15 months with a FitBit One

I’ve owned a Fitbit One for 15 months now and it’s great fun. Has it helped me lose weight? Yes and no. Have I definitely walked further and been more active than I would have been without it? Hell yes.

The FitBit One is basically a fancy pedometer that can sync up with an appropriately Bluetooth enabled phone, or a PC wirelessly via dongle that comes with the device. It has great web based software that can give you all kind of amazing details about your activity during the day – and night. This is meant to make ‘being active’ more fun and motivate you to achieve your goals – whether they be walking a certain number of steps a day, having a certain number of ‘active’ minutes per day and of course weight loss. It even comes with an elastic sleeve you strap around your wrist so you can wear it at night to track how long, and how well you slept for.

Overall the device works really well – I’ve found it consistent and accurate with regards to steps. If you want to nit pick, yes you can shake it and falsely get the step count higher than you walked. But really, why bother? It’s meant to be acting as a guide so you know if you’re kidding yourself about how much exercise you actually do.

When it comes to weight loss I’m in the camp of Input – Outputs = Net Result. That is, Food, Minus Activity = Gain or Loss. The FitBit is only doing the Outputs, or Activity side of things. If you want to track food you can use the FitBit software, but not if you’re outside the US. Booo. However, you can use the excellent MyFitnessPal website. You can link your accounts so that the food tracked is seen against your activity levels so you get nice little graphs like the one below.

FitBit Charts screenshot

Walking around and being active was definitely more fun when I first got the device. But after a while it got a bit less exciting. I’m pretty sure a Canberra winter kicked in and my activity levels drop and my weight loss enthusiasm also waned. So I fell off the bandwagon. I kept wearing the device and have worn it pretty much every day since I bought it. I haven’t been as serious about measuring my sleep and had a few months there where I didn’t wear it at night.

For this device to work for you, you need to be obsessive about checking it’s still strapped to your belt as it can be easily lost. Either the holder that it is encased in pops off your belt, or you bump against something and it pops out of the holder. I’ve lost it a few times but thanks to detecting it pretty soon after the event I’ve found it again. I’d buy another one if I lost it.

One great thing – the support behind the product is great. I contacted them after a few months because I lost the rubber holder and wanted to buy the accessory replacement in Australia. They said “don’t be silly”, and FedEx’d me a new one. Pretty great stuff and another reason I’ll be loyal to them.

So if you’re interested in a Pedometer in general, and you’ve got a smartphone and can afford it, I recommend buying the Fitbit One. It’s going to help you achieve your activity (and maybe weight loss) goals if you use it correctly and stay motivated.