How I’m Dropping Weight with Fitbit Charge and the My Fitness Pal App

How I'm Dropping Weight with the Fitbit Charge

 

*****UPDATE*****   My Fitbit Charge started falling apart after about 9 months of use. The rubber band started separating from the tracker. A few months after that, the charging points on the tracker itself started to corrode which made charging it extremely difficult. I had to mess with it quite a bit to get it to charge. I never wore it in the water or the shower. A year after purchase, my Fitbit was completely shot. It fell apart and would not take a charge. Because I waited to contact Fitbit about the issues I had been having I was 60 days out of my one year warranty period so they would not replace it. They offered me a 25% discount to purchase another one of their inferior products. I would NOT recommend purchasing any Fitbit product.

I AM still using MyFitnessPal and loving it. I’ve been using the tracking app for over three years. Instead of reading the rest if this Fitbit post…check out my actual MyFitnessPal diary entries and how I’m dropping 75 pounds in this post:

How to Lose 75 Pounds – Week One

So 225 pounds is a really unhealthy weight for a girl who is 5’6″. That’s about how much I weighed three years ago when I made a New Years Eve resolution to get down to 150 pounds. I ended up taking about 35 pounds off eating no carbs over the course of the first six months of that year and I kept it off until last year when I fell off the self discipline wagon. I make no excuses. I screwed up.

When the scale hit 219.2 pounds this month I was feeling pretty disgusted with myself. I hopped onto Amazon and purchased a Fitbit Charge (<– affiliate link) and dusted off the ole MyFitnessPal app on my iPhone. My results so far have been pretty good, I’m down 7.2 pounds…but it’s only been five days and a lot of what I’ve lost is water weight.

Fitbit Charge

I had been thinking about purchasing a Fitbit for a while and put out feelers with a post on Facebook where my friends chimed in on which model they have and why they like it. Apparently there’s a lot of you out there using Fitbits. I had an Amazon gift card to burn so the Fitbit only ended up costing me $28 out of pocket and I settled on the “Charge” model. It comes with the following features:

  • iPhone App
  • Tracks Steps
  • Tracks Calories
  • Tracks miles traveled
  • Active Minutes
  • Digital Clock with Date
  • Sleep Tracking
  • Auto Sleep Detection
  • Silent Wake Alarm
  • Floors Climbed
  • Caller ID
  • Syncs with MyFitnessPal App

The Fitbit itself is just a black rubber strap with a tiny pedometer inside of it. There’s a digital display where you can toggle through daily stats. I have mine set to display steps taken, calories burned, date and time, miles traveled and stairs climbed.  Initially when I bought the thing I wanted to see just how inactive I was throughout the day. Holy shit I’m a sloth! As a blogger I am planted in front of my computer most of my waking hours and the Fitbit showed me just how inactive I was after the first day. Like…only 30 minutes of activity…in a 24 hour period! I needed to get moving. I have a wedding to stand up in eight months from now and I don’t want to look like a satin balloon sailing down the white carpet.

How I'm Dropping Weight with the Fitbit Charge

I thought I would really like the Sleep Tracking feature but I really don’t understand what my results mean. Last night it recorded 8 hours and 43 minutes of sleep with three instances of me being awake and 23 times restless. OK. What does that mean? I also have no use for the silent wake alarm which basically vibrates on your arm to wake you up more gradually than a blaring “BEEP! BEEP! BEEB!”. I work from home. I don’t set an alarm but maybe a couple days per month.

What I’m really digging is the iPhone App. It has a slick interface that lets me see my stats in real time. I have bluetooth enabled so the app constantly syncs with my Fitbit all day. I’m kind of a numbers freak so this is a good thing. It’s also a good thing because with a little basic math I can get a good feel for how I’m doing, how much more I can eat, and how many more steps I need to take to reach my goal of getting down to 150 pounds.

How I'm Dropping Weight with the Fitbit Charge

I’m currently trying to consume 1,700 calories per day and take 10,000 steps per day. This gives me a calorie deficit of around 500 calories per day. 10,000 steps is the equivalent of traveling a little less than 5 miles. My body, at rest, doing nothing, will burn around 1,700 calories daily just keeping up with basic body functions. The 10,000 steps burns the 500 additional calories I need for a deficit. A 500 calorie deficit over seven days equals 3,500 calories which is exactly one pound. Gah…too much math.

Getting in 10,000 steps is hard y’all. It’s like 1.5 – 2 hours of activity per day, which doesn’t seem like a lot when you consider the fact that there’s 24 hours in a day, but it has made me come to the realization that I have to incorporate “exercise time” into each and every day if I’m to be successful with my strategy. I’ve lost weight with no exercise and consuming only 1,200 calories per day but I felt deprived and was hungry a lot. With the 1,700 calorie budget I am feeling a lot less deprived and full. I’ve had to pull out the treadmill late at night a few days this week to get my steps in. Thank god for Tivo. I’ve also found myself taking laps around the kitchen island while my food cooks.

One to two pounds per week is a healthy weight loss. I know what you’re thinking, but Amanda, you’ve already lost seven pounds in less than a week! Like I mentioned before, it’s a lot of water weight. People with a lot of fat are bloated. It takes around three grams of water to hold one gram of carbohydrate in your body. People gain fat by eating carbohydrates and then gain triple the water weight. When you start cutting out carbs like flour, sugar and alcohol you start peeing…a lot. That’s because your body burns carbs for energy and once the carb is gone the body no longer needs the water to hold it, therefore initial weight loss is fast. This is why those “Loose 5 pounds of belly fat in one week guaranteed” fad diets succeed. Of course you are going to loose five pounds…five pounds of water that is. But I digress.

Just as the Sleep Tracking feature seems like a useless function to me, so does the Caller ID. Why? Because my iPhone is literally within inches of my body at all times during the day and night. It’s a part of me. Can you relate? When my phone rings, first of all I am like “Why is someone besides my mom calling me?” (I love you MOM!) Who calls instead of texting these days? And then I’m like “This is annoying”. My Fitbit is vibrating to tell me some telemarketer is trying to reach me. My iPhone is already within eye shot and I can see who’s calling me on it.

Something that I do love is that the Fitbit app syncs with the MyFitnessPal app.

My Fitness Pal App

How I'm Dropping Weight with the Fitbit Charge and My Fitness Pal

MyFitnessPal is a calorie counter app. It has over 5 million foods in its database so finding calorie counts for what you’re consuming is fairly easy. It also has a barcode scanner so you can just use your iPhone’s camera to scan a food item’s barcode and BAM it auto fills in all the information for you. You can enter your daily food intake, weight and ounces of water consumed and the app will automatically sync with your Fitbit app inputting all the info from one to another. Fitbit will also auto sync your exercise with MyFitnessPal so you know if you’ve made your daily calorie deficit. Oh…and did I mention it’s FREE?!

With these two apps combined there’s no more ignorance is bliss. And the calories you don’t log, but consume, WILL count. #JustSayin

When you’ve got the willpower and you keep the “WHY” you are doing it always at the forefront of your mind, these two tools can help you reach your weight loss goals.

This is NOT a sponsored post. I paid for my Fitbit on my own. I am writing this post in the hopes that it might help you decide to go for your diet and fitness goals. These two tools are fantastic in getting you on your way.

8 Comments

  • Amanda Thrasher says:

    I’m excited for you! Your previous blog was a source of inspiration during an earlier part of my weight loss journey. No joke, I started at the first post and made my way through last spring, almost like I was reading a novel. I’ve lost about 105 pounds overall and still have further to go. If you ever want to discuss, it’s something I like to talk about. It’s good to share stories to encourage each other along the way. Thanks for sharing yours and helping to inspire others like myself!

    • So sweet of you to leave this comment here. HUGE congrats on your success! It can be tough, but I am ready to get it done

      • Amanda Thrasher says:

        Oh you will! I may only know you from your writings, but I can tell you have the willpower and the support system. One thing that helps me is following health and fitness related Instagram accounts. Any recommendations would be welcome. My husband and I have a joint account where we periodically share our progress too! (@teamthrasher of you are curious)

        Keep it up and it will happen!

  • Ginger says:

    Hello! What’s your update? It’s been a year since you wrote this. I’m curious to know how success you were with the fitbit/mfp. I use both and I strive for a 500 calorie deficit each day, but am unsure how accurate the calorie count is. What do you think?

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