NYE Resolution #1 “Getting Fit and watching what I eat”

January 4th, 2010
by Christopher Kusek (PKGuild)

Allow me to preface this by saying – This is one in a series of tips, tricks and step in order to stay true to your “new years resolutions” furthermore, I personally do not set ‘new years resolution’ myself.  Why?  Because, one year I set new years resolutions.  I had a few very specific and precise resolutions which were VERY tangible, and I blew them out of the water! We’re talking multitudes and ratings which cannot even be calculated upon! So I don’t resolve things.. I just solve things ;)

But a lot of people like to set resolutions, which are often intangible and hard to meet, reach and exceed – Here in the following series of blog posts will be real tangible ways to achieve you’re often intangible resolutions! To make them accountable, and moreso, to make YOU accountable to your resolutions! (Ever actually keep one of yours? Here’s how!)

One of the top resolutions people will set falls within the realm of “Health” which often has stipulations such as “I want to get fit” “I want to watch what I eat” “I want to drop x pounds” or even “I want to get x amount of sleep this year”  Well, other than the tangible and concrete ones, there is absolutely no accountability for ‘getting fit’ or what ‘watching what I eat’ means, nor any real means of tracking in the others (they’re nice to haves, often controlled by your rather inaccurate scale! :))

Well, now with the power of the internets, and technology… You could very well meet these objectives in a concrete and tangible fashion!

I want to watch what I eat track my calories activity weight and sleep

So, you’ve decided to watch (for a few days) what food you’re about to eat “I’ll eat this pasta, but not this cake” whereas behind the scenes the cake may have been more healthy than the pasta?! wtf?!  Damnit! I can’t keep track of all of this on my own!”

Allow me to introduce to you numerous options available at your disposal!

Our friends at FitBit, the makers of the FitBit offer a free dashboard for logging food, activity, weight and more!

FitBit Dashboard

  • As you can see from this dashboard, it tracks some pretty cool stuff! Calories burned (You manually enter it, or with the FitBit device for $99)
  • Calories eaten is controlled by you manually entering the food you eat on a regular basis, whether through meals or individual items
  • And weight is tracked manually by you as well (Hey, it’s not gonna weigh you itself! Though that’d be nice a mass indexer.. ;))
  • And lastly.. it’ll also track your sleep efficiency! (again, this requires the purchase of the device!)

So, you’re telling me there is a website where half the functionality isn’t available unless I buy some kind of device for $99?!@?  No. Not in the least bit.

I’m telling you there is a website where half the functionality IS available, that you usually have to pay for from other sites (which I’ll mention in a bit ;))

Let the record show I do not own one of the FitBit devices (though I’ll gladly take one to do a formal review and comparison! wink wink, psst :))

In the event the hint is not taken and I am not sent a free FitBit to review.. I had intended to buy one anyway to do a formal assault/assessment of the device and how it compares to other similar devices intended to help you keep track without burdening you with trying to keep yourself accountable on paper. (Formal review of all devices will be coming soon!)

Now, something I can talk about even further is an actual device that I DO wear! The GoWearFit – This helps give me accountability on whateverthehell I am doing, and lets me know that if I want to obtain some level of fitness… I have a tracking mechanism build into me practically! :)

A picture of the GoWearFit on my actual arm! OMFG! My monitor to tell me how many calories, how active I've been and steps I've taken!

Yes, that is my actual arm! I took that with a camera, OMFG?! And yes that is my little sensor I took a photo on my lenovo with.. :)

But the real key to this, is the (PAY) subscription where it tabulates all of this data online for you to work with! Take a look at the BodyMedia dashboard!

BodyMedia Dashboard for GoWearFit

  • Calories Burned is tracked from the unit on my arm – the target is defined by me either manually or by accepting a ‘default’ series
  • Calories Consumed is tracked by filling in what you’ve eaten for a given day, from a comprehensive list or manually entering in details
  • Calorie Balance is the difference of the two above (Jan 2nd was a busy day and I never entered my foods I ate for that day! :))
  • Physical Activity is a tracking of any activity which usually falls in the 1-3 or 3-6 MET’s range, I defined my target as 60mins of Moderate daily activity
  • Steps Taken is literally just that – every step you take! You should walk 10,000 steps a day! I usually walk around 5000, so my target is low ;)
  • Sleep Duration is my FAVORITE Part! It inspired a whole series of conversations on Facebook on the subject! I’ll show you more on it!
  • Weight (and waist size) are manually entered, if you want to track things over time!

I’m not gonna too deep in this, because I’m saving that for a separate deep dive post later on, but let me show you the sleep duration bit, because people love that ;)

Sleep Efficiency and duration!

So, you may look at this and say “Whoa, You didn’t meet your sleep target of 8hrs a day!” Well, first of all, let me put a few things straight.. 5 hours and 55 minutes of undisturbed sleep! totally rocks! I average 4-5 hours of undisturbed, no tossing, no turning, not evening moving, just flat out sleeping! (and lucid dreaming if I agree to it before I sleep ;))

And to further that defense.. when It’s the weekend or a day off.. and I don’t have somewhere to be in the morning (rare) I sleep until 2PM, but this only calculates until noon, so.. :)

It looks like I have poor efficiency from my lying down time vs sleep time, but I lay down a lot (with laptops on top of me) with no intention of sleeping :)

So, when it comes to saying “Man, I’m tired every day, why is that” I have a tangible and very concrete place to reference to see just how much sleep I’ve been getting, and whether I’m well rested at all “Wow, I thought I got 8hrs of sleep, but I only got 2?!?” Etc, so on and so forth :)

Also, there is another tool which is very similar to these other two, the BodyBugg which is extremely similar with various differences – I’ll go into depth on that later, as @skyyogastudio is using that tool, I’m using this one, and if FitBit sends us one to test, Both of us will test it out (and then probably give it away as a prize at Sky Yoga Studio hint hint :))

So, what is the moral of this story and resolution?  You have tools at your disposal whereby you don’t have to do anything and it’ll keep track of half or more of your health.  And if you do a little effort, you can also keep track of how many calories you burn – whether it be for free using the FitBit dashboard, or paying and using the other tools by BodyBugg or BodyMedia

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