Fitbit: Getting Healthier Byte By Byte

by Dawn Van Dyke on September 12, 2013
App Name: Fitbit
Operating System: iOS, Android
App Cost: $0.00 (as of 09/10/2013)

Why This is Wirefly BUZZworthy

Whether you are serious about losing weight or just trying to be a bit healthier everyday, the Fitbit smartphone app can help. At a glance, the app displays your latest activity including stairs climbed, miles walked, and even minutes slept. The easy-to-read dashboard indicates your progress throughout the day to help you stay on track toward your fitness goals. Available in the Google Play store and iTunes for Android smartphones and iPhones, I've used the Fitbit smartphone app on the HTC EVO, HTC EVO 4G LTE, and the HTC One for Sprint

Smartphones have become as common as silverware on the dining room table, so there is no excuse for not recording your meals in the apps food log. Remember, keeping a food dairy, like the one in this Fitbit app, has proven to be more helpful for dieters than instagraming photos of pretty meals. The ever-growing food database most likely has all the nutrition information of everything you put in your mouth, but if you need to input a new food it is easy to do. I like, too, that it is easy to create and save meals you eat frequently. Since I eat the same breakfast foods every morning, I can log my saved breakfast meal in one touch.

My favorite part of the Fitbit is that it helps me achieve my goals with constant feedback. Using the Fitbit website, I set a goal to lose weight by burning a certain number of calories more than I eat each day. As I move through the day, I burn calories that are wirelessly synced to the app; I could also choose to manually enter my activity into the app. When I upload my meals to the app, it lets me know if I've consumed too many or too few calories compared to my activity for the level for the day. I love that when I am tempted to eat a cookie or other treat, a quick glance at my smartphone will show me that that cookie will mean too many calories and I'll miss my goal for the day. Not only can I use the app to inspire will power to resist junk food, but I can also use it to motivate me to exercise more throughout the day - like taking the stairs instead of the elevator.

 

Fitbit Smartphone App Screenshots:

Fitbit Smartphone App Dashboard ScreenFitbit Smartphone App Weight ScreenFitbit Smartphone App Friends Screen

Fitbit Smartphone Steps Graph Screen

Another helpful feature of the app is a separate tracker for water consumption. Personally, I need the reminder to drink more water throughout the day. Also, the Friends feature creates friendly-competition with a leaderboard showcasing who is walking the most steps each week. There is plenty more to explore in the Fitbit app. 

While the app can wirelessly sync with a Fitbit activity tracker, the tracker, which is an very advanced pedometer, is not required to use the free Fitbit app and website. Note, while I use Fitbit daily in my personal life, the screenshots of the app above are from Fitbit. 

Pros

- Tracking your food and activity throughout the day is proven to make dieting more successful

- Robust food database most likely has the nutritional values of what you eat, but if you need to add a new food it is easy 

- Easy-to-read dashboard of activity, calories consumed, and other goals keeps you motivated

- Fitbit tracker device is not required to use the free app and website

Cons

- While not required, using a Fitbit tracker device is certainly a better experience 

- I'd like to compete with my friends on more goals than just steps walked each week

Final Verdict

The Fitbit smartphone app helped me stay on track while striving for a healthier lifestyle because logging food was so easy - just one touch for saved meals! The infographic dashboard helped to keep me motivated, it helped me to know when I needed to walk a few more steps to hit my exercise goal or not eat a cookie that would knock me off track for the day.  I used a Fitbit tracker device to wirelessly sync my activity, but that isn't required.