Last week I talked about the Fitbit Force and how it has opened my eyes to the laziness of the 23 hours of my average. I spend an hour a day 4 or 5 days a week at my Crossfit box working my tail off, but the other hours I was pretty stationary. The Fitbit has changed that.
One of the added benefits of the Fitbit is it’s ability to sync up with other apps and websites to help build some habits and change routines. Today I am talking about MyFitnessPal. I have never been one to count calories because it is a tedious, and frankly boring habit to get into. Nobody wants to finish off their favorite meal at a local restaurant only to pull out their phone and realize they ate more calories in the last 15 minutes than they were supposed to the whole day (Thanks a lot Buffalo Wild Wings). Anyways, I decided if I am going to chart my steps and be diligent about the work I am doing, I needed to investigate what was going in vs. what was coming out when it comes to calorie burn. A month with my Fitbit and MyFitnessPal and there are some major positives and a few negatives of the calorie tracking app.
Pros: Actively thinking “Should I eat this? Do I have enough room in my “budget”, Easy barcode tracking, automatically syncs both ways with Fitbit App and website, Easy to use, tons of foods on the database. Set reminders to log your meals
Cons: Still boring to track calories, water logging is weird, I log through FitBit, Creating new foods is annoying.
MyFitnessPal – I will continue to use it because it does force me to think about that late afternoon snack or whether or not the second beer is worth the count. I have had a few moments where I think “Oh I have burned 700 calories walking today, I can eat a _______ which isn’t on plan but it won’t put me over”, luckily 95% of the time my will power will carry me.
One hour a day. Sometimes less than that depending on what is written on the whiteboard at our crossfit box. Yesterday it said, 100 Double Unders, Deadlift 5-5-3-3-1-1-1 and 100 situps for time. That was the workout for the day. That was “it”, nothing that would take forever. In all honesty, looking at it, it was a day that should be pretty easy. It’s one of those days you don’t think you will feel the next day. I am sitting here writing this knowing that I was wrong. Insanely sore.
I know going into the daily WODs at our gym that I am getting a good workout whether it is the workout above or some crazy chipper or hero workout. I know I am burning through calories and building a better me. The other 23 hours of the day is where I was wondering what was going on. For Christmas, my wife got me a fitbit force. Truth be told, I wasn’t sure how much I would use it. One month in it is very revealing to what is going on with my 23 hours outside of the gym.
Over the next few posts I will be detailing some of the different technology, apps and other things I am using to monitor my other 23 hours.
When I started using my force I decided that I wouldn’t do anything different during the first week to see just how active or inactive I was. It was pretty revealing that on days I wasn’t chasing the kid around I was only getting a couple thousand steps in. My goal I set was 10k, I was getting close to 4 or 5k on average before I started “trying”. The sleep tracking app was crazy accurate. It was apparent when I would eat within two hours of going to bed, I would toss and turn all night. I have noticed that I have made it a competition to get more steps, my sleep has improved because of being conscience of the time I eat/drink anything.
Downfall of the Fitbit, but wasn’t my original intended use, is the lack of an accurate monitor of certain (i.e. Crossfit) workouts. You can add an activity to partnering apps to help calculate the calories if you want to but they aren’t exactly accurate to the intense level of some workouts. I also got confused between the features of the Fitbit and the Up Band and was disappointed when I didn’t have the idle alert feature that lets you know when you haven’t been active for a certain amount of time. I hear thats in the horizon in a firmware update.
Pros: Accurate Tracker, syncs with other apps, competition with “fitbit buddies”, Battery Life is 7 or 8 days of use.
Cons: Does not track well during Crossfit workouts, Takes a week or so to get used to wearing it, Idle alert
Overall, I have seen a huge impact in my daily activity because of this device. I find my self checking it often during the day, parking my car a little further away and taking an extra trip around the school during my break time in order to get my number.
Next Post: MyFitnessPal