I acquired a Fitbit Flex after Mario bought one (for himself!) over 2 years ago. I wanted to track my sleep each night with it as I have difficulty getting a full night’s sleep due to slight breathing problems and generally being a light sleeper! So initially I liked the idea of seeing just how often I was awake at night over a period of a week.
After a couple of nights use and some interesting data records, I decided to try out the Fitbit’s other features and quickly discovered that I was becoming addicted to it! I thought that I would find it annoying having something on my wrist all day everyday as I didn’t wear a watch at the time but it’s amazing how quickly you get used to it. Now I wear a watch so I wear my Fitbit either next to it or on my ankle (your not supposed to but I found it more accurate when pushing Mia’s buggy).
I track everything on it; my length and quality of sleep each night, amount of steps taken each day, water intake, and calorie intake and it’s fair to say, it’s become a slight obsession of mine! I have now been using it properly for over 2 years to help me understand my eating habits and to control my weight. I pair my Fitbit with the ‘MyFitnessPal’ iPhone app which I use to keep my daily food diary and then the Fitbit iPhone app (once set up with my information) calculates how many calories I can consume in a day, how many calories I have burnt by exercising, and how many calories I have left (or not!).
It’s a really easy gadget to set up from the word go and settings can be changed as you go along. All you need to input is your height, weight, how much you want to lose (if any), and how quickly you want to lose it. Fitbit does all of the calculations for you and as it syncs when near your phone via the app or laptop on the dashboard, it updates over the day to tell you how you’re getting on.
I find that it syncs really well and I open up the app on my phone at least 3 times a day to keep track of how I’m getting on. It’s amazing how quickly you get addicted to meeting your goals, I have my steps set at 7000 a day, water intake at 8 glasses a day, and I aim to lose 1lb a week (Fitbit helps you set your goals through the app). It also keeps its charge for about 5 days for me, I don’t tend to look at the lights on the Fitbit Flex as I always have my phone handy so the battery does last a bit longer than if you were checking the Fitbit itself, however when it does run out, it only takes about an hour or so to fully charge again using your laptops USB port so I normally pick a time in the evening when I’m going to be sat down so I don’t lose any steps!
When I go to bed, it’s just a quick double tap to put it into sleep mode where it tracks how much I’m awake and asleep during the night. I find that the only problem with this is that it records me when I’m awake as only ‘restless’ most of the time but that doesn’t really matter to me as I just need a vague idea.
You can also change what is recorded and what is shown on the app front screen really easily by going to the app settings or the Fitbit dashboard on the laptop. At first it took me a while to get the hang of tracking my calories as Fitbit works out your daily calories using the amount of exercise you do over the whole day and what it presumes you will do so I found that by the end of the day I was always over my allowance, however when I was going through the settings one day I realised I didn’t have it on the right one for me. I like to input my breakfast, lunch and dinner before I have them so I can see what I need to burn off and how many calories I have left for snacks throughout the day so once I had changed my settings to ‘earning calories back’ I don’t go over my calories as much, unless I want to!
All in all, I love my Fitbit! I use it all day every day, it’s a brilliant way to track all my calories and a great help in working towards losing weight. I would be so lost without it and I recommend one to everyone who wants to track their calories, exercise, steps, or sleep!
If you’re looking for a fitness tracker specifically for children, head over to my smartwatch post for more info!
Update: My Fitbit is still going strong and I never take it off! It has helped me reach my weight loss goals and I have now lost nearly a stone and a half through eating a bit less, and making sure I do my 7000 steps a day! If you want to read all about my Diet Challenge you can read it here!