The Secret Curse of Fitness Apps: They Can Make You Fatter

December 19, 2017 cover-fitness-apps 728 0 0

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Most of us are guilty of breaking the New Year’s fitness resolution umpteenth times and obtaining self-sanctioned PhD in cheating on healthy diet plans. Under such dire circumstances, it is natural for you to seek a strong guiding hand to nudge you in the direction of weight loss. And, what can be more reliable in this regard than the impartially tough virtual fitness apps? Unfortunately, the efficiency of fitness apps has not been proven with any substantial data. On the contrary, research has been found that fitness apps can do more harm than good. Instead of helping you to lose weight these apps may cause you to regain any weight that you had lost prior to using them. In short fitness apps can be the reason behind your frustratingly sudden weight gain.

It is true that fitness apps count your steps, keep a tab on your heartbeat and track calorie intake with virtual calculators. However, studies show that it is too little to keep users engaged over a considerable period of time as most users stop within six months of enrolling. It makes us question if there are some innate problems in these apps which deem the light at the end of the tunnel, increasing the difficulty of losing weight. Let’s find out whether fitness apps are really making you fatter.

  1. Calorie Counting is Over-Hyped

A close inspection will reveal that most fitness apps almost completely rely on the theory of burning calories. They stress on eating fewer calories and sweating off more to bring down body mass noticeably. Pushing users blindly towards an anorexia inducing diet and obsessive-compulsive movements cannot be the ideal solutions for weight loss for every individual. To be honest weight loss is a lot more complicated than that. Intake of more than necessary calories is just one of the many reasons behind weight gain. Many individuals gain weight for being under long-term medications which create an imbalance in hormonal levels, disrupting metabolism in the process. Hyperthyroidism also causes weight gain which is difficult to check and curb down without proper medical assistance. How a particular food impacts the metabolic system also reflects in our body weight. Even a supposedly low-calorie food believed safe to consume can slow down your metabolism, leading to the influx of insulin and fat storage. Sadly, most fitness apps cannot discern between fruit juice and protein shake offering same calories though it is the fruit juice that kicks up sugar levels in the blood. Thus the over-simplified theory of calorie loss often backfires, showing no result for users.

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  1. Exercising is Not the Route Map for Weight Loss

Contrary to popular belief exercising can be the indirect instigator of weight gain. No need to squint, you read that right. Only a very minor percentage of us are health freaks that cannot live without exercising. The rest are either forced by the concerns of health or the desire to attain more appealing shape and size. Performing rigorous physical activities give us a psychological boost, putting the conscience to rest. In other words, we are issued the moral license to indulge in the sensory pleasure of eating or rather rewarding ourselves with binge munching of junk. From the sly cubes of Dairy Milks to the piece of Red Velvet, nothing seems out of reach as we are exercising after all. All the insulin hiking post-exercise indulgences spur weight gain, nullifying any result achieved through the diligence. Also, exercise itself builds a stronger appetite if not a sturdier body. Within a short span after exercising it is likely for any healthy adult to feel the pangs of hunger. Sticking to the meek green apple or papaya at such times is next to impossible. Since bread, juice, mayonnaise and salad dressings all contain surprisingly high glucose content, a few extra bites can even get converted to more calories than your two days’ exercise regimen can burn. Most fitness apps encourage exercising without educating about the consequences of dietary choices other than calories. No wonder users suffer from consequence of such gross misguidance.

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  1. Not a Trace of Customisation

The fitness apps possess some standard features which are same for every individual. They hardly address the specific needs of each user differently. The exercise that suits one person’s body mass index might be risky for another due to a wrist injury or leg sprain. Fitness apps are also incapable of counting all types of exercises. For example, steps you walk are counted but the tummy sucking exercise you do sitting on the office chair is not. These apps have been made to be used in the place of a personal trainer. But, a trainer is capable of offering the moral support, guidance and detailed assistance that the app lacks. Moreover, the personal trainer takes the detailed medical status of the client into account. Fitness apps are still in the nascent stage in this regard. Even those who are old and cannot follow stringent routines are offered the same old routine of brisk walking and running a mile. Plus, trying the run of the mill exercises without expert supervision can lead to critical injuries to the spine and cartilages.

  1. Fails to Retain Long Term Motivation

The Spartan ethics followed by fitness apps do miserably little to convert urbanized lethargic into zealous stoic. People cannot do something they hate doing in the long run. Over a couple of months, the users steadily lose interest in following the boring staple exercising routines which haven’t even brought about any miraculous physical changes. What’s more, the body uses a complex strategy known as muscle memory move to deduce that you are repeating the same movements every day. After few pounds of initial weight loss, the body resists further progress and you get stuck in a plateau stage bereft of changes. Not including more fun activities like dancing with Zumba music or practicing Salsa lessons from in-app videos add to the failure of fitness apps. Such intrinsic lack of versatility makes the apps neglected showpieces on the phone screen that are eventually dragged to be deleted forever.

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Categories: Lifestyle