Friday, 2 March 2012

Something to Lose.....?

So it seems like everyone I talk to is dieting or cutting back on some kind of excess somewhere. I am no different and decided to share a couple of tools I am making use of that could help others.

Ultimately any diet is about creating a deficit between the amount of calories you use in your daily activity and how much you take on board. If you use more fuel than you put in, the body gets the extra by burning what you are carrying already, fat in other words! We all know all this but it can seem hard.

I work in technology, so of course I turned to what I know for help in the form of two websites, both of which have corresponding smartphone apps in both free and paid forms. - Endomondo is like many other sites in that it can track your exercise, calorie burn, map your routes, personal best milestones etc. What is cool is you can get inspiration from others by searching local routes saved by others and then challenging yourself against their times. On top of that it has a social networking element so if a friend is registered I can friend them and see and compare myself with their performance and vice versa. It's great to break your pb mile time and realise you broke your mates as well and you can bet they will be straight out to claim it back. This feedback on others activity is also great inspiration to get out and get some action yourself in the event of a period of inactivity. The smartphone apps do GPS as well as offering mobile versions of some web functionality. Of course like everything else it integrates with Facebook if you want to brag to a wider audience! - This was recommended by a friend and has been fantastic. Essentially it is a calorie tracker but it does more than that. Backed up by a huge product database MyFitnessPal can track not only your calorie intake but also your nutritional information too. Foods can be entered manually or scanned by barcode on your smartphone. Then you simply need to (honestly) input how much you had. It knows what a normal portion should be too, so can make you feel a touch guilty for over indulging but it couldn't be simpler to use. Even restaurants feature in the database so even if your local Chinese doesn't feature you can normally find a suitable substitute. Exercise can be tracked so you know your real net intake each day and this can be tracked weekly. The website has some neat reporting features too such as social networking with other users and of course...Facebook. I won't list all the features here so just go and check it out if losing some weight is on your agenda.

Utilising these two tools has helped me out. I feel better for it and although I can't eat whatever I like all the time I also don't feel I'm missing out either. Nothing is taboo, it is just a question of educating yourself with good habits and sticking to them.

Good luck....

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