Getting less fat in 2017... With technology!

The plan is already in place. Eat less junk, drop the alcohol, bike every day. So, boring stuff is out of the way.

This thread is for the fun part!

What do folks use for gadgets and apps and such? Podcasts? Free/cheap audiobooks? I must know!

There are a million cheapo Chinese fitness trackers out there these days, but I’m guessing my better budget bet is a last gen unit from an actual company? Want something that doubles reasonably well as a watch, syncs to whatever apps are worth using, and does heart rate. GPS I’m less worried about, since I plan on having my phone with me anyway.

App wise, what’s the word? MFP seems to have been thoroughly shitted up with monetization nonsense since last I used it some years ago. Strava is what I’m leaning towards now, as it will track routes and times at least. Is Google Fit reasonably functional to feed all the data into? That’d probably be ideal.

Fuck tracking calorie intake. That’s a bridge too far.

Headphones! What I really want is a pair of not-in-ear Bluetooth earbuds, but I’m not sure such a thing exists.

Help me, qt3! I’m just starting out and have 55 pounds to go! (though of course the point is to develop healthy habits and feel better, not worry about a scale)

When I bothered to lose weight, I didn’t use anything except a scale. Ate less, and exercised just enough to ensure the metabolism didn’t shut down/go into hibernation mode (I didn’t cut calories that much, mind you - most of it was just avoiding sugar). Basically, my driving goal was to not feel so awkward fitting in a roller coaster seat with the kids at the amusement park.

Years later I’m now lazy again and have regained 12 or so of the ~60 I lost so I really need to get back to it, sadly. I just can’t be bothered to use an app/tracker - it makes it feel too much like work!

Personally I find technology helps motivate, and makes it more fun. I have a Garmin fitness tracker / smartwatch which I really like (Vivoactive HR), plus a bike computer, plus a cycling trainer which is awesome (search for Zwift) and lots of other stuff too.

In terms of entertainment, generally not recommended while you’re on a bike, though a fair number of people do it, some of them do one ear only. If casual cycling it might be ok, you could consider a speaker mounted to the handlebars.

Apps, I’m on Strava, Garmin connect, RidewithGPS and a few others. Strava is great, you learn some segments on your routes and get to track your progress over time. RidewithGPS is better for planning routes. I did MFP for awhile to track calories and it was actually worth it to see where exactly in the day I would ‘go wrong’ (you do know intuitively, but seeing it in your face helps) and it proves that you can live just great with 2,100 calories.

The Garmin thing seems like it might be the jam, it’s got fantastic reviews.

Routes I’m not super worried about; I live a mile from a wonderful parkway trail thing that I’ll just ride as far as I feel like and back.

The Vivoactive is actually pretty sweet. It has apps to expand its capability plus a number of faces to download and try out, notifications work well, and battery life is incredible - currently at almost two days since charge and 88% remaining. It is a bit ungainly looking though, to be honest if you’re sensitive about it. Makes me want one of their higher end watches though.

The MyFitnessPal app actually makes this not too terrible a proposition, as tons of food is already in the system.

Yeah, I’ve used MFP to track calories before, and it sucks the joy of food from life. You’re right that’s it’s better than a lot of other solutions, but I still absolutely hate it.

Just me personally. But food isn’t my problem anyway, so it works out. In theory.

Hmm, I wonder if a lower end or older Garmin might get the job done. $250 is definitely more than I want to spend.

The Jawbone UP3 seems like it might do all the non smartwatch stuff at a much more reasonable $35. Hmm.

Fitbit Flexes are on clearout at Walmarts in Canada for $29CAD.

I don’t have any of those fancy watch-wristband things. Instead, I just use an old Android phone (no SIM, just WIFI, but GPS works) with Runkeeper to track my running (or more accurately, jogging, as I’m slow). I’ve got Player FM to download podcasts and Spotify (paid, so offline downloads) for music and use whichever I feel like listening to that day. As for headphones, I use the Backbeat Fit which are bluetooth, lightweight, and have over-the-ear stability.

At any time I have one anime I only watch while on the treadmill. Helps keep me motivated to get exercise if I want to watch the show.

As much as it sucks to hear (it did for me), you may want to consider muscle building as well as cardio. I tried to lose weight about 18 months ago (40lb, it worked and it’s still off, so that’s something), and I had a hard time losing weight past the first 15lb until I started going to the gym to lift weights.

Building muscle broke the plateau and let me cruise down to my target weight in a few months - I averaged ~ 2lb/week of loss until I was where I wanted to be. You will feel a lot better because you’re lighter, and if you throw some muscle on, it’ll make you feel even better. I feel like I lost ~ 10 years along with the weight. As someone who was firmly anti-gym and against lifting weights, I found much to my chagrin (and my wife’s reminders that she had indeed told me so) that it really does make a huge difference.

As for tools: definitely a scale to track your weight, and any app or spreadsheet to track it. Measure weight daily - it’ll go up and down (due to variance), but the trajectory will be pretty clear if you’re doing it right. My wife swears by having her iPhone on her at all time for step tracking, as it does as good a job as the fitbit she had, and it was one less thing to remember as she uses her phone to listen to podcasts anyway. Other than that, the tools you use aren’t particularly important - what’s important is that you’re consistent with your plan.

About twenty years ago, I decided I need to lose about 30 pounds. So I stopped eating. Entirely. Aside from an occasional swig from a milk carton to help me sleep the first week, I didn’t touch a crumb of food for about 45 days. I lost over 70 pounds. I was single at the time, so it wasn’t too difficult. I drank lots of water and took lots of vitamin supplements, though, so I wasn’t completely suicidal about it. My inspiration was both grandfathers, who were both PoWs in WW2, and lost crazy amounts of weight by being starved. Neither one completely regained their weight, and they both lived into their late 80s, one of them being a chain smoker and alcoholic to the end.

That’s my dieting story.

You can accomplish the same thing, much more safely, by simply avoiding carbs.

With the right name the POW diet could be the next trend.

I don’t doubt for a minute that cutting carbs is the safer way to go. I did what I did partly to see if I had the discipline. My grandfathers did it under duress. I will say however, from personal experience, that after 5-7 days, a total-stop diet becomes quite easy. There’s almost a high from it. Maybe it’s starvation-induced delirium, I dunno. I went from 225 to about 147, and my blood pressure was just about perfect and my sleeps went from 3-5 hours of bizarre nightmares to 7 hours of perfect rest. I can totally understand now, how fasting has become such a religious experience across so many faiths.

I would actually attempt it again, if I thought I could get it past my wife.

I get it, really I do. When I was in college, I dropped my caloric intake to about 300 calories a day. I actually started out eating a massive amount of calories in one meal and over a few weeks I started eating less and less.

It was much later that I realized that metabolically I could do the same thing by going low carb. People don’t understand that if you ate butter you’d starve to death, because in the absence of carbs, your body can not burn dietary fat for a net gain in energy.

The problem with starving yourself is the effect it has on muscles.

Appreciate all the posts here!

After a couple days, manual logging + Strava and (what little) Google Fit (does) I think will take care of me. It doesn’t hurt that my Google Docs tracking game has gotten quite strong over the last few years, so I had a good time putting together a spreadsheet that suits my needs (primarily, conditional formatting and listing “walk?” as yes/no/eh and “food?” as good/ok/bad because more granular tracking sucks the joy from life).

I think a Vivoactive or similar will be my reward for when I both have employment and have completed at least a month of keeping the fitness commitments.

…or having a healthy balanced diet with regular exercise! Carbs shouldn’t really be avoided, at least according to the NHS:

(That’s a really great site btw.)

God, a lot of the fad diets look awful and totally unsustainable to me.

Anyway, sorry, this is a bit off topic but I don’t like seeing carbs being dragged through the mud. It’s sugar and fat that most people need to cut down on, particularly fat because it’s more than twice as calorific as carbohydrates. Wholegrain pasta is badass, as are jacket potatoes and wholegrain breads. You will have to wrest Shredded Wheat and Weetabix from my cold, dead body. Brown rice I wasn’t so wild about. Perhaps we’re doing it wrong?

I’m hoping to get into shape this year too so I’ll be watching this thread with interest, thanks Adam. @espressojim’s suggestion of losing weight by building muscle tallies up with the advice I was given at a recent health check as well as what I’ve seen of friends’ efforts. I hate gyms and weights so… bleurgh. It is what it is so I might have to bite the bullet at some point.

And this got a laugh out of me.

I’m sorry, but you’re flat wrong. Or is that fat wrong? Food labeling is grossly misleading. Dietary fat has no caloric value in the absence of carbohydrates. This is what I was talking about before. If you ate nothing but butter you’d starve to death. Your body CAN NOT burn dietary fat for a net gain in energy; the energy cost to convert it into a usable form is the same as the energy output. This is basic biochemistry. But eating carbohydrates in excess gets converted to fat. It’s not your fault, mind you. We’ve all been misled about this for decades. You are right that eating fat and carbs together is bad, energy from excess carbs is used to convert fat into long-term storage.