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5 Ways Gadgets Can Help You Lose Weight

3. Crunching the Numbers

Most devices either have a place for you to log what you eat, or they link with an app that does. That allows you to see how the calories you swallow compare to the calories you burn.

Sure, it's a lot of data entry, Muth admits. But just as with exercise, people who log their food are more successful at losing weight.

Usually the data entry gets easier with time. Once you've figured out the calorie count for a food, it'll be stored in your device. That means within a few weeks you'll be able to track most of your favorites quickly.

4. While You Were Sleeping

When you get more and better sleep, you're less likely to overeat and more likely to stick to your fitness and diet program, Muth says. Plus, too little sleep is linked with weight gain.

The tried-and-true way to get a good night's sleep is to set a regular bedtime, turn off distractions, and plan for 7 to 8 hours.

Trackers show how long you've actually slept. You might think you're getting 7 hours when you're only asleep for 6 1/2 hours.

Some wearable fitness trackers tell you how well you sleep. "That insight may inspire (or compel) you to make changes to try to improve sleep quality or duration," Muth says. Even if you’re in bed for 8 hours, your device may show you’re getting less than 7 hours of restful sleep. Ask yourself what’s interfering with your sleep. Using a smartphone or tablet right before bed? A pet on your pillow?

5. Get Connected

Many fitness devices link to their own online communities and to Facebook and Twitter as well. When you share your fitness goals -- and how much you're exercising each day -- you feel more accountable. Some sites encourage friendly competition with other device users to inspire you.

"Social support is one of the most important things to help you maintain weight loss," Muth says. "If this technology can connect people, it will be a real tool and not just a gadget."

Gadgets Work Best When You Do

Consistency rewards you. Wear your device and upload your data regularly. That's the best way to get accurate info on your activities, what you eat, and your progress.

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Reviewed on November 13, 2013

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