Tag Archives: weight loss

Using Digital Health to help lose weight

As mentioned in my post Resolutions I have been on a mission to lose weight. This all started around October when I was hovering around 226-228 lbs. This is the heaviest I ever recall being and made me realize that I wasn’t helping by going out to eat as much as I was. It was also around that time that I read an interesting article about the Twinkie Diet. It was inspiring to see a knowledgeable (he is a nutrition professor after all)  man not only successfully lose a good deal of weight (27 lbs in 10 weeks), but also reduce his body fat index, improve his blood pressure, and make improvements to his cholesterol levels. The core concept of the diet is not eating crap food (that was just to prove a point), rather it was to reduce the daily caloric intake to 1,800 calories. I figured if he could do it eating crap, I could do it eating the same things I was eating, but adjusting the amounts to get as close to 1,800 calories/day. Now if you have been following this blog you’ll know that I am a gadget nerd and I just knew that using gadgets would greatly help me stay motivated and more involved in the diet process. Here is a full list of all things I have used during my time dieting to help me:

Gym

I have been a member at the local neighborhood YMCA for several years now. We have a family membership and all enjoy the activities and atmosphere. The only thing that sucks is that a bunch of people make new year resolutions and take up a lot of space in the month of January (thankfully a most never last more then a month).

Hardware

fitbit Wireless Trainer – Ever since I first saw this device announced I was interested in it. It is a pedometer and activity monitor. I actually purchased this device because of its ability to monitor your activity while sleeping (kind of a minimalist C-PAP monitor), but have enjoyed using it to track my daily activity and their website is great (but I’ll get to that in a second). If you use the link I provided you can get the fitbit rather quickly but will pay a premium for it (about $150 retail), however you order from fitbit.com you will only pay about $100, but beware that your direct order may be back-ordered for 2-3 months (as mine was).

Withings Wifi Body Scale – Alright I know what you may be thinking “$150 bucks for a scale!”, but this has been so crucial for me as I monitor my weight management progress. I have had a scale, but nothing that made me check back and regularly make weighing myself an enjoyable game. Plus their web interface is pure sweetness!

Timex Easy Trainer Heart Rate Monitor – Now this is a more recent addition to my equipment regimen, but it has been so great using it. There is a lot of evidence that using heart rate to tailor your workout is great for maximizing your workout efficiency (seriously just Google it). I love how the monitor automatically syncs with the treadmills I use at the YMCA. However I will say it takes a little getting used to the chest strap.

Nike+ Sport Band – This is even more new for me. I got this as a Christmas gift and have only gotten a chance to use it one time. Although the amount of workout detail it provides is awesome! I hope to come back to this post after more uses and provide additional details.

Websites

fitbit.com – So I totally just planned on using the fitbit website because I had the fitbit, but when I first ordered the fitbit there was a delay of several months I had to wait due to a large backorder. During my waiting for the device I regularly checked the website and found myself using it to track my daily calorie intake. This has been a great site for daily management of my food, activities, and fitbit statistics now that I have my fitbit.

withings.com – The withings website goes hand-in-hand with the withings scale. Their online experience is fantastic (it is a wifi scale after all), plus they have some great apps for smart phones too.

These are all things that have helped me make my weight loss challenge more of a game. In doing so they have assisted in keeping me motivated to continue changing my lifestyle. In reality it has been a change in my eating habits and working out habits that have led to weight loss.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. If you are considering adjusting your diet don’t do so based on my advice, talk to your doctor. While I do personally use all products above, the links provided are affiliate links that I earn credit for if you decide to purchase.

Resolutions

It seems apropos to make a new years resolution to be more active on this blog. Will I be able to add content here at the simple pace of once per week (basically I am shooting for 52 posts in the year 2011)? I honestly can’t be certain, but I can definitely try. I seem to be fairly good at these type of challenges. When looking back even over the last few years here are some of the challenges I have successfully conquered:

  • I quit smoking cold turkey January 25, 2007 and haven’t had a single cigarette since.
  • June 1, 2009 I challenged myself to quit drinking alcohol until the new year. I successfully made it to 2010, with my first drink being a glass of champagne with my lovely wife at the stroke of midnight.
  • On October 1, 2010 I decided to entirely stop drinking soda. I have successfully avoiding drinking soda ever since.

Here is to hoping for another challenge met and completed.

Since I am setting myself up I also thought I would take a minute to highlight some of my goals for 2011:

  • Graduate with a BS in Business Administration from Upper Iowa. After having started going nights in 2005 I am finally at the door steps of completion of my degree and couldn’t be happier!
  • Continue to advance my career. I am very happy to have the job I currently have, but am always interested in a new challenge. I would love to take on a new opportunity.
  • Meet my weight goal of 170 lbs (as of today I am at exactly 200 lbs).