Can Fitness Trackers Help You Burn an Extra 100 Calories a Day?

Burning an extra 100 calories a day may not seem like a lot, but over the course of a few days, weeks and months, those calories will turn into pounds lost and self esteem gained. But, you already know HOW to burn those extra calories – take the dog for an extra long walk after dinner, take the stairs instead of the elevator, park farther away etc.; we’ve heard it all before. Then WHY is it so hard to stick with it day in and day out?

It turns out the key lies in a combination of self-tracking and rewards. Enter Fitness Trackers….

Research shows that people who “self-track” are the most successful at reaching their health, fitness and weight loss goals (1).

In fact, studies show that volunteers who wore pedometers took 1500 more steps per day!

But only for 1 week. Why? Because for many of us, intrinsic motivation needs to be supplemented by extrinsic motivation in order to last (2). In other words, our enthusiasm is driven by the possibility of reward, whether it be physical in the form of a type of token or social in the form of acclaim and attention (3).

Fitness trackers provide all the extrinsic motivation we need and in real time!

These devices can track everything from the number of calories burned, steps taken, heart rate and the quality of your sleep. After monitoring your sleep and activity patterns some fitness trackers suggest easy-to-make changes and set manageable goals to let you squeeze healthier habits into your daily routine. These might include taking a brisk afternoon walk instead of a coffee break or hitting the sheets an hour earlier, according to the makers of Basis, one such fitness and sleep tracker. As you reach these goals, you’re rewarded with virtual badges or tokens. And of course, it’s all sharable – which can facilitate praise from friends and family or promote healthy competition with one another.

Fitness trackers can help you develop sustainable, healthy fitness habits. There are also free Fitness Tracking Websites/Services that could help you achieve the same or similar results. Here are a few recent articles that review the top Wearable Fitness Trackers and Websites/Services:

Wearable Fitness Trackers:

Fitness Tracking Websites:

So how much weight would you lose if you burned an extra 100 calories per day for one year?

Burning an extra 100 calories per day over the course of one year totals a whopping 36,500 calories which equates to weight loss of nearly 10.5 pounds. Of course, you can do the same thing by consuming 100 calories less per day. The best course of action is to burn more calories while consuming less. In any event, we hope you start tracking and stay motivated! It’s worth the effort and the results.


According to studies published in:
(1) The American Journal of Preventative Medicine
(2) The Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
(3) Motivation and Emotion (2013)