Are Fitness Trackers a Cure for the Obesity Epidemic?

Obesity is a modern phenomenon. Take a look around you in any public place and a large percentage of the people in the immediate vicinity, young and old, will be overweight. The good news is that there are loads of great gadgets to help us lose weight if we want to do something about our weight problem. We can download fitness apps on to our mobile phones or dance away the excess calories using a games console. So are fitness trackers useful for weight loss and can they cure the obesity epidemic?

Just How Fat Are We?

Obesity is officially an epidemic. More than a third of American adults are considered to be obese and just over 6% are morbidly obese. This costs the US economy approximately $3 billion per year, money that could be far better spent on education, healthcare and welfare for poorer members of the community.

Prehistoric men and women weren’t obese. For one thing the only fast food they ate had four legs and was pretty good at running away at speed, and for another a fat Neanderthal man would have been a sitting target for every predator within fifty kilometres. No, obesity is the result of too much food and too little exercise. Modern life has become way too easy and with so many adults and children spending the majority of their day sitting in a chair, it’s no wonder a lot of us are fat!

How do Fitness Trackers Work?

The thing about fat people is that aside from the fact they have a tendency to eat too much, they also don’t move enough. Consuming too many calories and not doing enough exercise is a sure fire way to pile on the pounds.

A fitness tracker is worn somewhere on the body. Designs vary but bracelets are common. Fitness bands measure how much you move and at what intensity. The device converts the data it collects into useful measurements to help you work out how much useful exercise you are doing. They can also be synced to smartphones.

Accuracy across the spectrum of fitness gadgets varies. Some devices flatter the user by overestimating how many steps they take whereas others underestimate, so you are doing more than you give yourself credit for. There are many tracker options available today with some most popular included here.

The Trouble with Gadgets…

Fitness gadgets are always popular, especially in the post Christmas period when you know you ate too many mince pies and nothing fits you anymore. But like all gadgets, fitness trackers are often a five minute wonder, worn for a couple of weeks and then tossed into a drawer to gather dust.

Gadgets can help with weight loss, but if you want to keep the weight off, you need to give your lifestyle a complete overhaul. Eat healthily and incorporate regular exercise into your schedule, without or without a fitness tracker. Join forces with some like-minded friends or join a slimming group for moral support. It won’t be easy, but the rewards will be worth it.

#Sponsored: Make a Difference with @GreenGiant #MyBlogSpark #Giveaway

Sample ReceivedDisclosure: The information and prize pack have been provided by Green Giant® through MyBlogSpark.


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As you are all aware, I have been working really hard at losing weight and becoming a healthier me.

The road has not been easy, but I am finally starting to see a real difference. I look better, I feel better, and I know now that I *can* do this.

One thing that has really, really helped is that I am eating a lot more vegetables. Instead of reaching for chips or a candy bar, I grab carrot sticks, raw broccoli, or some other vegetable. And at dinner time, I can indulge myself in Green Giant Vegetables, eat a bunch, and still feel great!

I simply cannot believe the difference in 100 calories of Green Giant vegetables vs. 100 calories of pretty much anything else. Most of the time, a 100 calorie box of veggies is too much for me to eat by myself.

For the past month, I have made the choice to make *better* choices every time I sit down to eat. And, I have also added a lot more vegetables into my diet. (Thank you, Green Giant for making SO many yummy varieties and helping me on my journey!)

Look at the difference just one month of healthy eating and exercise can make:

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The picture on the left was taken on my anniversary right after we got our van. The picture on the right was taken yesterday before my daughter’s chorus concert. I am blown away by the difference that just one month can make.

MyBlogSpark and Green Giant sent me the most amazing prize pack. In fact, this has been my favorite spark so far, because it’s encouraged me to keep going in my weight loss journey, and it’s helping me make a real difference.

Here’s what was included in the prize pack:

  • Gym Bag (and since I just joined a local gym, this could not have come at a better time!)
  • Health Journal (this is great for keeping a log of what I eat, what time I am eating, and how much exercise I am getting. I absolutely love this journal.)
  • Water Infuser (I hate water. It’s so boring! But this lets me add fresh fruit – or cucumber! – to my water and ramp up the taste without a ton of empty calories or chemicals.)
  • Green Giant Coupons (5 coupons, so I could try lots of the yummy varieties!)
  • $10 Target coupon (So I could stock up on even more Green Giant veggies!)

I told you was an awesome prize pack. This is one that I know all of you will want to win. Heck, I’d win it again myself if I could. 🙂

I love that Green Giant has given all of us a tastier way to lose weight and feel great about what we are eating. I hope you’ll take some time to check out the Giant Difference website and learn more ways to get on the path to a healthier you. (Be sure to check out their “Giant Difference Recipes” section – it’s my favorite part of the website!)

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Want to win a prize pack (mentioned above) for your very own? To enter, use the rafflecopter gadget below.

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Giveaway will end November 3rd.

Guest Post: 9 Ways to Get Fit At Home


According to the authors of Freakonomics, people who purchase gym memberships overestimate their attendance by 70 percent. As a result, over $500 of the average annual cost of memberships is simply lining the pockets of gym owners — and doing absolutely nothing for your waistline.

If you struggle with getting to the gym every day, try getting fit at home for a fraction of the cost. Though you may not have the fancy equipment offered by fitness clubs, you can still meet your goals affordably by considering the following tips.

1. Buy From Gyms
Gyms undergoing renovations — or simply making upgrades to their fitness equipment — usually sell off their old stuff at killer prices. Call around to find out if any local fitness centers are currently selling old treadmills, stationary bikes or benches, or if they have any plans to do so in the near future.

2. Buy Used
Fitness equipment is definitely one of those items best purchased used, if possible. In addition to scanning Craigslist and hitting up local garage sales, you can also look for remanufactured options online at When buying from private seller, be sure to research the brand and test the equipment before agreeing to purchase it.

3. Shop Online
You can often find great deals on fitness clothing and accessories by shopping online. Compare promotions and avoid delivery costs with such sites as, which offers discounts from popular sporting good stores. For example, you can save $10 on orders of $60 or more with a FinishLine coupon.

4. Use Your Body
Squats, push ups, tricep dips and many other moves are all great ways to workout without the added cost of equipment. You can also get creative with items around your house. A chair is a great tool for step ups, tricep dips and decline push ups. Water bottles can be used in place of small hand weights and your child’s jump rope is a great way to burn calories quickly.

5. Suspend Yourself
Suspension training systems — which use a series of straps in addition to body weight — are a popular way to intensify home workouts without bulky fitness equipment. TRX is likely the most well-known system but requires a significant investment. GoFit’s Gravity Bar and straps offers an affordable alternative, and also travels easily for when you hit the road.

6. Go Discount
Discount retailers are great resources for basic fitness accessories like DVDs, yoga mats, stability balls, fitness clothing and more. For example, a friend of mine recently found yoga blocks at TJMaxx for $5 each. Similar blocks at REI cost $15 each, over 60 percent of what she paid for them.

7. Use Technology
Get free workout tips on your phone with apps like GymGoal ABC, which features 280 animated exercises and 52 workout routines that are adjustable to four levels of expertise. You can also find free personal training videos online at sites like BodyRock or If you pay for cable, take advantage of the morning fitness videos available on Discovery Fit & Health.

8. Avoid Fitness Fads
Shake Weight, anyone? Products boasting quick weight loss with minimal effort are usually too good to be true. No pain, no gain, remember? Don’t fall for the hype and read reviews before buying the latest and greatest DVD set or fitness system. There are some great ones being released on the market all the time, but ask for recommendations first.

9. Check Your Policy
Like most Americans, you likely pay a lot for your health insurance premiums. Healthy policyholders means less risk for pricey doctor’s bills, and select health insurance providers offer incentives for fitness programs. Check with your provider for fitness programs that offer discounts on activewear, fitness rentals and equipment purchases.

Andrea Woroch is a nationally-recognized consumer and money-saving expert who helps consumers live on less without radically changing their lifestyles. From smart spending tips to personal finance advice, Andrea transforms everyday consumers into savvy shoppers. She has been featured among top news outlets such as Good Morning America, NBC’s Today, MSNBC, New York Times, Kiplinger Personal Finance, CNNMoney and many more. You can follow her on Twitter for daily savings advice and tips.