It sounds weird to think about what a little wrist device has taught me since having it. I’ve had it for a year and a half, thanks to my fiancé who bought it for me for Christmas! I’ve lost 55 pounds total during my fitness journey (you can read about it here and also here), and about 20-30 with the Fitbit Charge 2 HR. So here are 5 things I learned because of my Fitbit.
1. It’s easy to be inactive
I never realized how much I walked or didn’t walk daily. In college I walked all the time and easily hit over 10,000 steps daily. When I did my internships and after college, I realized how easy it is to forget to get up and move.
Thankfully, my Fitbit buzzes on my wrist to let me know “Hey, you haven’t hit 250 steps this hour. Get moving!” Technically it changes it up the motivational messages, but you get the point. It has a goal of 250 steps every hour (you can set how many hours for it to notify you).
2. Macro Calculating is Hard
I know there are plenty of macro calculators online and everyone has different formulas they prefer to use. I’ve typically eaten around 1500-1800 calories a day before my Fitbit to lose weight. Although, most macro calculators have told me I had to eat 1200-1300 calories a day, which is way off.
With my Fitbit I’ve enjoyed seeing how many calories I burn per day, based on my activity level – like my workouts and daily steps. It’s not 100% accurate, but nothing is. It’s definitely on track though because it usually suggests I eat around 1500-1800 to be in a 500 calorie deficit – which is what has worked for me in the past to lose about one pound per week.
3. Rest Days = Calorie Changes
Obviously, if I’m not working out that means I’m not burning as many calories on that given day. In the past, I didn’t change my calories/macros on rest days, leg days, or upper days. I just kept everything consistent and it all balanced out in the end.
With my Fitbit, now I do change my calories based on the day. I typically eat 1500-1800 calories on days I workout, depending on my workouts. On rest days I eat around 1300-1400 calories since I’m not as active. Usually my rest days are on Trey’s days off and we watch Netflix, get our steps in for the day, and do some yard work. But I don’t workout.
I essentially leave it up to my Fitbit to tell me how many calories to eat on rest days. It makes sense that I eat about 200-300 calories less, since that’s about how much I burn during my workouts, according to my Fitbit. It has been working for me and I definitely don’t mind changing up my caloric intake! I don’t seem to get extra hungry if I eat less at all. If anything, my hunger levels seem to be in-line with my activity levels.
4. Trust your hunger levels
Trust your hunger levels to an extent. It has taken me years, and I’m still not perfect at it. Some days I want to eat out of boredom, like when Trey and I are watching Netflix! Other days I don’t eat enough protein so I notice I’m hungry quicker, or I don’t eat enough carbs or fats. If my macros aren’t decently balanced, I start wanting to mindlessly eat. Other days I just don’t drink enough water, so I think I’m hungry, but in reality I’m thirsty.
This isn’t new for me.
I’ve always loved food and mindlessly munched on something while watching a show on tv. Here’s an analogy for you dog/pet lovers:
- Have you seen dogs that eat until they are satiated, and then they leave their food? How about dogs that will continuously eat, as if they haven’t eaten in days?
I was more like the dog who continuously ate. My hunger cues or my satiated cues weren’t exactly things I noticed. I just enjoyed the taste of food and ate until I couldn’t fit anymore in my stomach. Seriously, who doesn’t enjoy food? It’s delicious!
Anyway, it took years for me to realize what my hunger cues are and when my body is just confused. I still can’t fully eat intuitively because I still eat out of boredom here and there. My Fitbit definitely helps me get an idea when I’m possibly eating out of boredom or thirst because I can look at it and say “Hmmm I haven’t been super active today. I shouldn’t be this hungry. Maybe I’m thirsty?”
5. Lift Weights
I already enjoyed lifting way more than cardio and I always lifted throughout my fitness/weight loss journey. I’m still putting this on the list though because it has been so cool to see how lifting weights still gets my heart rate pumping! I love seeing my heart rate on my Fitbit and knowing my workout is working!
Don’t get me wrong, you can do some cardio! Cardio is just another tool to create a caloric deficit to lose weight. I do cardio for 8-10 minutes before I lift to warm up, and maybe once a week I’ll do between 30 minutes and 1 hour (usually 30 minutes and then I’m over it).
In the end, my Fitbit…
My Fitbit has truly made me more confident in my approach to weight loss. It has also made me way more aware of my caloric needs based off how active I am during a day – which is fucking great!
If I didn’t have my Fitbit, I’d definitely wonder if I’m being as optimal as possible with my weight lifting and nutrition. So I’m glad I have it and if it broke, I’d definitely buy another one.