21 Jan 2015, 07:18

Resolution update: weight loss

A few weeks ago I wrote about my 2014 year in review.Weight drop over time

One thing that bugged me was that I didn’t hit my weight loss goal. I hadn’t really gone up, or down, I had maintained. If anything, that made me more annoyed – if I’d just put in the effort for a little while, I would have made it and maintained it. Bummer.

I decided that I wouldn’t post my 2015 goals until I crossed that goal off of last years list.

I’m pleased to say it took 21 days of effort, and I lost 5.3Kg in that time. I don’t like to waste time on these things and I don’t think I could have lost that any faster.

This puts me bang on my 2014 target of 79.9, moving out of the 80’s.

How did I do it?

There’s a lot of truth to “put down the pie” when it comes to weight loss. I’m a geek, so I wanted to use some tools to tell me just how much pie I could eat, and what the impact was. I also wanted to maximise the automation in tracking my progress because I like that sort of thing.

1. MyFitnessPal

This app on my iPhone was awesome. I was referred it by my lawyer who was using it last year. You set your weight goal, when you want to hit it, and it tells you how much energy you can consume each day to hit that goal. It also provides full nutritional info and gives you tips as you add items.

The killer feature for me is that you can scan barcodes to pull in the nutritional information. I can scan the code from a can of peaches, and bingo, it’s on my list for the day and tells me what my remainder for the day is. There’s also a massive library of crowd sourced nutritional information.

2. FitBit step tracker

I’ve been using a FitBit for a few years after my friend Tim gave me one. I use it non-stop.

I already do some running, but I decided to up my regime to running 8km every day. I have now done that for 21 days in a row. I also did it at about 6am every morning which was just a fantastic way to start the day.

Cool thing here? MyFitnessPal syncs in my FitBit data and knows to increase my allowed energy intake for the day due to my exercise volume! Pretty cool.

3. FitBit WiFi scales

In late 2014 I purchased some FitBit WiFi scales. I called this my “first world problem purchase of 2014” for a reason: I couldn’t be bothered writing my weight into a spreadsheet every day, and for about $200 USD I could have it wireless update my weight on my FitBit profile.

What was neat about these scales was not just the time it saved me, but also that this data also synced into MyFitnessPal!

I could then track my eating, my fitness and my weight all from MyFitnessPal and see the results almost every day. The FitBit scales also attempt to do body fat % scanning, which is not all too reliable, but if you weigh yourself at the same time every day can give you a rough approximation.

4. Create a routine

I’d get up at 5:50am and weigh myself before getting ready for my run at 6am. The benefit of this timing was that I was weighing myself at a consistent time AND I was looking forward to seeing the impact of the previous day.

Some random notes

Everyone is different and loses weight in different ways. I’ve always found that, for me, I can drop weight really quickly when I suddenly kick into it. It then plateaus as my body responds to having less energy supplied. You can see it in the screenshot above – it took me almost a week to break through from 80.

Secondly, the first 7-8 days is really hard. You feel super hungry because your body has not adjusted to the reduced intake. After that time I found myself barely noticing that I was hungry. If you can stick it out for that start period, you’ll be OK.

I’m now happily in a healthy BMI range, hitting my 2014 goal. My 2015 goal will be to maintain a weight at around 79Kg. Speaking of which, I’ll publish my 2015 goals soon — now that I’ve knocked the weight goal off.