- Sync the Fitbit App with My Fitness Pal – this allows you to more accurately determine your calories in/out ratio and becomes especially important if you are trying to sustain muscle or lose weight when you are trying to build up a calorie deficit. Fitbit has its own means to add in your food, but in my experience, My Fitness Pal has a greater food library, and it also has a barcode scanner where you can simply scan whatever you have eaten using your phone’s camera and log it straight in to your diary.You can also save meals which makes it so much easier to add in things you eat all the time. My Fitness Pal also allows you to break down the nutrients you are eating in a protein/carbohydrate/fat ratio in an easy to understand format. You can also see which meal is carrying the most calories for you. I try to have most of my calories for breakfast or lunch, and have a lighter dinner. I wouldn’t have developed an effective meal plan for myself if I wasn’t keeping track of what I was eating. Nutrition can be a lot more important than you might think when it comes to weight loss. Work smarter, not harder.
- Take Advantage of the Sleep Tracking Function – I have struggled with sleeping nearly my whole life, but regularly checking my sleep using the Fitbit app really has helped me discover what methods have worked for me. With the Fitbit Charge HR and newer models, it will automatically detect when you have fallen asleep. With older models you may have to put it to sleep mode right before you fall asleep and then again the moment you wake up (it can take a few days to get in to the habit of this, but be patient because it is very helpful). I have used this function to see if a certain food or specific time I ate the evening before might have been associated with a trend of a poor nights sleep. I also noted a link between the time I worked out and my sleep pattern, If I worked out too close to when I went to bed, my endorphins and adrenaline were still pumping and it would take me longer to get to sleep.
- Make Sure You Are Wearing it in the Correct Position – It is important that you wear your Fitbit on your non-dominant hand, this ensures that it does not over estimate your steps from mundane tasks that you might do with your dominate hand (whisking, cooking, household tasks, etc). This also may sound silly, but you need to wear it on your wrist – a lot of people may wear theirs around their ankle or belt in the help of getting a more accurate reading. The Fitbit was designed to be worn on the wrist, and more specifically for the heart rate tracking ones it uses baromatric pressures to measure your heart rate, which will work optimally on your wrist. It is best to wear about a fingers width below your wrist bone, and position like you would a watch. In my experience, during exercise you may need to make it a little bit further from your wrist, and marginally tighter to ensure that the LED can read your heart rate during your workout; However, do not wear it too tight as this can restrict blood flow and affect the heart rate data received by the tracker.
- Utilize the Water Intake Function – Water is so important! Use the tracker on your Fitbit App to track your water intake and stay motivated to keep hydrated. It also means you can hit another ‘goal’ each day when you track your fluid intake. Bonus yay! .
- Change Your Goal Targets to Match Your Lifestyle – You don’t have to stick with the default settings on your Fitbit. If you are regularly reaching your 10k steps a day goal, increase it! Constantly challenge yourself and you will see the results. Do you commonly sleep 7 hours a night and wake up feeling rested and fully functional? Maybe it’s time to change the sleeping goal, not everyone needs the full 8 hours a night, and repeatedly not achieving a goal can be disheartening, make it achievable but also realistic.
- Use the Heart Rate Tracker to Your Advantage – For me, this is the most important sector of my Fitbit, I use the resting heart rate tracker as a means to study my cardiovascular and aim to keep it in a good range. Bear in mind, stress, medications and various other factors can influence your resting heart rate. After a workout, you can investigate how your heart rate is affected by how hard you work. If you track your workout (with the Charge HR model, you simply need to hold down the button at the side at the beginning and end of the workout) you can see for how long your heart rate was in each exercise zone – Fat Burn, Cardio and Peak, depending on what you intending to work on.
- Challenge Your Friends – Encourage a little healthy competition and start a challenge with a friend or two – if you connect with Facebook you can easily find friends who are using Fitbit, and start a challenge with them, be it the Workweek Hustle or the Weekend Warrior, where you are in comp with your friends as to who can complete the most steps over a set amount of time. A great motivating feature, not to be ignored.
- Contact Fitbit if you Have a Problem – the Fitbit customer service really is fantastic, and I can report I only have good things to report on this. Recently my Fitbit broke. It came loose around the tracker (most likely from humidity and too much perspiration from workouts), I contacted Fitbit and they checked their warranty and offered me a replacement for free or a money off voucher another model. Cannot go wrong with that!
Have you got any more words of wisdom from using your Fitbit? Leave us a comment, I would love to hear from you!