Lose weight, slimming, flat belly, “six pack”,… are recurring searches every day on the Internet.Miracle pills, strips in the form of night cream, slimmers, diets of all kinds or abdominal devices flooding the network and the programs of “Teleshopping” promising “immediate” results. In this article you won’t find magic diets to lose weight, or lists with the “5 tips to lose weight fast” and much less the recipe of a miraculous cream of Tibetan seeds that you will lose weight while you sleep. With this post I intend to give a paragraph from the above point of view, checking the utility of the activity as a tool for weight loss and control our weight. I do not get into issues about that diet is more efficient (Dunkan, paleo, artichoke, detox,…) or if running is the best exercise for weight loss or is preferable to another type of activities, but if I will present several examples such as measuring the variables involved is easier to control our weight. To define that diet to follow, that feeding is correct or that exercises are most appropriate for each person, there are professionals in different fields of health and sports which you can assess with rigour, because if we just trust what Dr. Google suggests for weight loss.
We may think that we have to put the love handles in the thermomix with a few teaspoons of cinnamon while we dance zumba, riveting us needle whenever we want to eat something sweet or perform the same sessions of hypnosis that helped us not to quit to lose weight only.
The problem of being overweight.
Obesity and overweight is becoming a pandemic with serious health effects. According to thewho, more than 13% of the adult population is obese and 39% are overweight and is no longer just a problem of rich countries. Overweight and obesity are a major risk factor for diseasessuch as diabetes, heart disease and disturbances in the musculoskeletal system such as osteoarthritis. The overweight is not an aesthetic problem, is a health problem.
According to who, the main cause of overweight and obesity is the energy imbalance between calories consumed and expended:
- Increase intake of calorie foods high in fat, salt and sugars.
- Decline in physical activity as a result of the increasingly sedentary nature.
If we assume that obesity and being overweight is a health risk and not only an aesthetic problem and that its main cause is the imbalance energy (or calories), the solution should be easy: reduce caloric intake and increase physical activity. This would make the caloric balance is negative, making our body it consume the reserves stored in form of fat to get the energy we need.
The slogan of a few years ago: “it is easy to lose weight, ask me how?” not is can get away more than reality. Weight loss is anything less easy. We know people who take half a lifetime diet and fail to lose weight, or if they do, returning to take weight over time. Both enter a correct feeding as abandoning the sedentary lifestyle means drastic changes in our habits. Changes that will make you buy another type of food, change the shape of Cook and incorporate sport into our rhythm of life. Too much effort in changing our habits to continue losing weight blindly.
Bracelets of activity: A tool to control our weight.
What is not measured not can be controlled, and what not is not controlled can be improved. This ‘mantra’ has accompanied me on much of the work that I’ve been. “Roughly” we know that running an hour will burn more calories than walking. We also know that 100 g of watermelon will provide fewer calories than a chocolate cake, but as happens in other walks of life, as with the Bill of “light” or savings, if we are not aware of how much you earn and how much we spend, the shock at end of month may be very “fat”.
To date, our unique tool to control weight was a simple scale. Every time we weigh us and see if there has been “lucky” with the diet and exercise that we were doing. How much, the dietitian recommending us a diet of “X” calories that we attempted to follow more or less, but we were still going blind for our purpose of slimming.
With bracelets of activity can reduce considerably the uncertainty having enough reliable data of our physical activity translated into calories burned. Next to that record, the brands of bracelets of activity have complemented their mobile applications with databases where determine thecalorie containing natural foods (an Apple), many processed foods (Nestle chocolate bar) and even up to the calories in a big Mac. With these mobile applications can simultaneously keep track of the calories we eat and the calories burned.
In short, a bracelet of synchronized to a mobile application activity becomes a tool to register the main variables to control our weight:
- Calories consumed
- Calories burned or consumed.
- Weight (Kg).
So far I’ve tried several bracelets, monitors and watches allowing to track our daily activities:
- Garmin bracelet vivofit and vivosmart.
- GPS watches Garmin Forerunner 15 and 3 Phoenix
- Watch Polar M400
- Jawbone UP24 bracelet and monitor UP MOVE
- Bracelet Fitbit charge.
- GPS watch Suunto 3 Ambit
Make the activity log all very similar, offering data quite real on the steps and distances travelled with each of them. At the same time, Fitbit and Jawbone brands have inside its own mobile app, fitbit also from their website, the option to register our meals. Garmin and Polar not included in your app this service, but daily activity data can be synchronized with the mobile appMyFitnesspal, the biggest existing portal for registration of calories. Suunto brand synchronizes with a portal similar to the previous, but less known: Tictrac.
In short, with almost any device that record our activity, be it bracelet, monitor or watch, we will have a mobile or web application where we can enter the food. Applications that facilitate thevisualization of the calories consumed compared to the calories consumed as we can see in following chart that gives us the Fitbit mobile application.
Control and registration of our activity (calories consumed or burned)
In terms of physical activity, common sense should prevail in any decision we make when it comes to change our sedentary lifestyle. If we have spent years sitting on a couch, not want to contest a marathon in three months. Want to recover years lost in a few weeks, only it will take us an early injury and pulling down one of the two pillars to avoid overweight: increasing physical activity. The introduction of sport in our life must be progressive, preparing the body to this new State and avoiding that extreme tiredness or stiffness prevent us unless we take this new routine. It must not forget that the simple act of walking already is an activity that is beneficial to our body, we burn calories and the final intention is to increase our calorie expenditure not winning an Olympic Games.
In this magnificent article Loles Vives, specialist in sports nutrition, you can read more about howaffects the exercise caloric expenditure.
A bracelet of activity will be recording our movement through internal accelerometers and, depending on our age, sex, weight and height, it will transform the movement into calories burned by means of algorithms of calculation of each brand. These algorithms include, in addition to record our activity, also adds estimated the calories of our basal calorie expenditure: the calorie consumption of our body to maintain basic body functions.
Keep a record of our activity also help us, through the achievement of the daily objectives, maintain the motivation to achieve the global goal we propose. Currently, most bracelets synchronize these data automatically with our mobile or simply by pressing a button, so that at all times we will know if we are fulfilling the objectives in that day or week.
If you have a bracelet of activity compatible with a heart rate monitor (vivosmart, vivofit or polar loop) or because carrying it integrated, as a Fitbit Charge HR or Jawbone UP3, bracelets canregister more accurately the caloric expenditure of activities specific, either a walk or a session of cardio at the gym. Check our rate heart while we do an activity, as well as helping us improve our physical form and avoid any shock, also facilitate keep effort within the range of heart rate where our body uses in higher percentage fat for energy.
Control and registration of the calories consumed.
I will not cheat, this is the most tedious part of the registry to control our weight. If calories burned by our daily activity are recorded automatically, you will have to search the food we eat in the database by hand so that they are registered, or at least at the beginning. Days can be heavy, but as we will food, introducing the system is learning and categorizing these foods as frequent increasingly easier your search and registration. In the second/third week we will give account which breakfast nearly always the same, that fruit at meals always tends to alternate between two or three varieties of season and almost 80% of the meals have already introduced it ever, being much easier to keep the record as we are using the same application.
Mobile applications, for Fitbit, Jawbone, or Fitnessmypal have a database of foods both natural and processed incredibly extensive and differentiated by country. For the registration of food in each of the five recommended food we can find it simply by entering the text and choosing the correct (or the most similar) from the list of possibilities offered by us. Once selected we will indicate the amount, whether in grams, slices, chopped, milliliters or any other unit on the basis of the food that is and will add it to a meal hours set by the mobile application.
Example of record food on FITBIT mobile application control weight and activity.
The majority of applications categorized foods we are introduced as “favorite”, recent or frequent, so we won’t have to search for “http://www.foreverbetter.co.uk/green-coffee-bean-max-works-for-fast-weight-loss/” whenever we have because you will have on any of our custom lists. Likewise, as well as to seek food by entering the name, we also have the option of creating food or custom recipes or even read the barcodes of containersusing the camera of your mobile phone and the information of that food.
Registration of food by searching for bar code on the package.
Register food not will serve as much if we have a disordered diet and do not abandon calorie foods and sugars that they provide only ‘useless’ calories. These mobile applications often bring quite clear and personalized nutrition advice based on our records of food. Make 5 meals a day or the maximum amounts recommended by food type would be two examples of this:
Type of food by food myfitnesspal
In any case, my only recommendations are carry a diet more varied possible, make sure that the sources (journals/websites) that we consulted are reliable and with any questions or problems, consult with professionals accredited nutrition and dietetics. Informative way, we leave some of the more important tips published by nutritionists on this website:
- Reduce beverages and foods with added sugars.
- Make at least to 5 meals a day (breakfast, mid-morning, lunch, snack and dinner), leaving between each meal more than three hours of difference
- Eat fruit and vegetables on a daily basis (without are fresh and seasonal produce much better).
- Drink plenty of water and avoid drinks with gas and/or alcoholic.
- You can read more tips on how to have a healthy diet in this article.
As a final point I would say No you you obsesionéis with the exact calories or grams of food to enter data, the tool is just that, a tool that will help us to control our weight. The data will never be accurate 100%, there will be meals which will not have clear as enter them and will do so by similarity. But processed foods (almost always the most caloric) is collected in a precise way.There will be no problem to register a chocolate donut mid-morning or a banana in the afternoon, maybe our grandmother stew will be more difficult to find, but in those cases, always try to spread by food or look for something very similar that already exist as prepared foods. In short, better sinning by excess when entering calories and also serves as a help to you guiéis for your feelings of satiety after food.
Energy balance: calorie ingested less calories consumed.
The idea is simple, once we control both parameters, if you want to lose weight we must ensure that the balance between calories eaten and consumed by our activity are negative, in a way that the rest of necessary energy comes from our fat deposits. All applications allow us to set a target of weight in the medium term and indicates which is the caloric deficit that we must have every day to achieve it. My recommendation is to establish deficits realistic and always advised by our doctor or nutritionist. Bracelets of activity along with mobile applications are a control tool nothing more, can help us lose weight and to understand why we lose, but only the correct union between food and exercise will ensure us to lose weight.
Testing tool: 21 days counting calories and exercise with a bracelet of activity.
In the purest style of television programs “21 days with…”, I have been recording activity, and meals from March 27 until April 22 with the clear goal of losing some of the pounds that I left over in a more or less short time. So, I took the test I am doing to the Fitbit Charge HR activity bracelet.The first step was to indicate my profile data: age, height, sex and current weight and which was my target weight. With these data the mobile application determined daily calorie deficit (ingested calories – calories burned) to reach target weight in the proposed time.
The truth is that not all the days I got to achieve that deficit, but always kept me below the calories burned, as you can see in the chart below. I also took one day long exercise (orange on April 4 peak) to allow me to certain luxuries and only one day ate more than what was actually spent. In summary, 2 kilos less in almost a month without killing me hunger, plenty of exercise and eliminating almost all the sweetness and alcohol.
The graph above is elaborated with a worksheet from the downloaded data (csv or xls) from the section “reports” of the Fitbit website, but how in all applications will be able to control this caloric balance in weekly or monthly graphs.
Keep track of meals provide us other valuable in our day to day, information such as the distribution of food between meals (picture shown above), which are the most widely consumed foods (in my case, I think that you live coffee with milk) or the caloric composition of our diet.
In addition to lose 2 kg, in these more than 21 days also I have been able to:
- Know that foods with empty calories or calorie.
- Realizing that a menu Bigking xxl, with large potatoes and Coca-Cola can ruin a whole week of weight control or know that I need 90 minutes of continuous race to compensate so much junk food.
- Distribute the amount of food in the food different in a correct way.
- We deserve to enjoy some whim in those days where by the physical activity we have done
- Be aware that there are days in which it had to contribute more or less food in function if I have made sport or if I’m going to do the next day.
Until very recently, whenever someone asked me that what were these “gadgets” used to answer that to measure steps, distance, receive notifications on the mobile phone, but in the future would serve for much more. After nearly a month with my diet I can say without fear to be wrong that theactivity bracelets are used to control our weight. The combination between our diet and exercise will be who mark the success when it comes to weight loss, but taking a log of calories consumed and burned will reduce the uncertainty associated with weight loss, being fully aware at all times whether our strategy is correct or not.