I’ve had an interesting two and a half months on LoseIt, which I started following after writing Will BF Skinner Make You Skinnier? for dagblog. As I mentioned then, my wife has devoted herself to my proper nutrition, packing salad-based lunches and controlling my dinner portions (Back, Simba, Back!). Based on the spring scale at the swim club, I lost a quick fifteen pounds in the first week. I started running again. Then I gained five pounds back. Then another five pounds. But I suspect I was adding muscle.
Years ago, OK decades ago, I used to track and record my chest, waist, and thigh measurements with a cheap dressmaker’s tape measure. I haven’t been doing that, but my clothing has gotten looser, and my belts are at the tightest loophole.
LoseIt advertises the Withings WiFi scale. You can set up this $160 device to report your weight, BMI, and body fat content to your smart phone. One Amazon reviewer claims that Withings body fat reporting is inaccurate, though. In any case, after the first month, I bought a $25 digital scale at Target. My new scale had me eight pounds heavier than the club scale, but I forgave it.
I had been on LoseIt for almost three weeks, when it wouldn’t let me login on the Windoze box at work. Withings’ site has a link page to the 40-odd apps with which it will sync up your vital statistics. So I started looking at the other apps.
Aujourd’hui was in French. Mais, non. BeeMinder expects that if you don’t meet your fitness goals, you will pay a fine to continue. That’s not gonna happen. Cal2go is for the Mac. I signed up for Cron-o-meter, but they don’t let you add foods. So you have to find the closest match, even if the yogurt you ate says 130 cal, you have to choose theirs that says 118 Kcal. Cron tells you a lot more about what you just ate, and how far along towards Minimum Daily Allowance you are of this and that. Cron also only allowed me about 1500 calories per day, or 1.5 Kcal, whereas LoseIt allowed roughly 2000. I logged in lunch and breakfast, and found that I only had 700 cals left for dinner. Then, Cron wouldn’t let me log back in.
So I signed up for the Daily Burn Tracker. They allowed me roughly 2,600 calories per day. They have three free weight plans: Weight Loss, Cardio and Strength, and others that cost money, like 5-week Fat Shredder and Six-Pack Abs. I was going to choose Weight Loss, but answering their questions steered me towards Cardio. Daily Burn prompted me to start a training plan and decide which four days next week I would be working out. But I never know what day I’ll be working out. Choosing food was fine once I figured it out, but they don’t have an add food feature, either. They do have a sleep tracker. I’m good at that.
After a day or so, LoseIt let me back in at work, and since then I’ve gotten a Committed badge for faithfully logging in every day for eight weeks. LoseIt awards badges for all sorts of achievements. I most recently got the Inferno badge for burning an amazing amount of calories for eight weeks in a row. In addition to swimming 1600 meters, I’ve started running a three mile route, and have started biking home the nine miles from work one or two days a week. So I also got the Exercise King badge for doing some exercise three times a week for eight weeks. Lawn mowing counts, BTW.
Between all the summer exercise and averaging about 1700 calories per day, I’ve lost at least twenty pounds, and considering the change in scales, probably over twenty-five. I rarely feel hungry, I sleep better and I have more energy. My trousers hang on me now, so my wife bought a tighter pair for a family wedding.
Did behavior modification make me skinnier? I suppose if TMac, my only LoseIt buddy, had been more active there might have been a case for that. But I consider LoseIt to be more of a tool that helps me monitor my caloric intake rather than assuming that I can burn it all off.