Personal trainer Rachel Dillon reveals why you should ditch fitness tracker and her top diet tips

Judith J. Mercado

Fitness trackers and smart watches have never been more popular, but one personal trainer has warned you shouldn’t rely on them if you’re looking to get lean and stay healthy.

Rachel Dillon, from Queensland, said she doesn’t wear a fitness tracker herself, because the popular devices can often hugely over-estimate how many calories you’ve actually burned.

‘Science has revealed that you cannot rely on fitness trackers to estimate how many calories we burn throughout the day, or during a workout,’ Rachel said on her website.

Fitness trackers and smart watches have never been more popular, but one personal trainer has warned you shouldn’t rely on them if you’re looking to get lean (Rachel Dillon pictured)

Rachel (pictured), from Queensland, said she doesn't wear a fitness tracker herself, because the popular devices can often hugely over-estimate how many calories you've actually burned

Rachel (pictured), from Queensland, said she doesn’t wear a fitness tracker herself, because the popular devices can often hugely over-estimate how many calories you’ve actually burned

‘Fitness trackers simply cannot account for every complex factor playing into how much energy we burn – such as your body composition, fitness level and much more.’

The 28-year-old said if you rely too heavily on your tracker to show you how many calories you’ve burned, ‘multiple errors can occur at the same time’ – and this means you’re very unlikely to get consistent accurate measurements on a daily basis.

You’re far better off doing a class or workout and asking the trainer how many calories on average clients burn, although remember that again this will vary according to your body shape and size, Rachel explained.

'Fitness trackers cannot account for every complex factor playing into how much energy we burn - such as body composition, fitness level and much more,' the 28-year-old (pictured) said

‘Fitness trackers cannot account for every complex factor playing into how much energy we burn – such as body composition, fitness level and much more,’ the 28-year-old (pictured) said

The second reason why Rachel said she isn’t a fan of fitness trackers on the whole is because they can lead to people getting ‘obsessed’ with the numbers on the screen.

‘Something that’s not talked about that often is how obsessive using a fitness tracker can get,’ she said.

This can spill over into your social life and stop you from staying out, enjoying a glass of wine with friends or feeling as though you have to work out, when your body might benefit from a rest.

The second reason why Rachel (pictured) said she isn't a fan of fitness trackers on the whole is because they can lead to people getting 'obsessed' with the numbers on the screen

The second reason why Rachel (pictured) said she isn't a fan of fitness trackers on the whole is because they can lead to people getting 'obsessed' with the numbers on the screen

The second reason why Rachel (pictured) said she isn’t a fan of fitness trackers on the whole is because they can lead to people getting ‘obsessed’ with the numbers on the screen

Thirdly, Rachel said you shouldn’t rely on your tracker to tell you how you slept, as this is not always accurate:

‘While sleep stages, number of wakings and total sleep duration can be fun data to review, don’t rely on it entirely,’ she said. 

‘I personally choose not to wear an activity tracker. But if you do, nothing at all wrong with that!’ she said. 

‘Just remember: it’s supposed to be a fun addition to your fitness routine, that can’t provide you with 100 per cent accurate information. So, don’t let all the little numbers and graphs dictate how you feel about your progress!’

The trainer added that trackers can be good if you’re someone who likes tracking your steps or keeping you motivated.

The trainer (pictured) added that trackers can be good if you're someone who likes tracking your steps or keeping you motivated

The trainer (pictured) added that trackers can be good if you’re someone who likes tracking your steps or keeping you motivated

When it comes to what works, Rachel (pictured) said you need to be strict with your diet 80 per cent of the time and allow yourself a little of what you love

When it comes to what works, Rachel (pictured) said you need to be strict with your diet 80 per cent of the time and allow yourself a little of what you love

Previously, Rachel shared the diet and fitness tips she swears by to stay in peak shape. 

What is a typical week of workouts for Rachel? 

* MONDAY: Full body circuit

* TUESDAY: Lower body weighted

* WEDNESDAY: Upper body weighted

* THURSDAY: Glutes weighted

* FRIDAY: Full body circuit

* SATURDAY: LISS cardio and core

* SUNDAY: Rest and recovery

While Rachel acknowledges that exercise is important, like many personal trainers she believes that it’s diet that holds the key to a slim physique.

‘Up until 2015, I was a cardio bunny who focused solely on eating 1,200 calories per day, I have since learned that you need to fuel your body if you want to look good,’ Rachel told Daily Mail Australia.

‘Now, I like following the 80/20 approach when I’m planning my meals. 80 per cent of what I eat is wholefoods, and 20 per cent is soul foods.’

The 28-year-old now subscribes to a dietary approach called macro tracking, whereby she tracks all of her carbohydrates, protein and fat each day – and can eat whatever she likes, provided she hits her targets.

‘For the most part, you will find wholesome, nutrient-dense foods on my plate like lean proteins, seafood, wholegrains and lots of vegetables,’ she said.

‘And for that 20 per cent, I allow myself to have anything I like that’s not particularly nutritious – whether that’s a bit of chocolate or some ice cream, or whatever I feel like at the time.’

 

Rachel (pictured before and after) said up until 2015, she was a cardio bunny who barely ate anything but now she has overhauled her diet and fitness

Rachel (pictured before and after) said up until 2015, she was a cardio bunny who barely ate anything but now she has overhauled her diet and fitness

Rachel said the key with your diet is to avoid deprivation and instead factor in daily treats to your targets.

‘The reason why this works is that it means you always look forward to a day of eating, while staying on track with your goals,’ Rachel said.

In any given week, Rachel eats 1,855 calories and 130 grams of protein, 210 grams of carbs and 55 grams of fat Monday to Saturday and then 2,900 calories, 130 grams of protein, 415 grams of carbohydrates and 80 grams of fat on a Sunday.

Rachel likes the approach because it gives her the freedom to eat things she loves like ice cream and pancakes, but in a targeted approach that won’t be detrimental to her figure.

‘Even without weighing/tracking my meals, I know when I overeat and I know when I under eat – as well as how to tackle each of these situations,’ she said.

When it comes to exercise, Rachel always tells her clients that a little movement each day is much better than working yourself to the point of exhaustion several times each week (pictured before and after)

When it comes to exercise, Rachel always tells her clients that a little movement each day is much better than working yourself to the point of exhaustion several times each week (pictured before and after)

When it comes to exercise, Rachel always tells her clients that a little movement each day is much better than working yourself to the point of exhaustion several times each week.

‘Strive for progress, not perfection!’ she explained.

‘It’s important to build a healthy relationship with fitness, and this is often achieved by integrating fitness with your lifestyle, as opposed to completely stopping your lifestyle to focus on fitness.’ 

For more information about Rachel Dillon, you can visit her website here

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