Wellbeing & Fitness

Fitness bands: Do they really increase weight loss?

New study published in the medical journal Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, found that over the course of a year people who wore the devices demonstrated no health improvements.

Obesity and weight loss is a common topic in the media. Fitness bands like those made by Fitbit, Jawbone and Misfit aim to increase the exercise people do. However, a recent study into their benefits has prompted many headlines suggesting that these fitness trackers do not aid weight loss.

Experts claim that initial increase in exercise and weight loss is due primarily to the novelty of the gadget. But 6 months later, this has worn off and most people go back to doing the same amount of exercise as previously. After 12 months, only 10% of people still have their trackers.

This is not to say that there is no room for fitness trackers to be used as a way to lose weight, but currently, there does not seem to be any long-term benefit in the majority of people. The NHS recommends that the best way to lose weight is to follow a calorie-controlled diet along with regular exercise.


Why might I need to exercise and lose weight?

Obesity related illness such as Type II Diabetes Mellitus, high blood pressure and some cancers are on the rise. These illnesses are often chronic and can cause huge disruption to people’s lives. Weight loss is often an effective treatment, however, the problem is people’s ability to continue these lifestyle changes over long periods of time.

Exercising also has countless benefits beyond just losing weight. It has been shown that exercising improves mood and productivity in your day.

What else can I do to lose weight?

Small changes to diet and 30 minutes of exercise a day are good starting points for people trying to lose weight. Often having a buddy to exercise with you, results in people exercising for longer periods of time. A study at Stanford University showed that those who had someone checking how regularly they exercised (phone or computer) increased the time they spent exercising. So, if you can’t find a buddy straight away, ask a friend to call you once a week and update them on how often you’ve exercised, as it will motivate you to continue exercising.

If you want to start losing weight but don’t know where to start, visit your GP or find a Nutritionist who can put a plan together and help you make the changes you want.