Fitness Trackers?

stephieleee Posts: 113 Member
edited November 2018 in Health and Weight Loss
So I've been thinking about getting a fitness tracker for a while now... but I'm just wondering... Are they worth it?

Like, obviously it's not essential to weight loss, but do people find them useful? are they accurate? Please share your thoughts!

I've been considering getting the fitbit versa. Is there anyone that owns one that is able to tell me whether or not I'd be able to install the C25K app on it?

Thanks! :)


  • mattprice240
    mattprice240 Posts: 3 Member
    I bought the Fitbit Charge 2 a few days ago. I’ve found it’s quite motivating and also a bit more accurate in tracking calories burnt than the estimates from My Fitness Pal. Measuring one’s heart rate is also a useful insight.

    Hope that helps.
  • C0ffeenutter
    C0ffeenutter Posts: 21 Member
    Hello there,
    I can not recommend them strongly enough as they are like a friend that keeps you honest. I have a Garmin Fenix which is my second Garmin product and they have helped me on a journey to lose weight. I have lost a total of 61.2kgs since February last year and have logged every meal for 490 days. I use the Garmin Connect App which syncs with MFP and works really well.
  • oat_bran
    oat_bran Posts: 370 Member
    It really depends on what your goals are and what kind of tracker you get. If you want simply to have something that motivated you to move a simple one with a pedometer will do. I have a fitbit Charge 2, which has a HR monitor. I think that trackers without a HR monitor are useless if you want it to give you an idea of your TDEE.

    Mine Charge 2 has been very accurate at estimating my TDEE and I use it to adjust my intake and calculate my deficit. However some trackers with heart rate monitor, even by fitbit, are not super accurate.
  • WaterBunnie
    WaterBunnie Posts: 1,372 Member
    I have had FitBits for around 6 years now. My current FitBit Charge 2 has been the best so far but I've just ordered a FitBit Versa in a Black Friday sale because I won't have to take it off for the pool. If you run as your main activity you may want one with built in GPS though, Garmin for instance, but I tried one and didn't find it as suitable for what I do, and I missed being able to set multiple alarms for medication and things. FitBit are great on customer service too and it syncs well with MFP giving you a truer calorie goal for the day. I've lost 97lbs so far and attribute a lot of that to being encouraged to move more!
  • WaterBunnie
    WaterBunnie Posts: 1,372 Member
    I don't think the C25K app loads to any of them but might be wrong. The Versa allows you to upload music to the watch though so I guess you "might" be able to upload C25K if its available as audio files? Someone more techy here might be able to advise.
  • dommylifts
    dommylifts Posts: 95 Member
    I paid $20 for a morefit tracker off Amazon. I bought the cheapest one to see if I would use and enjoy it, which I do! I think an Apple Watch will be my next big purchase for myself. I highly recommend it. I love watching the steps, knowing my heart rate etc.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 25,761 Member
    They're fun, and many people find them motivating, especially if friends use a similar device.

    I enjoy and appreciate my Garmin Vivoactive 3. I like it for tracking my exercise heart rate, pace and distance, and as far as I can tell it's reasonably accurate for those things, within limitations of its sampling intervals. (I do use a chest belt for exercise. especially rowing, as that has a reputation for distorting results from wrist-based heart rate monitors - too much vigorous arm movement, I guess.)

    It's important to realize that these devices measure very limited things, such as certain movements and perhaps heart rate, and infer or estimate most of what they report (steps, stairs, calories, sleep quality). They can only be as accurate as their algorithms, the underlying research, and your attention to accurate user profile settings. The closer to average a person is, the more accurate a good quality device is likely to be.

    The higher quality devices (Garmin, Polar, Fitbit, etc.) seem to produce TDEE estimates that are reasonable for a lot of people, but not everyone. It's more about how typical the person is, not how accurate the device is, for well-designed devices. There's no magic.

    Research suggests that all of them are fairly inaccurate at inferring sleep details.

    For me, the Garmin VA3 all-day calorie estimates are not terribly accurate. Unsurprisingly, they're off by around the same percentage as are most online TDEE calculators, or MFP's built-in NEAT calculator. Apparently, for some reason, I'm not very typical. Therefore, I don't sync the device to MFP - it would drive me crazy.

    Step count seems plausible for me (I've never counted any other way as a cross-check), count of stairs flights is invariably quite wrong, and the sleep reports are laughably imaginative (regularly show me sleeping when I wasn't).

    I use the exercise calorie counts for cardio-type activities, and they're consistent enough to be useful. Comparison to sources that are based on well-measured watts of effort (mainly Concept 2 rowing machine) suggest that the calorie estimates for exercise, for me, may be off by about the same percentage as the TDEE calorie estimates. That doesn't really matter, in a context where I also monitor body weight and calorie intake over time, and adjust accordingly. Close enough!

    Why not try a good quality device, and see how it works out for you? Think through what features you need, make a list, and compare to the available devices to find some that would potentially meet your needs, then read some reviews and pick.
  • festerw
    festerw Posts: 233 Member
    If running is something you're hoping to stick with skip the Fitbit and go for Garmin, Suunto, or Polar. Those will work better long term. I can't speak for the last 2 but most Garmin models will do intervals out of the box, no 3rd part app required.
  • AnvilHead
    AnvilHead Posts: 18,357 Member
    edited November 2018
    I don't think the C25K app loads to any of them but might be wrong. The Versa allows you to upload music to the watch though so I guess you "might" be able to upload C25K if its available as audio files? Someone more techy here might be able to advise.

    There are actually C25K apps available for Garmin devices in the ConnectIQ store. One would just have to check device compatibility to make sure it will load onto the device of their choice. Garmin also allows you to create workouts and training plans in Garmin Connect and upload them to your watch (they also have a lot of pre-written training plans you can install), so one could create a training plan mirroring C25K and upload it to their watch.

    A great place to look for reviews and recommendations is He does very thorough, comprehensive reviews of fitness trackers.

    As to the original question, I have a Garmin 935 and find it highly useful. I like numbers, charts and statistics and enjoy competing against myself, so it's motivational to me. I enjoy being able to review my workouts, personal bests, etc., and my workout calendar shows me at a glance if I've been slacking. The daily activity tracking prompts me to be more active, get more steps in, limit my sedentary time, etc.

    The answer to "how accurate are they?" is "it depends". Any fitness tracker is going to be most accurate (in terms of calorie expenditure estimates) for steady state cardio, because that's what the algorithms for calorie burn are derived from. The further you go from steady state cardio, the less accurate the calorie estimates will be.
  • coderdan82
    coderdan82 Posts: 84 Member
    edited November 2018
    I was recently in the market for a fitness tracker and had it narrowed down to either Fitbit Versa or Garmin Vivoactive 3. After reading reviews, soliciting feedback, etc. I came to the conclusion that, for an average person trying to lose some weight, they'll all do just fine. In the end it came down to price and style. I had walked into the store with the intention of buying the cheaper Versa, didn't like the way it looked on my wrist, and ended up buying the Vivoactive 3.

    I'm very happy with it and find it quite useful. I have my calorie target in MFP set to my RMR and the extra energy expenditure that Garmin uploads seems to bring the total in the ballpark of my TDEE. I then try to eat so that I have about 500-1000 calories left at the end of the day. My weight loss (or sometimes gain) seems to roughly follow the pattern of my calories remaining. I'm sure it's not 100% accurate but it's good enough for my purposes.
  • Goober1142
    Goober1142 Posts: 219 Member
    Fitbit charge HR here. Very motivating! Seriously makes you want to get those steps in. But...will not sync with my Android phone. I have to keep restarting it and setting up as a new device so I wouldn't recommend it if you don't have an iPhone.
  • chris_in_cal
    chris_in_cal Posts: 761 Member
    if you can imagine it as "Fun" they are great, very motivating...the social part is the biggest thing (like MFP) get the one your healthy active friends have and then keep up with can be fun.
  • NorthCascades
    NorthCascades Posts: 10,967 Member
    I got lost for a moment today, the trail was covered in snow, but melting, and it was just really hard to follow. The sun sets at 4 pm and I was already pushing it. Gets dark in the woods, and I already mentioned the snow. It would have been a miserable night out.

    Garmin puts maps in some of their watches. It had the trail on it, and where I was. Yes, it's accurate, yes it's worth it. I'm making tacos right now instead of shivering under a tree.
  • jillybeansalad
    jillybeansalad Posts: 239 Member
    I'm a numbers junky, so I like to see stats and compare them with my past data.