For the past six months, I’ve been using technology to help myself lose weight. And the results have been incredible.
Since the beginning of the year, I’ve lost over 30 pounds—and it’s still falling. This goes beyond just looking good in summer clothes (although that is certainly a benefit I will take). My family has a history of weight-related health issues. There was no miracle drug, no “amazing new discovery” that made this possible. It was just a lot of hard work. But, as with all hard work, technology can help.
There are multiple devices and apps in my fitness arsenal. But by far the most important is my iPhone. It serves as the home base for all the data I use. The full list (along with apps) includes:
RunKeeper on the iPhone got me in to running in the first place. When I first started, I couldn’t even make it one mile without getting winded. Fast forward four years, and I have completed six full marathons, 19 half-marathons, and have run nearly 3,000 total miles. For the first time in my life, I am an athlete. Combining that with GAIN Fitness for cross training gives me a full body workout—both outdoors and at the gym. This exercise is critical, not just for overall weight loss, but also for general health and wellness.
The rest of the routine is less glamorous, but very much necessary. I weigh in twice per day (when I wake up and when I get home from work) to keep an eye on my day-to-day changes. If I see the numbers going up, I can adjust as needed. It’s much harder to lose weight if you don’t know what your weight is. Using the Withings Scale and associated app, I can see not only my current weight, but trends over time.
I log everything I eat into MyFitnessPal. The Withings Scale will automatically send my weight to the app, which means it’s always up to date. Then, it’s just a matter of setting the amount I want to lose, and by what date, and MyFitnessPal will let me know how much I can still eat that day. And exercise from RunKeeper counts against the calories consumed.
Last, but not least—and the thing I use the most—is my Jawbone UP. This simple wristband actually tracks all my movements throughout the day. I can set a step goal for each day, and the associated iPhone app will let me know how I’m doing. If I stay sedentary too long during the day, the UP will vibrate to let me know. If I see that I have been inactive during the day, I will often get off a subway stop or two closer and take an extra-long walk home.
The key to my success has been constant monitoring, keeping an eye on what I eat, my activity, and my overall weight trends. While losing a large amount of weight is never easy, managing all this data is extremely easy—which was not the case just a few years ago.
My goal is to lose another 30 pounds before the end of the year—I think I will make it!