Have you just received a fitness tracker for Christmas or your birthday? Well, take the hint and set a weight loss for this year so that you can enjoy optimal health and fitness. Before you hide your fitness tracker in your wardrobe, under mountains of clothes, remember that it can actually help you stay on course so that you shed those extra pounds you have piled on over the years. The key is knowing how to use your fitness tracker correctly and make it count when you embark on a weight loss journey.

Count Those Strides

Girl reading her steps count

Generally, fitness trackers come with pre-programmed steps of about 10,000 a day. However, depending on your lifestyle and fitness level, this can be too many or too few for you to take on a daily basis. Thankfully, you can program the number of steps you take each day to burn calories.

It is best to start with the pre-set 10,000 steps so that you can determine how many steps you take on a routine. Use this figure as a starting point, working your way gradually to 10K or more steps a day.

Calibrate Your Fitness Tracker to Your Stride Length

Man checking his stride length on fitness tracker

Your height makes a difference to your stride length. That is why you need to customize your fitness tracker to your stride length. You can do this by inputting details of your height and gender. If you have an advanced tracker, you can get a more accurate length of your stride while walking and running. When you do this, your tracker will give you a more precise picture of your strides, helping you add more strides if you fall behind your daily quota.

Tag Your Physical Activities

Man checking his physical activities

Newer and more advanced fitness trackers can automatically discern the activities you perform. However, this is not the case with the older models. In these older models, you will need to enter the mode using the tracker’s app or by a press of a button. To ensure you get a precise count of the calories, you burn through different activities, make it a point to tag each activity you perform. Just remember it is equally important to tag out when you finish your workout so that the readings do not get skewed.

Get a Fitness Tracker with Inactivity Monitor

Fitness buddies working out together

There will be days when you don’t feel like working out, and this can wreak havoc with your weight loss endeavors. To lose weight, you need to burn calories in a regular and consistent manner. Hence, having an inactivity monitor in your fitness tracker will help tremendously and will keep you on your toes the moment you fall behind or get lazy.

It is a well-known fact that most people cannot keep up with their workout regimen because they lose motivation or become lazy. That is why before the advent of fitness trackers, people were encouraged to have a fitness or exercise buddy. Now, your tracker will function as your fitness buddy and keep you going on the days you get lazy. It is important to keep moving every hour or two to maintain your posture so that it does not adversely affect your workouts in the gym.

Track Your Calorie Intake

Fitness tracker showing calorie count

You will lose weight only if you burn more calories than you consume. You tend to put on weight when your body cannot burn the calories it consumes. The calories are then stored in the form of fat for use in the future. So, how do you keep track of your calorie consumption? Well, you don’t need complicated mathematical equations and algorithms to count your calorie intake. Just make sure you have a nutrition tracking platform on your fitness tracker. More often than not, keeping a track of your calories simply means improving your dietary habits. If you are overweight, shift from a high-carb diet to a high-protein diet that is replete with healthy, unsaturated fats. Once you lose a few pounds, you can begin tracking your calories.

The nutrition tracking platform on your fitness tracker will help you make informed food choices and the number of calories you consume at each meal. Coupled with your exercise routine, this can help you lose weight by burning excess calories for your energy needs.

Favor Your Non-Dominant Hand

Man wearing fitness tracker on non-dominant hand

A study published in the Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise journal has found that wearing fitness trackers on your non-dominant hand plays a vital role in counting the number steps you take in a day. Researchers have found that wearing the tracker on your non-dominant hand gives a more accurate picture of your movements since that hand tends to move less than the dominant hand. Remember, just because your wrist moves do not mean your feet are also moving. So, if you intend using your fitness tracker to help you lose and maintain weight, opt for one that allows you to specify which wrist you intend wearing the tracker on.

Make Resistance Training Integral to Your Workout

Fit woman doing resistance training in gym

While your end goal could be to walk 10,000 steps a day, you need to make resistance training a part of your workout regimen. This may not sound very exciting if you have a phobia for gyms, but it is the best way to help you lose weight. You can track your progress through your fitness tracker and this will keep you motivated.

Free weights, lunges, pull-ups, squats and press-ups are just what you need to tone muscles and drop pounds quickly. Work with an instructor to perform these exercises correctly and minimize chances of injury. Look to work out three to five times a week for optimal results and keep monitoring yourself through your tracker to see the changes.

Monitor Your Water Consumption

Fitness girl drinking water

Hydration is important for weight loss. How? Drinking water can help control your portions and stop you from reaching out for high-calorie foods. It also prevents your muscles from fatigue and ensures they have the energy to get through the reps without cramping and tiring out. So, use your fitness tracker to monitor your water intake. Start with the minimal quantity the tracker allows and then build it up to the maximum. You will be amazed how the pounds fall off and how you can get through a routine without experiencing muscle fatigue.

Fitness trackers are the perfect companion for your weight loss endeavors. They help you train smarter by setting measurable and realistic weight loss goals, and this keeps you on track and ensures you are always in a mood to work that extra bit to get a toned and fitter body.