Is Your Fitness App Doing More Harm Than Good?Last Updated: January 19, 2019
Today is the age of the internet and electronic information. Every single device we own to make our lives easier can wirelessly connect to our computers, tablets, and phone. So why not use that technology, for example, to keep track of our exercise? Or our meals? Or both?
If you're using a fitness app or an electronic device to monitor your weight loss goals, you may be setting yourself up for failure. The ugly truth is that fitness and health are complicated processes, and it only gets more difficult from one individual to another. But most devices and apps don't take this into account. They try to over-simplify the process so that they can mass-market and yield high profits. Unfortunately, most people who invest in such methods become dejected and quit in less than a year.
To understand why these methods are less than effective, and to get info on some healthy, effective alternatives, just keep reading. We promise that you'll learn something new!
The Fitness Myths of Most Apps/Devices
Fitness apps and devices follow a set of old-fashioned, outdated fitness rules. The sad thing is that, with a minimal level of research, anyone with an internet connection can debunk these myths. Likewise, doing fitness research and refusing to believe everything your app or device says as gospel truth will help protect you from counter-productive weight loss practices. For example:
Beware the Dangers of "Moral Licensing"
Fitness apps, especially the ones that count your calories for you (or calculate how many calories you are "allowed" to consume) set most dieters up for a very dangerous trap. And that trap is: "I've completed my exercise goal/successfully limited my calories… I deserve a reward!"
Don't get us wrong; incorporating an occasional cheat meal into your new fitness regimen can be a useful tool for helping you stay on track. But most people, especially those who have little experience with fitness (which are, coincidentally, the target demographic for these apps and devices) fail to manage their cheat meals effectively. This is called "moral licensing" - when you allow yourself to 'behave badly' because you've behaved well in some other way. And speaking of calories…
Your Metabolism is More Complicated than You Think
If "calories in, calories out" were the foolproof weight loss mantra that most would have you believe, then everyone who limited their calories would eventually become skinny. But there are a whole host of factors - including prescription medications, your hormones, the bacteria in your gut, and much more - that determine how efficiently your body processes the calories you feed it.
A diet of lean meats and dark, leafy greens is going to be processed much more efficiently than a fast food combo meal. Higher testosterone levels will encourage muscle growth and fat metabolization, whereas higher estrogen levels will encourage fat storage in "feminine" areas (chest, hips, abdomen, and thighs). Recently, a fecal transplant from an overweight donor yielded a mysterious and substantial weight gain in the recipient - and this medical mystery has the scientific community scrambling to find out exactly why. To make a long story short: you can't just plug in some numbers to a fitness app and calculate your precise daily caloric allotment based on some generic equation. Calculating the right calorie balance requires trial, error, and a basic understanding of macro and micronutrients.
You Have to WANT It (and Not Reluctantly)
Telling yourself that you're going to lose 30 pounds of unwanted fat by forcing yourself to take an extra 50,000 steps per day for X number of weeks is much, much easier said than done. This unfortunate truth becomes readily apparent to people who have tried (and failed) to lose weight with a fitness app or similar device. The secret to sustained weight loss over time is to find an athletic activity that you actually enjoy, and use that to help boost your metabolism.
Think about it: are you more likely to force yourself to lose weight doing a boring, uncomfortable exercise at metaphorical gunpoint? Or by finding an activity that you love doing, which feels more like a privilege than a chore? If you aren't fettered by physical limitations, take up a sport instead. Tennis, jogging, cycling, soccer, or even MMA (mixed martial arts) are all fantastic sports for weight loss and physical conditioning. And it is infinitely easier to burn calories doing a fun activity than forcing yourself to do boring, mundane exercise.
Make Your Fitness Regimen as Easy as Possible
However you decide to go about losing weight and burning fat, do yourself a favor and make the process a simple one. For example, try adding a diet supplement such Ultimate Garcinia. Not only does it contain an all-natural list of active ingredients to help your body burn fat more efficiently, but it can also help curb food cravings. And the less hungry you are, the less likely you will be to binge on unhealthy calories. It's certainly a better investment than a $100 fitness device that you'll stop using out of frustration six months from now.
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