Losing Weight With the Aid of Low Cost Gadgets and Technology
Back in January of this year; I took a look in the mirror, then a look at my wife and kids and thought enough is enough I need to lose weight and get in to shape. It wasn’t that I was morbidly obese, but I was carrying enough extra weight to be concerned. I jumped on the scales, pulled up an online calculator and determined what my all-important BMI was. As a 6ft man, weighing in at 217.6lbs my BMI was 29.5. According to the online calculator that is not a good score and I was classified as overweight. If I was a few pounds heavier I would have moved into the obese category.
A healthy BMI range for me is 18.5–24.9. That meant I had to shed a minimum of 33.6lbs to make the top end of the normal BMI range. To put that in to perspective I have a 5 year old daughter, she weighs roughly 35lbs, so in effect I had to lose the equivalent of her total weight. I picked her up and held her for a few minutes and quickly realized that I was carrying that extra weight around all day and that was putting an enormous strain on my body and ultimately my long term health. How on earth was I going to lose 35lbs?
Like any good geek or analyst, I spent the next few days reading; scouring through Google searches, old copies of Men’s Health Magazine’s and a collection of dusty diet books. The result was this simple plan.
Burn more calories everyday than I consume with a target weekly deficit of between 3500-7000 calories.
I would achieve this by:
- Writing down everything that I ate and drank.
- Targeting 5-6 small well-balanced meals a day.
- Walking a minimum of ten thousand (10,000) steps a day.
So how on earth was I going to do this and remain motivated to track all this information? I knew I didn’t have the bandwidth or patience to write down what I ate in a notebook, or record pedometer readings in a nice excel spreadsheet and to have enough information to start looking at progress, patterns etc.
So, the next part of the plan was to determine a more automated way of capturing this information, making it easier to record and analyze data without too much effort. Obviously, my success is measured simply by how much less I weighed today versus yesterday and was it less. This is what I came up with:
- Created an account with www.myfitnesspal.com , loaded up their iPad application and began logging as accurately as I could the food and drink that I consumed at each meal.
- Invested in a Fitbit and signed up at www.fitbit.com .
- Purchased a Withings body scale from the apple store; signed up at www.withings.com to track my progress.
- Set the three accounts to synchronize information so that I could see from a single site www.fitbit.com my calories in and out and the nutritional value of those calories, my daily weight loss and overall progress, my body fat ratio improving and how many steps I had taken
The next series of posts will focus on how this technology helped me achieve my goal of losing over 30lbs within 6 months, and maintaining my target weight.
I haven’t created anything new and original, but this is something that worked for me. I found through all my research that reading about peoples real life experiences really helped mould and support my plan. Read on to hear about my experiences both good and bad and hopefully something will help you along your journey to a healthy lifestyle and feeling good about yourself.