It's been my own experience that if there's ever a discrepancy between what my body says and what some tracker/expert/software says, I need to trust my body every time. The pros of doing that are: healthy metabolism, plenty of energy, food peace. The cons of taking the software's side are: rebellion, obsession, exhaustion and a seemingly total inability to stop eating. That's me, but maybe someone else can relate. Tracking my intake against expenditure was exceptionally counterproductive because it had me thinking about food and what I could or couldn't eat all damn day, which would be survivable for short periods of time and then bite me in the face. The chaos it was causing in terms of self-doubt and gasping for food made it not so helpful. I quit tracking anything for quite a few years. I had an interesting insight last fall when my husband and I started eating more plant-based. I used Cronometer software for awhile to make sure I was meeting my nutrient needs over time. I didn't want to become deficient in something dumb because my eating was unbalanced. The big gobsmack there was that I was routinely (as in every day I spot checked over a couple of months) eating like 600-900 calories more than my Fitbit said I burned. I had a good laugh at the absurdity of it all, confirmed that I wasn't going to get rickets or scurvy, and backed away from the math altogether. It's clearly goofy as hell. That's a long-winded way of saying that if you're basing what you eat on a fitness tracker, consider that it might be waaaaaaay off your actual needs. Same with other people. What other people eat and what they weigh as a result has no bearing on how much food I need. I eat quite a bit more than my husband, for example. I used to feel not-dainty about that. Once I quit comparing myself to him, or friends and relatives, or people online, it became much easier to eat according to my actual needs, and to experience all the benefits of doing that.
You might find that you're happier, less hungry, and getting better results when not pushing the calories burned through exercise. If I wanted to be really hungry and tired and retain a lot of water, there's nothing like too much intense exercise. It took me a long time and a broken leg to realize the miracle of rest and recovery on body comp, appetite, and mental health.
Fitbit does do menstruation tracking. It also has a monthly premium membership available. I’ve never found that worth paying for, but it’s nice for however many months are free when you buy one. That gives you access to more follow-along workouts and guided meditations as well as more detailed stats but, meh, I’d rather use the $9 for an extra streaming channel or something. Fitbit has tons of features without it. It also has great battery life compared to Apple Watch, five days compared to less than one day. If I’m going to wear something for daytime activity plus nighttime sleep tracking, I don’t want it to need long charging sessions every day. I’m curious about the other trackers but don’t have any personal experience with them.
Thanks @skwigg . The things your FitBit tracks sound like the things I'm looking for so maybe I'll look into it. I'm curious to see if it does anything with menstruation tracking? Not that I don't already use an app for that so it's not really necessary. I definitely don't want to aim for any step goals! If I were to get something like that I'd keep mine super low 😁 I think Whoop is a little too advanced for me. Perhaps it's beneficial for more serious athletes but I don't think it's worth a $30/month membership!
I’ve never tried the two gadgets you mentioned. I’m wearing a Fitbit Luxe right now. The heart rate variability, resting heart rate, oxygen saturation, sleep tracking etc, help me to know when I’m recovering well and when to definitely not push it. The step tracking keeps me from going mindlessly overboard on random movement. I try not to hit any step goals. 😂 This has been helpful for navigating recovery for my weird long Covid type symptoms. I hear you on the wonders of not overdoing cardio. That was a revelation for me. Strength, rest, and sleep are important parts of the equation.
I did a quick search on the forum with Oura ring and when I couldn't find anything I typed in "tracker" and found this post. I can't quite tell if it's a new thread or I'm hijacking someone's journal so just in case I will issue an apologetic disclaimer. 😬
I haven't tracked anything in years. My apple watch was a pain and I had (have?) a really old FitBit that drove me nuts. I used Polar HRM prior to that and eventually put them all aside because I was so obsessed with the numbers. Before knee surgery I was still using my OTF arm band to monitor where my HR was during intervals but I never cared about calorie burn. Since knee surgery I haven't done cardio in almost 2 months. Well, up until last weekend when the PT approved me to do intervals on the bike and I spent a day last weekend testing it out. I'm happy to say I'm loving the results of just strength training - not just feeling (looking?) stronger but mostly the lack of ravenous hunger and exhausting fatigue I felt after running and tons of cardio.
With all of that being said, I have a birthday coming up and was toying with the idea of getting a Whoop band or an Oura ring. I don't really care about calorie burn from my workout or even daily steps. I'm interested more in sleep, HRV, and all of that sort of fun data. So I'm trying to decide which, if any, tracker would be worth getting. It might be that I simply don't need anything and that's ok. There are so many gadgets out there these days that I kind of don't know where to start. I know there have been plenty of conversations around this before and I'll probably toodle around the website after I post this but thought I'd ask anyway. :)