Archive for the ‘calorie’ Tag

The New Toy Continuation

I am still enjoying my toy very much and I’ve discovered how to use it as a fitness and weight loss/maintenance tool, not just a plaything. I have begun to record food and activity, mostly using the app which is a bit less descriptive than the website.

First food: Super simple to use especially if I eat prepared foods or at restaurants, unfortunately I frequently don’t eat those sorts of foods. However I can add custom foods and favorites to make the process of recording foods simple. Homemade food is more difficult to log accurately, as it is for any type of food diary. I can estimate how much of each ingredient I use, then approximate what I eat and reach a rough estimate of my caloric intake. I did discover a useful tool on myfitnesspal.com : a recipe calculator. With this I discovered the calories in the vegan banana muffins that I make with my kids. It’s a very useful tool especially when cooking for a family.

Physical activity: The list of activities is comprehensive and can be modified by the amount of time spent in the activity. I also figured out how to negate steps logged while riding a bus: track the time spent within the vehicle, input this as a separate activity, and the Fitbit will give the calories for riding the bus and subtract the steps from the total step count (the start and end time must be accurate to achieve an accurate reduction in steps and therefore calories). When I input activity into the activities section and that includes burning additional calories, the Fitbit app and website automatically adjust to allow me to consume more calories. Interesting activities listed in the app: carrying small children. If I carry my child for thirty minutes I will burn 74 calories, but when I carried her as an infant, or a 15 pound load, the app says that is worth 87 calories. That seems strange to me, what do you think? Then again I couldn’t carry her for thirty minutes anymore, she is much too heavy.

Putting it together: I programmed the Fitbit with a goal of losing weight. I set a realistically achievable goal of three pounds with a rate of a half pound loss a week. Seeing how many calories I eat and realizing I’ve come close to or passed my allotted amount, (after all I began this during the winter break with all the extra cookies and food that was available), I’ve been motivated to stop eating on occasion so as not to surpass my allotted calories. I did go over my calorie allotment the first few days and then again around New Years, and the next day the Fitbit app had lowered the quantity of calories I was allotted to keep me on my weight loss goal.

In general the recording of food is extremely useful and necessary for weight loss and having the app on my phone makes the recording of food very convenient. This is the key element of successful weight loss: monitor the daily intake of food. Anything, whether the Fitbit app, a computer, or a piece of paper, will work as long as it is convenient and something you will do. Weight loss with a reasonable goal and small steps taken to achieve that goal and success can be achieved. However, I have found it wonderful to have a device  at my fingertips that tracks calories burnt and calories consumed and let’s me know if I have a caloric deficit or caloric surplus immediately. If I consume more than I burned, I can walk an extra flight of stairs or, since my foot is still recovering, hop on one foot for a minute, and I’m back into a deficit.

Or since I have a wonderful 6 1/2 year old who offered to run a few flights of stairs for me (wearing my Fitbit)… Calorie deficit (woohoo! weight loss) shall occur. But really, that does count, doesn’t it?