Tuesday Tip: Activity Tracker Caution ⌚️
Fitness trackers and smart watches are a brilliant tool to help get you moving, to track your activity and steps and to give you an idea of the intensity of your workout BUT they’re not a great tool for measuring calories burned.
The assumption is that these expensive watches are fairly accurate at measuring your calorie expenditure during exercise / daily life. The reality is most of these haven’t been tested at all and vary hugely in accuracy. A 2016 study found that whilst some trackers were only up to 8% out when sedentary they overestimated activity (including walking) by up to 40%. A further study in 2017 found some trackers overestimated exercise calorie expenditure by up to 93%!
This is why if you’re eating back your calorie burned from your tracker (or even just eating back half of them) you’re likely to be eating any calorie deficit you’ve accrued and may find you’re not losing weight/fat. So if you do have an activity tracker don’t use it to measure the calories you’ve burnt so you can go and eat them! You can however use them to measure your relative burn to see how ‘hard’ you’re working or how used to your workout you’re becoming by using it as a relative measure of effort
and by using the heart rate data. You can also them to measure steps (again accuracy varies a bit but they’re still great for seeing how active you are).
As I’ve said before – separate the exercise from the food side of things. Exercise for mental and physical well being, NOT to earn food.
Happy tracking! 🤗