I am still obsessed with my Fitbit. Just like I was several months ago when I first got it. Daily, I focus on getting my ten thousand steps, and it is also interesting seeing how my sleep changes nightly. I also compete with my family for the most steps not only in a day but also in a week. My father usually wins the weekly steps “battle,” but my mother is never far behind him.
I continue to tell my patients about the Fitbit, and its competitors. Often at their next follow up they proudly show me theirs. Several patients have told me that they are using apps like Lose-it and Fitbit’s to see the number of calories that they not only eat but also burn on a daily basis. This has helped some to see that they often are not eating enough calories in some instances for their exercise routine. Leading to a possible scenario of muscle loss over fat loss.
Weight is more than just calories in and out. There are many things that will also play into the lack of weight loss, or gain. My patients often complain about their weight as well as their lack of ability to lose weight. Several women have learned that they are eating too few calories. Especially when they increase their exercise. Now I know this sounds counterintuitive to weight loss, but when you increase your exercise you also have to increase your calories to help support your body. If you don’t then the body will go into a starvation mode, and thus the body will hold on to fat.
Another factor that plays into lack of weight loss is stress. Stress increases cortisol levels which often puts weight on around the waist area. The so-called “spare tire.” We need to find, in our busy lives, time to relax, decompress and to decrease stress. For each of us our methods to de-stress are different. They can include yoga, meditation, watching comedies, knitting, or working outside in the garden. Whatever your favorite method is make sure that you do it daily.
It is also important to be conscience of your body while you are eating. Listening to your body and its signal that it is full should not be ignored. An extra 100 calories per day for an entire year will put on 10 pounds in that year. Just as a decrease in 100 calories a day will help you lose or control 10 pounds without much work. Here is one last fact: the average American puts on 10-15 pounds over the Holiday Season starting from Halloween until January. Don’t let this happen to you.
Weight loss is not easy. So the best way to combat weight is to make sure you don’t put it on in the first place. Using some modern, and fun, technology like a Fitbit, or the like, can give you visible and more “in your face” goals that will help motivate you. Regardless, it is important to make sure that you exercise and watch what you eat.