’s like a tiny but powerful computer on my wrist.

    The only things that frosts my goat is, it constantly pushes you to go harder, further, faster, more more more. For someone of my OCD nature it can be a little overwhelming.

    I woke up to this pleasant reminder:
    p6t52dpuziqu.png

    Seriously? At what point do I get to eat, drink, sleep and pee?!
  • zebasschickzebasschick Member Posts: 348 Member Member Posts: 348 Member
    my fitbit inspire is their bottom of the line model, and i like it and the fitbit dashboard. it's accurate, but if you get one that isn't, you can exchange it. i owned 2 fitbit altas that weren't even close, so i was happy with my inspire.

    my son asked me for a cheap fitness tracker and finds the dashboard literally unmotivates him as it's clunky (his word) and fussy to use.
    edited September 15
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Member Posts: 23,832 Member Member Posts: 23,832 Member
    Dogmom1978 wrote: »
    Fitbit charge is up to 4 FYI. I have a charge 2 and I do not find it particularly accurate, but I like having it for my heart rate and as a watch. 😜

    It also depends on what activities you do. For instance, if you walk, you could download Gaya gps app to track your distance and speed so you can input that in MFP.

    For treadmill, arc trainer, rower, and summit climber cardio pieces, I use what the machines say I burned minus 20% to account for error.

    Oops, I meant to write "4" but my brain briefly checked out. Thanks!
  • ruqayyahsmumruqayyahsmum Member Posts: 1,465 Member Member Posts: 1,465 Member
    I have fitbit charge 2, will upgrade to the 4 in the sales
    It's worth it for me, I'm real sedentary without the push it gives me, we are talking less than 1000 steps if I'm stuck at home
    I like the heart rate element for health reasons as if I dip under 50 beats I have to call my GP, over 110 I have to call my GP.
  • ericigo2015ericigo2015 Member Posts: 2 Member Member Posts: 2 Member
    The Fitbit was a game changer for me. It really helped me immerse myself in the culture and lifestyle of fitness. I've progressed to a Garmin Fenix 6x Pro. It's pricey, but worth it considering how many different activities I engage in and all of the fun stats and data it provides.

    Strava is also a pretty cool app you can sync up with your fitness tracker to analyze progress. I love stats and data! It's just another way for me to stay engaged with fitness.
  • Duck_PuddleDuck_Puddle Member, Premium Posts: 3,111 Member Member, Premium Posts: 3,111 Member
    Tracked have made all the difference for me. I have had some that overestimated and some that underestimated - but they have all been consistent. So I have been able to work with that (and adjust knowing it’s 20% high or whatever).

    It has taken all the stress out of the calories out side of things. Again-it takes some work and very accurate food tracking for a period of time to determine whether the tracker is giving you reasonable numbers, but once you have that figured out-it takes all the stress out.

    I didn’t move much today, should I eat less? Solved.
    I was at a theme park walking around for 11 hours but also in lines and sometimes on rides but then I carried my toddler some. How do I log that? Also solved.
    I was unusually active at work today. I’m not usually but I am sometimes - but not often enough to want to change my activity level. But sometimes it’s a lot and I get hungry. How much do I log? Again-solved. Also solved: cleaning your house after your kids made a disaster vs cleaning it for selling it.
    Other things: I Forgot to start The timer on my workout. I forgot to stop the timer on my workout. I feel like I worked really hard today. I feel like I didn’t work very hard today. How many calories did I burn?

    Again-it’s all an estimate-but it’s estimating the same way all the time. So it will typically be on or off the mark by about the same amount. So when I say “solved” I mean it’s giving you an estimate that is in line with all the other estimates it gives you. So if you’ve done some solid tracking to see how close it is-then your estimates for unusual levels of activity should be about the same (the same level of off).

    I’ve had trackers of several brands at several price points within each brand over the years. And they have all Been fine (some high; some low-not brand specific or even model specific-but all consistent).
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 16,498 Member Member, Premium Posts: 16,498 Member
    Mine** gets my all-day calorie needs very wrong - so wrong that I wouldn't even consider synching it to MFP - but it's still worth it to me. I want the speed/pace/distance/HR info from workouts (because I'm a data geek, not because I'm seriously training any more).

    ** I have a Garmin Vivoactive 3, a brand/model that estimates calorie burn quite well for many others, based on their reports here. I seem to be statistically weird - MFP estimates my base calorie needs incorrectly by about the same amount. MFP thinks I'd maintain around 1500 + exercise calories. The tracker says my last 7 days' average all-day burn including exercise is 1881. SInce last October, I've been losing about a quarter pound a week on average (so 125 calorie average daily deficit) on 1850 + exercise calories (which are usually 300-ish most days lately) with some over-goal days occasionally. So, tracker's around 400 or so calories low, I'd figure.

    I'm sure I could run numbers and get a daily correction percentage that would work fine, but I already had my NEAT/TDEE pretty pinned down before I got the tracker, so I haven't bothered.

    A tracker will probably be close for you on calories, because the probability is they'll be close for most people. That's kind of how statistical estimates work. 😆
  • pink_mintpink_mint Member Posts: 89 Member Member Posts: 89 Member
    Thank you for the feedback everyone!

    I didn't know you could use your phone as a fineness tracker with an app either. Trackers do sound interesting. Those unstructured, hard to gauge day to day activities really can vary greatly. That would be great to be able to track.

    And I'm not sure what I said to earn a dislike from someone but whatever 🙂
  • ALZ14ALZ14 Member Posts: 133 Member Member Posts: 133 Member
    I have a Series 3 Apple Watch (not exactly cheap) but I’m so happy I have it. I bought mine in mid-May and my first few weeks were eye opening as far as how little I move during the day (3,000ish average).

    A friend posted on June 1 that they had closed all of their rings (activity = calories burned, exercise = intentional exercise and stand = getting up and moving every hour) for the entire month of May. I decided that would be my goal for June and I never looked back. I started counting calories on June 6 and I’m now down 25 pounds, two pants sizes, one shirt size and I’ve gone from 3k steps to averaging over 10k steps a day.

    The Apple Watch gives me badges for reaching goals, gives me a custom monthly goal and allows me to compete against my friends with Apple watches.

    Totally worth it in my opinion. I bought a Fitbit about 7 years ago and it only motivated me for a few weeks... this has kept me going for 3 months now.
  • ALZ14ALZ14 Member Posts: 133 Member Member Posts: 133 Member
    My Apple Watch has made all the difference for me. I feel like it accurately posts excercise stats to MFP, tracks steps accurately, it reminds me to get up, reminds me my rings are behind or ahead, and I found the Apple Watch Challenges so motivating I actually had to back off this month.

    Plus it has text, WhatsApp, phone calls, voice mail transcripts for declined calls, music, podcasts, calendars, timer (which I use ALL the time in the kitchen and to remind me to take wet clothes out of the washer) and so much more. It’s like a tiny but powerful computer on my wrist.

    The only things that frosts my goat is, it constantly pushes you to go harder, further, faster, more more more. For someone of my OCD nature it can be a little overwhelming.

    I woke up to this pleasant reminder:
    p6t52dpuziqu.png

    Seriously? At what point do I get to eat, drink, sleep and pee?!

    OMG I thought my 2,000 minutes of exercise was a stretch!!!!!

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