Fitness Trackers: Why I Don’t Use One

Here are three reasons why I don’t use a fitness tracker. And, just to be fair, I’ve also listed three reasons why you might want to use one. What’s your experience?

Three reasons I don’t use a tracker

1. They are inaccurateThis chick wore 4 at a time and saw completely different readings from each!

2. They require you to log in food, calories, and activities  — For those who are starting out with a nutrition program, keeping track of every meal can be helpful and is sometimes critical to understanding the body’s responses to different foods. Likewise for beginning exercisers. But for advanced exercisers and those who are used to being nutritionally aware…we ain’t got time for that sh!#. I barely have enough minutes to pack nutritious snacks and lunches. I don’t need to expend any more minutes logging them. Especially since human error and gadget fluctuations lead to inaccurate results anyway.

3. I want to learn to hear my body — My biggest problem with trackers: I want to feel how my body responds to exercise and food instead of listening to what the gadget tells me and subsequently deciding how to feel. If the device tells me that I ate fewer calories than I am allotted, does that make me feel hungry and therefore eat the rest of those calories before bed? If the device tells me that I didn’t burn enough calories that day, does that make me feel lazy? Will that fact drive me to work out harder the next day? Or will it drive me to work out harder/longer than my body might be able to and perhaps cause undo fatigue, excess hunger or even an overuse injury? I had a sordid relationship struggle with my garmin gps watch in 2012.

Three people who might benefit from a tracker

1. Beginning exercisers — people who just need some motivation (a little “attagirl” or “attaboy” smiley face sticker) to get off the couch.

2. Those who are nutritionally unaware — Logging calories and meals and figuring out how many and what percentage of macronutrients you eat daily is like Nutrition Education 101.

3. Techies — Those who revel in technology, are tech savvy, and enjoy gadgets in other aspects of their lives.

Learn more about fitness trackers

Some of my running buddies use a tracker and are not totally OCD over it. That’s cool. No judgement. Here’s where you can learn more:

The Pros and Cons of Working Out with Technology: An illustrated guide to when technology helps boost your fitness—and when it doesn’t

He thinks/She thinks — The downside of fitness gadgets

Fitness trackers are no good at counting calories, and other lessons from wearing four at once

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