With obesity being somewhat of an epidemic across the western world, there are plenty of initiatives to help people lose a few excess kilos.

The Fitbit One is one of the most technologically advanced - and simple to use - methods you could consider.

Building on the previous Fitbit Ultra and adding some of the cooler features of the Fitbit Zip, the Fitbit One actively tracks your steps, distance travelled, calories burnt, and hours slept.

It also adds in Bluetooth 4.0 for low-powered syncing with your PC/Mac, or iPhone 4S or iPhone 5, and introduces the ability to set a silent vibrating alarm to wake you up early for a spot of exercise.

At $US99.95/£79.99/AUD$119.95, it's not exactly cheap, but when combined with the ecosystem of Fitbit-enabled apps, it's hard not to justify the expense, especially if losing weight is a priority for you.

fitbit one hand

Powered up

One of the fundamental differences between the Fitbit One and Fitbit Zip is the rechargeable battery in the One.

Where the Zip will last for months before needing replacement, you'll only get about seven days of use out of the One before you'll need to plug it in.

This obviously poses problems for anyone focussed on counting steps accurately, and is probably the One's biggest downfall. Not that there's an alternative that could keep the device powered 24/7 indefinitely, at least not yet.

The One features a single-line display that offers encouragement and your daily stats. A single button above the screen cycles through each page of information, while updates are performed through the web portal by syncing with your PC.

Ss you would expect, the step counting feels pretty accurate, as does the calorie burn and distance travelled. And while the One will track your sleep, it doesn't display that info on the device itself, instead requiring you to visit the website or mobile app.

fitbit one pants

Sleeping in

The ability to track your sleep patterns may not help you lose weight, but it might help you find ways to rediscover some energy for exercise.

The One comes with a simple black wrist strap in the box that you slide the device into at bed time. A long press of the button will activate sleep mode, while a long press when you wake up turns it off.

Then, you can access information about how long it takes you to sleep and how many times you woke up during the night.

It can cost serious dollars to get this information through a sleep clinic for troubled sleepers, so it's a welcome feature.

The wrist strap also allows for the silent, vibrating alarm. This is useful if you want to let your partner sleep in while you get up for an early morning walk, but it can be tricky to master.

Pressing the button will turn the alarm off, and there's no such thing as a snooze function, so it's always useful to have a backup alarm somewhere.

Like the Ultra before it, the Fitbit One will track flights of stairs climbed. If you work in an office building, this is a great way to incentivise your attempts to lose weight by taking the stairs instead of the lifts.

fitbit one pc

Appy, appy, joy, joy

Like the Zip, you only really start getting the most out of the Fitbit One once you start using some of the apps that take advantage of the Fitbit's data.

Apps like My Fitness Pal, which tracks your calorie intake and offsets it with your calorie output to help guide you to weight loss.

Or Endomondo, which lets you track your exercise regime, giving much more detailed results from your work out.

There's a selection of 20 different partner apps available to make use of your Fitbit's data. Working out the best solution can help a lot in any attempt to shed some body fat.

Verdict

The Fitbit One is without a doubt one of the most versatile and useful fitness gadgets on the market. It's also fairly expensive.

The truth is that there's nothing about the information from the Fitbit One that will make you lose weight. It's no magic bullet to weight loss.

What it will do is hold you accountable. Every day you will know exactly how much you did or didn't do; whether you achieved your goals or failed miserably.

fitbit one family

This is the beauty of the Fitbit. By knowing that you need to achieve your goals to lose weight and tracking how close you are to cracking them, this high-tech device can help you take your fitness to the next level.

Sure, the ability to track sleep is a niche feature. It can be useful information to explain lethargy, but for most people it will probably be ignored.

But that doesn't overule the fact that this small little gadget is a great way to incentivise your kickstart to health.