Can Too Much Health Tracking Actually Hurt You?



  • peaceout_aly
    peaceout_aly Posts: 2,018 Member
    I personally don't own a FitBit or fitness tracker of any sort, but I do track my macros to a T. I weigh and measure all my food to ensure I get all macro and micronutrients on a daily basis. This is what I've done for forever, I enjoy it, it isn't a chore or nuisance to me and I have a good mind set surrounding it. I would say I feel like it isn't possible to "track too much" however I just got back from an elongated stay in Italy, where I went "cold turkey" with work outs and tracking..I figured I'd let myself enjoy the break and eat however I please, not stress about daily work outs and lifts, etc. By week two, I was getting sick every day, multiple times a day. I was not actually sick, just how my body responded to the surplus of carbs and massive decrease in protein (I went from intaking 200g on a daily basis with under 75g carbs to probably 200g+ carbs and under 75g protein). I wasn't drinking alcohol, I wasn't sick, so that was really the only explanation. This made me realize that maybe long term tracking is a little more dangerous that I had originally least from a change of pace stand point. Besides that, I think it really depends on the mind set surrounding these trackers. Some people are pushed to be more active and compete and it's a good thing. Personally, I know when I'm pushing myself and if I ever got a FitBit (which I probably never will) it would simply be out of curiosity since I go so hard all the time anyway.
  • rybo
    rybo Posts: 5,425 Member
    For anyone interested in this subject I HIGHLY highly suggest reading the book "Unplugged" by several reputable authors. I'm half way through the book and it's really eye opening.
  • Avidkeo
    Avidkeo Posts: 3,190 Member
    Machka9 wrote: »

    In my case – no, absolutely not. Fitness trackers are just measuring and providing data. If people use this data to go overboard and it makes them miserable, the problem isn’t with the electronic device.
    Ok, you've had plenty of time to think it over... :D
    I'm not sure how any of this type of data could trigger a sleeping disorder.

    Your first post was at 2:41 am ... the second at 5:44 am.

    Speaking of sleep ... that's what I was doing between those hours. Not "thinking it over". :lol:

    You cant really go by what time someone posts unless you know exactly where in the world they are. I live in NZ so you all post at really odd hours to me!
  • Avidkeo
    Avidkeo Posts: 3,190 Member
    For me I have a couple of goals I stick to such steps per day, I like to get my 10k, but wont do anything too drastic, does walking on the spot if I'm at 9500 at bedtime count as drastic? I also aim to burn around 2200 calories - now I know the accuracy can be off, but its a guide and better than nothing. I dont do anything special if I dont get to the calorie burn, unlike the steps, but I find if I do 10k steps, i burn 2200 anyway so...
  • Djproulx
    Djproulx Posts: 2,971 Member
    I'm not really a slave to my devices and metrics, unless you consider someone who hops on his bike at 9pm to crank out a 3hr indoor trainer ride before midnight to meet the daily workout plan to be a bit "over the top" ;)
  • Momepro
    Momepro Posts: 1,509 Member
    I miss my smartwatch so much! It died a couple months ago after almost 4 years of being awesome. Now I'm saving up gift cards to buy whatever is the best of the new ones in the fall.
  • VUA21
    VUA21 Posts: 2,072 Member
    Only during dead week (finals).
  • hipari
    hipari Posts: 1,367 Member
    Using a tracker has reduced my anxiety. I’ve had mine for a few years now and they (yes, more than one) have proven to be accurate enough for me to trust the numbers they provide. Nothing is 100% but having some sort of consistent estimate is better than a wild stab in the dark or using nothing at all. I no longer wonder if I should count x, y, z or do half or why am I so hungry or am I adequately fueling for my runs based on whatever else I have going on in my life. Problem solved.

    I also find them to be helpful in getting me to move at times when I typically wouldn’t (but should). And I enjoy the step challenges, but I’m not going to spend hours of my day doing laps of my dining room table to get a specific step count or beat someone else.

    But as with everything-to each his or her own and everyone needs to find what works for, and is healthy (mentally and physically) for them.

    I’m with Duck_Puddle here. With my tracker (Fitbit Alta HR) I get consistent data. Comparing the activity data from my fitbit to my weight data to my food logs, all numbers match. I don’t know, or even care, if they are accurate compared to absolute values, but they are consistent compared to themselves and each other, and having these functioning data sets helps me a) estimate future results b) spot any irregularities and causalities, helping me do better and avoid regrettable choices.
  • mabearof6
    mabearof6 Posts: 684 Member
    I don't log foods anymore and haven't for months and have been maintaining......but seeing all my data on my Garmin keeps me honest with myself.