Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A New Year & A New Tool

FitBit is a tiny semi-permanent companion that’s meant to track your every step, calorie, activity and even your sleep. I've been virtually stalking the fitbit since they came onto the market in beta phase around 2007. I love tech-geeky gadgets and it's even better if they come with statistics and charts and graphs. I debated with myself… it was expensive, at $100 for the fancy tracker, so I waited and talked about it for 2 Christmases and low and behold It was gifted to me.

The device itself has little to see it’s a  featureless clip that you attach to your clothing. It has ONE button. Which you press to rotate between steps taken, calories burned, distance walked, flights of stairs taken, the current time, and your overall daily activity as evidenced by a flower of varying length. It’s cute and dead simple.  There is no confusion.

Originally part of my hesitation on the device was that I was tracking but I didn't understand much of what calorie counting meant. The pretty charts and graphs that site gave me did'nt mean much to me. That is until I joined the WW Points Plus program and learned that tracking your both your food and activity points lead to big losses on the scale.

Since i'm already tracking my food and activity points, with WW - using the fitbit tracker in conjunction is second nature. While it is a pain to have to enter my stats in two places, i find that the fitbit gives me tighter tracking on the kinds of activity and sedentary moments I have through out the day. This allows me to see what i'm eating and at what time of day? Am I eating because i'm bored, am I hungry and crabby after a work out (the answer is yes). What are my sugar spikes and falls throughout the day. Does this make me eat food differently. Also, the fitbit has a sleep tracker, which actually calculates the amount of movement you do in your sleep. This also, is allowing me to think about my movements thoughout the day - and set goals towards calories burned vs. calorie intake.

You maybe thinking SO WHAT? Using a fitbit allows you to know when your tired, and hungry.

Its more then that. Using a fitbit in conjunction to fitness monitoring is helping me make more rational and less emotional food choices throughout the day. They also have a great interface for adding foods and seeing your caloric intake, and encourage you to make goals for yourself and hit them. Also realize i'm competitive and I love a challenge and the fitbit allows me to set and see my stats in one pretty long running graph to help me reach my goals.

There’s something surreal and interestingly futuristic about the whole experience. You might be saying that you already have a pedometer, or that your phone can track a lot of this information. But at this level of detail, reliability and great interface in the forefront, there is nothing on the market that compares.

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