As the article above states, many FitBit and other “fitness tracking” device users have discovered, getting fit requires more than simply counting how many steps you take or calories you eat.
Experts are unsurprised that some fitness band wearers feel frustrated after they spend $100 on a fitness device and see the scale move in the wrong direction. Sustained weight loss, they say, often involves a lot more than just counting calories. Your overall “well-being,” as Reed puts it, can, in fact, stump your fitness tracker.
“I see people using wristbands, tracking calories, and sometimes the weight just doesn’t come off and they even gain a little with a Fitbit or Fuelband,” said Madison, Wisconsin nutritionist and registered dietitian Margaret Wertheim, author of “Breaking the Sugar Habit: Practical Ways to Cut the Sugar, Lose the Weight, and Regain Your Health.”
Weight loss is more an art than a science. While we might like to think it’s a simple calculation of calories in and calories burned, most of us have numerous, fluctuating variables in our personal weight-loss equation.
“So many people get fixated on the number of calories they are getting every day,” Wertheim explained, “and don’t think about all the other factors that will create a lot of individuality that a wristband doesn’t track, like the kind of calorie you are consuming.” Wertheim says she starts with the composition of a patient’s diet and the first culprit is always sugar and refined carbohydrates, which have a higher glycemic index, causing the body to produce insulin and store fat. “If a person is drinking sweetened beverages or some of the coffee drinks like chai tea lattes, those calories aren’t going to allow them to lose the weight they want,” Wertheim warns.
Hormones, sleep and the time you eat can play key roles in weight loss, too, according to Dr. Holly F. Lofton, director of the NYU Langone medical weight management program.
Indeed as the science deepens, so has our understanding of how the human body works. It isn’t just how many calories you eat but what type of calories. Your very gut bacteria might process your food in ways that make it easier, or harder, for you to lose weight even if you are doing everything right!
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