Fit Bit And Other Fitness Trackers Lead To Weight Gain + More Fitness In The News!

Remember that guy that used to do podcasts with me?

It seems like forever ago that Dan and I sat together for a Lifting Revolution Podcast.

To be honest, he took a hiatus because we were worried that you (and other readers/listeners) didn’t dig our he said/she said bickering when talking about life changing fitness topics.

But after brainstorming, we’ve decided that that bickering is what makes the podcast and what ensures that you get the best information. We bring different opinions (even if those opinions are forced) to the table and hopefully that helps you out!

It was great to be back on the mic with Dan and we had a great time talking about some of the biggest stories and studies roaming around the online world.

Stories that I can not wait to share!

So without further ado… let’s do this!

Fitness In The News: Trackers Making You Fat, Exercise To Blame For Obesity Epidemic & More!

Don’t Have Time To Listen Or Want More Details?

I understand that life is busy and perhaps you read LR while eating breakfast or between work projects. So if you don’t have the option to listen to the podcast (which when you get the chance I strongly urge you do), then you can still find out the top stories here!

Plus, all the show extras.

To read the original article, simply click on the headline. 🙂


This was a really interesting study!

It was performed on 58 women and found that those that ranked themselves as “stressed” from the previous day had a lower metabolism than women that were “carefree”.

Seriously though… who is really carefree. Especially these days. If you are, share your secret below.

If you could be completely “carefree”, it makes sense though, right?

Stress has such a huge affect on everything from mood to hormone production.

Cortisol and insulin are both linked to stress… the more stress the more the body produces both of these fat storing compounds.

More specifically, the study claimed…

On average, the women in the study who reported one or more stressors during the previous 24 hours burned 104 fewer calories than nonstressed women in the seven hours after eating the high-fat meal — a difference that could result in weight gain of almost 11 pounds in one year.

But get this…

Out of all the ladies, only 6 were in the non stressed group. SIX!

As a biology student, I can say that this is a rather small study group. My professors would not have accepted a group of 6 against a group of 52 as a viable sample.

Which is why, I am not putting down the study or the findings, but I do hope that the study is expanded so that more solid numbers can be determined.

One thing that I won’t argue… stress has a huge affect on our overall health and this doesn’t surprise my in the least.

How To Cut Stress?
  • Read a book that pumps you up (Mind Gym is a great book!)
  • Journal and brain dump. This is so effective. I journal with old school pen and paper.
  • Be selfish and enjoy it… do something only for you and don’t feel guilty about it once a day.
  • Take a power nap for only 20 minutes.ama
  • What do you do to destress?


(Quick side note… Dan and I both purchased Jawbones thinking they would be great for helping us move more throughout the day when we weren’t training. We quickly learned that once we understood our baseline, it was pretty unimportant and unnecessary. Mine also broke after 2 weeks.)

This story is less of a research study and more about individual fitness tracker users who have experienced the opposite of what they expected out of their $100+ piece of fit gear.

Weight gain.

Why in the world would people see the pounds pile on rather quickly after using a fitness tracker like the FitBit or Jawbone?

For one, the equation that these devices use to calculate how many calories users burn/require is just that… an equation. It is a rough estimate and unfortunately that rough estimate can lead to unintentional overeating.

Here is the problem that I have personally seen with fitness trackers.

They take your exercise and then add the calories that you burned back into your daily requirements.

So for example, if your MyFitnessPal tells you to eat 1300 calories a day, and then you run 3 miles… it will then tell you to eat a total of 1600 calories to make up for those burned.

Ugh… no!

Don’t do this. If you’re working out to lose weight, you’re trying to burn calories, not burn them just to eat them again, right?

Just don’t track your calories with these trackers. It makes life so much easier and so much more rewarding when you see the weight fall off, not creep on. Here’s a post I wrote on how to use MyFitnessPal to your advantage!


Other issues with the tracking world…

Rationalizing cheat meals.

One day you almost did double your walking goal. That’s awesome… so in your head you rationalize that your walking success should be rewarded with some cocktails or perhaps a few slices of pizza.

According to your tracker you burned 1500 calories from moving so what’s the harm?

The harm is that it all adds up.

So do I think tracking is a good idea?

If it encourages you to get up and move more, then yes!

But Dan and I also discussed how we feel it’s still in the “beta” phase and there is so much more to come from trackers in the future that will help much more.

I loved this point Dan made…

When home scales came out, they were likely thought to be the next big thing for fitness and health. Now, they have literally destroyed women as it’s something for us to obsess over.

Do you know anyone that has become obsessed with tracking? I do!


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For years and years we’ve been lead to believe that the reason obesity continues to rise is because we are eating crap… and more of it.

This study tries to fight that argument and states that as a country our caloric intake hasn’t changed much over the past 20 years… It’s our laziness and lack of exercise is causing Americans to get bigger and bigger and bigger.

I actually saw this article on a friends Facebook last week and to be honest, I rolled me eyes.

So I was really excited when Dan and I choose it to be a topic of conversation today.

The Truth

I 100% agree with the article that over 50% of Americans aren’t exercising, especially women. We don’t move enough, we sit down far too long every single day, and we make way too many excuses to not exercise.

Every single day… we should move. And more than just walk!

Do you?

Dan made some great points here about daily movement and how walking 2 miles isn’t exactly the type of exercise that is needed to help fight obesity and allow your body to be at its best.

Here’s What I Question?!?!

As for our caloric intake… I call BS on this.

We know good and well that the amount of calories we take in and the portion sizes we eat are much larger than they used to be.

And I have proof..

Here’s a table I snagged off the National Institute Of Health’s website…


I think it give a pretty good vision of how eating habits have changed.

There was also a study done at UNC Chapel Hill…

Analyzing data from three national surveys involving more than 60,000 Americans, researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that serving sizes have grown over the past 20 years, not only at fast-food places, but at other restaurants and even in homes. The data revealed that over the past 20 years:

Hamburgers have expanded by 23 percent; A plate of Mexican food is 27 percent bigger; Soft drinks have increased in size by 52 percent; Snacks, whether they be potato chips, pretzels or crackers, are 60 percent larger.

Not surprising, the prevalence of adult obesity in the United States has increased from 14.5 in 1971 to 30.9 percent in 1999. Read The FullReport

We would of course love your thoughts on this!

Personally, I think it’s a combination of both lack of exercise and an increase in food.


And last although not least…

When did working out become work?

Why is it we feel the need to always be rewarded for doing something we don’t want to do?

Apparently working out falls into this category.

A lot of people look at completing a workout as a reward worth action to eat more junk later.

Yay, I got through my workout… I totally deserve those Oreo cookies!

I don’t have Oreos in the house. Gosh if I did, I wonder if I would do this too?!?!

This study looked had two groups of employees…

One group was told to go for a “nature stroll” while the other was told to go for a “walking workout”.

Same time, same walk, different names… different results.

The walkers that went on the “workout” came back in and ate 206 more calories (of chocolate candies) than the strollers.


Because they convinced themselves that exercising needed to be rewarded.

Stop thinking of exercise like work and stop thinking that just because it’s tough, it needs to be rewarded. Exercise, movement, body play… it’s fun! Your body, your mind, your emotional being craves this movement… it’s a reward all in itself!
How To Have Fun Workouts
  • Do them regularly to make fitness a habit.
  • Find something you enjoy doing! If you hate to run, don’t run!
  • Have fitness friends.
  • Set goals… register for an event!
  • Play around, don’t limit yourself to one type of fitness. Experiment!

Thanks to Dan for making a comeback! We hope you enjoyed it.

Let’s chat…

What is the most fun fitness workout/race/event you’ve ever done?


  • Yay, I look forward to listening to the podcast! It’s always nice to hear some of the latest health and fitness studies evaluated. I think you and Dan debating is an important part of the podcast, some of it isn’t completely necessary but that’s how almost all good discussions go.

    • I am so glad to hear you like the podcast! I think it’s important for us to fight, I mean debate, as well! lol

  • Kalan

    This was a great post! I’m in the ‘home stretch’ before my wedding (2 months to go!) and I’ve been focusing on healthy ways to feel my best for the big day. I fall into the category of someone that eats “healthy”…but I just eat way too much of the “healthy” stuff! When I do start to track my calories I realize that I can normally eat about half of what my meal usually entails and still have the energy to get through my day and my workouts. I’m going to bookmark this post as a good reminder to read when I start to slip back into my old habits. 🙂

    • Thanks Kalan! I can’t believe your wedding is right around the corner! Can’t wait to see the picts!

  • I use my tracker more to monitor my daily steps and calories burned (via HR monitor). I don’t keep track of my food intake with one and now I’m glad I don’t. Thanks for the info!

    • Thanks Erin! I do enjoy having my tracker just for the step info too! I’ve been thinking about a heart rate monitor since it works with my garmin but haven’t decided yet!

  • Sheena

    I have the most fun workout playing with my boyfriends nephews, I’m pretty sure the best interval training ever is freeze tag 🙂 It’s also great to de-stress! I agree people eat more but it’s also the quality of food that’s gone down so we need to eat more to get what we need.

    • Playing with the kids is always fun! I love playing with my niece, it’s insane the energy kids have!!

  • oh i have way too much to say about this. Bottom line.. We just need to move more and stress less.

  • That barrier island race sounds amazing!!! I know a bundle of people doing that midnight half. I would totally do it if I wasn’t doing Insanity training this weekend.

    I hate when people say they run but they hate it…I am like why would you spend so much time to doing something you hate?? Try another activity!!

    I need to focus on sleep! I do think it helps SO much with stress.

    PS- love your podcasts!

    • Sheena

      Ah yes, sleep! My boyfriend doesn’t believe me when I tell him that although he can function on 5 hours of sleep he’s so much healthier on 8!!!

    • I can’t decide about the midnight race! I am leaning towards no since I hate, really hate, staying up late. But if you were doing it then I totally would!

      Run date next week?

  • Kim

    I don’t know if I can pick just one fun workout/exercise – I try to have fun with most of them. The most recent super fun one was the trail half marathon I did with Hunter last month – I loved it!!!

    • Trail races are the best!! Trail races with family even better!

  • I think it’s kinda ironic about the fit bit/jawbone. I think when people estimate the calories they eat, they underestimate that, or they forget to log foods like snacks, munching, etc. Plus sometimes after a workout, you want a treat- I’m guilty of it too! It’s like lets see, I was good today and got up and ran… let me have this cupcake :). I don’t think it’s something to really stress over; we already have so much stress in our lives without meticulously tracking food, exercise, calories, etc.

    I will be out of town so no midnight run for me (btw, it’s a run not a race, glorified fun run but it is a lot of fun, I did it last year when I was training for a marathon, just did it as a long run, there’s a recap on my blog). It is fun, but seeing my family will be a better decision so I’m glad I hadn’t signed up when Clay told me about going to visit them earlier this week.

    • yes, I know it’s a fun run… I call any event that is running and paying a race, haha. I’ve decided I hate staying up too much to do it. have fun!

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