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High-tech gadgets can monitor your fitness

New devices track calories, how fast you eat, and even your sleep

Published: April 2013

Pedometers and heart-rate monitors are great at what they do. But you can now buy other, more high-tech gadgets that track more than just your heart rate or foot steps. Some are activity monitors that are designed to continually monitor all of your movements, and can even track calories burned, your sleep quality—and then transfer the information to your smart phone or computer. Others focus on your weight and diet, including a high-tech fork that tracks how fast you eat.

We’ve collected a sampling of the latest models. Some aren’t even on the market yet (see sale dates below), but you can look now for older versions if you can’t wait. We haven’t tested any of them, but stay tuned; we will soon.

Activity gadgets

Wear it to bed; it counts the number of times you wake up in the night! During the day, it also ounts the number of calories you’ve burned, and lets you enter what you eat via online and smart-phone tools.
Price $100; available in May.

Download the Nike+Fuelband app (free, Apple devices) to set fitnes goals, track your progress, and share the information with others on social-media outlets such as Facebook. You can also use it as a watch.

Price $149; available now.

Wear it on a key fob or lanyard (included), or spend an extra $9.99 for a clip you can wear on your belt or waistband, or an extra $15 for a wristband.
Price $50; available in June.

Stick this waterproof patch on your upper arm and wear it for up to seven days.
Price About $50; available in October.

You wear this on your upper arm. A virtual coach gives feedback like: “Yay! A great day, courtesy of your hard work! Keep it up.”
Price About $150 plus $6.95/month or $59/year for an online subscription; available in September.

Diet gadgets

This eating utensil vibrates and lights up if you eat too quickly. It also transfers your eating-habit information to your computer or smart phone. The company claims that eating more slowly “will improve the way you feel after every meal, enhance your digestion, and reduce your weight.” The fork is meant to make you more aware of what you’re consuming. A small 2012 study linked being more mindful about your eating habits to weight loss in women who frequently ate out.

Price $99; available this summer.

This smart scale can automatically upload your weight via a Wi-Fi connection to your computer, tablet, or smart phone to help you keep track of your daily progress.

Price $100

Editor's Note: A version of this article first appeared in the monthly newsletter Consumer Reports on Health. 
   

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