Thursday, January 19, 2012

Fitbit Review

Since Christmas, I wrote about the new tool I received called a fitbit (read about it here). Fitbit and I have been attached at the hip (literally), I wear it to work, bed, going out - and I talk about it to anyone who is willing to listen. I LOVE my fitbit.

The Fitbit accurately has been tracking my physical activity, steps taken, distance traveled, calories burned and my overall sleep quality. The overall goal of the Fitbit is to make you more aware of your daily activity and promote you to live a more active lifestyle resulting in a healthier you, it certainly has. I now try to go for walks during lunch, take the stairs more often, and I get fired up at a zumba class to put in an extra jump or walk to get my steps up in a day. I'm not perfect everyday, but at least the fitbit reminds me how my body is doing, and takes away the "assumption" of activity and makes it worth it.
My 30 Days With Fitbit, Tracking and Graphing
Tracking: One of my favorite parts of the fitbit, is the website/app food tracking. While tracking on the fitbit and the weight watchers site can be a bit of a pain, the wonderful thing is it creates graphs in real time about my imput vs output in food intake. If i've been working out - I really try up my food intake, and the same if i've been more sedentary during the day. Your intake allotment will also increase with your activity, meaning the more active I am in a day to more I can eat.

Setting Goals The fitbit system also allows you to make goals for yourself. If you want to loose 20lbs by summer, the fitbit system will tell you how many calories you need to take-in & burn during the day. Then it will plot your progress onto a graph to track your progress. This along with my WW points plus plan really helps me stay motivated and on track. For example: While WW counts a banana as free, fitbit doesn't you've now added 118calories to your count. This basically means I pay more attention to what i'm eating even though they maybe "free", it also means not all calories are created equal. I will reach for a banana over an equal amount of chips, because of the fiber and sodium differences.

Setting Goals, the fit bit will self adjust my calorie amount with how active i'm being.

Weekly Progress Reports - Your week resets on Sunday night (you can control this) and seemingly it feels like all of you hard work and data has reset and disappeared. However - fitbit emails you a weekly progress report with a a tally of all of your calories, weight-loss, steps taken, floors climbed, etc. They also will share with you the badges you have earned, and how you compare to yourself (or your friends).

My weekly progress report for 01/09 - 01/15 (i've hidden my weight)

Getting More Sleep -  The "bonus" feature to me, is about the amount and quality of rest I get each night. I've had sleep issues for years, and just learned to live with being a little sleepy and relying on coffee and sugar free red bulls to get me through a long day. But actually seeing my sleep reports, and learning how much sleep I was really getting was jarring. I vowed to work on getting more sleep during the week. I went to bed earlier, and gave myself a chance to "settle down" with a book or a glass of water before bed. If I really feel like I cant go to sleep I will take a melatonin supplement and gradually send myself to sleep-land. Overall I feel like the quality of sleep I get is better, I'm tossing and turning less, and I can see patterns of disruption in my sleep (wine disrupting your sleep? unfortunate but true) and I have more energy during the day.
I did'nt think sleep was so important until I realized
I was'nt getting enough and it was affecting my weight loss goals!
In conclusion - get one! Or at least sign up for free tracking on their website (you will have to do things manually, but you still get all of the great graphs. What the fitbit really does is it helps me get an overall better picture of my health and activity. Its hard data, that shows a direct relationship to input and output. I can look at it through out the day and feel motivated, get the real time ability to make adjustments to my calorie intake as the day progresses.

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