Fitdigits Helped Me Transform My Life

Last year I made the decision to finally do something about the weight that I’d slowly gained over the last ten years. I’d gone from finishing triathlons to finishing donuts in record time and knew it was time to change.

I started my journey by teaming up with a co-worker to follow a popular diet program our employer sponsored. This took me down about twenty pounds where I determined it was time to really get serious. Another good friend challenged me to compete with him in a small sprint distance triathlon in four months. This was the catalyst that brought me to Fitdigits.

I had purchased a Wahoo Blue HR heart rate monitor to get more from my workouts but was unimpressed with their app and after much research found Fitdigits. Using the customization available with Fitdigits I’ve been able to tailor my workouts and reach a new level of fitness.

Since the beginning of my journey I’ve lost 50 pounds and completed not only the sprint triathlon but also my first half and full marathon! I fit in clothes I haven’t seen in over a decade and feel fantastic. I can now go out on a ride, run or even snowshoe straight up a mountain and not get winded or be holding the group back. I’ve reached a level I thought was years behind me, never to be attained again. The Fitdigits app also has allowed me to not only record and track my progress but to share it as well and challenge others through partner tracking sites like Strava® and RunKeeper®.

My heartfelt thanks goes out to everyone that helps bring this awesome product to users like me and the transformative power it can have on our lives.

Link MyFitnessPal and Fitdigits

Fitdigits is now partners with MyFitnessPal, and we could not be more excited! All you have to do is link your Fitdigits account with MyFitnessPal, and you will be able to see your Fitdigits calories count towards your daily allowance from MyFitnessPal. To link accounts:

1. Open Fitdigits and go to Menu > Partners > MyFitnessPal
2. Tap “Link Account”
3. Enter in your MyFitnessPal username and password, or link with Facebook
4. Tap Allow, and then tap Done

Now, after you complete a Fitdigits workout the application will automatically send the amount of calories you burn to your MyFitnessPal account!

If you also have a Fitbit or other daily activity partner linked (for the sake of this discussion we will use Fitbit as the primary example), we have found that linking Fitdigits with Fitbit, then Fitbit with MyFitnessPal is the best way to link the three partners. If you try to link them a different way, problems will occur:

1. Link Fitdigits with MyFitnessPal, and MyFitnessPal with another Daily Activity Provider (Not recommended)
You will need to take your Fitbit off when using Fitdigits, or you will get a double-dose of calorie adjustments – Fitbit giving you “some” credit for the exercise (especially if running or walking), while Fitdigits also would give you total credit for the exercise. Also, when MFP posts activity burn to Fitbit, it doesn’t transfer the distance. The worst part, though, is that if you don’t wear Fitbit while exercising/running/walking, it means you wouldn’t get credit for the steps you do during those exercises and that is probably the biggest bummer!

2. Link Fitdigits with BOTH MyFitnessPal and with another Daily Activity Provider (Not recommended)
If you want to live in a world of delusion, this will give you a huge caloric intake capacity as it will double your calories everywhere you look and give you a false sense of accomplishment on a regular basis. However, we have found living in a world of delusion, while fun for a little while, can have results that don’t exactly match the real world!

I Don’t Diet. I Exercise and Lead an Active Lifestyle.

Testimonial by Fitdigits user, Loren C.

After gaining 30 pounds last year due to various stresses in my life, I decided that I needed to lose weight. On August 10, 2011, I weighed 252 lbs, which was 67 pounds overweight. I decided to join Team Weight Loss at Lifetime Fitness in the Bloomington North facility.

Loren at Lifetime Fitness

Part of its program is journaling what you consume and your exercise. However, I had a problem keeping the journal up to date because I did not carry it everywhere with me. I was using the polar heart strap and watch, but started to experience problems. I decided to start searching for heart monitor alternatives.

I carry my iPhone with me all the time, so I started looking for apps that would help. I found MyFitnessPal, which took care of the journaling. I kept looking for ways to use polar with my iPhone, but I never found a solution. Then I found Fitdigits. Fitdigits is an iPhone app that uses a transceiver (Fitdigits Connect) that plugs into the dock connector of the iPhone. I upgraded to the Garmin Premium Heart Rate Monitor which uses ANT+ technology to communicate with Fitdigits and picked up the transceiver, too.

Once equipped with Fitdigits, I was able to track my food diary (MyFitnessPal) and my exercise progress. I also wanted to make sure that my heart rate zones were accurate, so I had a CardioPoint* fitness test. The information from the CardioPpoint was uploaded to the NewLeaf website. Fitdigits synchronizes with NewLeaf and downloads the heart rate zones into the phone.

I am an information junkie. The data feedback that Fitdigits provides helps me track my progress. I get to see my heart rate during my workouts. Not only that but the information from those workouts is share with NewLeaf, Facebook and friends. I can see that I am making progress and I can quantify that against my program. I am not on a diet, but I have made significant changes to my lifestyle that have improved my overall health and fitness. I am still enjoying the occasional beer, but I am more conscious of the effects it has on my fitness program

Working Hard Using Fitdigits

I added a FitBit to my program on January 30th, 2012. This tracks all of my movement throughout the day. The wonderful thing about the Fitbit system is that the website awards you badges for your level of daily activity. When I look at my total activity for the day I am always motivated to do just a little more activity in order to get the next badge. At first I was reaching 50 floors in a day, but then I wanted to see if I could get to 100 floors in a day. Then I tried for 150 floors. Then 200 floors. When we had our first warm day of the spring in Minneapolis I wanted to go reach another achievement level for the paces per day. I was able to get to 40,209, which allowed me to receive highest badge you can receive in a single day, the 40,000 pace badge. The trail system in the Minneapolis/St. Paul is excellent. I have been making use of it and will be continuing the use of the trails throughout the spring and summer.

I started in August 2011. As of March 8, 2012, I have lost 30 lbs and have 35 more to go.

*CardioPoint is a cardiovascular fitness test available at Lifetime Fitness that determines key cardiovascular training markers including anaerobic threshold, aerobic base and V02. It identifies optimal heart rate zones and the best zone for the most effective exercise. It also provides a more accurate caloric burn formula.

5 Ways to Get Your Metabolism Moving

Most people know the basic principles of how to lose weight. If you eat right and exercise, you will eventually lose weight. While it is true there are no shortcuts to losing weight, there are ways to accelerate the process. One of these ways is to keep your metabolism firing on all cylinders. Here are 5 tips to keep your metabolism moving:

1. Make Sure to Eat!
One mistake people make when trying to lose weight fast is that they look at nutrition as black and white. If calories consumed are less than calories burned, than the weight will just melt off, some believe you are better off just skipping a few meals. This is a very unhealthy approach and often short lived. What you eat and when you eat are very important. The key to losing weight is to keep your metabolism moving as fast as possible and eating 5 (or more) small meals daily to put your metabolism into hyper-drive. Breakfast is the most important, as it will wake your body from its 8-10 hour fast (break the fast=breakfast) and get your blood and metabolism pumping. For a five meals a day plan, Livestrong outlines both healthy and delicious choices.

2. Overdose on Green tea

Drink Green Tea to Increase Your Metabolism and Burn Fat

Green tea is a gift handed down from the heavens to save us all from the perils of poor health…it is the golden elixir that can cure illness with one sip..it is the liquid embodiment of all that is good…

Hyperbole aside, green tea is one of the best substances you can put into your body. According to WebMD, Green tea is loaded with antioxidants and recent studies show that green tea can help battle cancer, reduce your risk of coronary disease, and battles obesity. Not only will the caffeine help speed up your metabolism, but properties found in green tea will lower blood pressure and cholesterol. WebMD goes on to say,

“Taken altogether, the evidence certainly suggests that incorporating at least a few cups of green tea every day will positively affect your health,” says Diane McKay, PhD, a Tufts University scientist who studies antioxidants. “It’s not going to cure anything and it shouldn’t be consumed as a drug, but it can complement the rest of the diet.”

Dr. McKay, that is good enough for me!

3. Gulp Down Ice Water
Drinking plenty of water is a great way to control your appetite. The next time you are hungry, try drinking 20 ounces of water and then see how hungry you are! According to Livestrong, drinking cold or ice water will actually help you burn calories and speed your metabolism.

As most people know, the human bodies’ temperature is 98.6, and everything we put into our bodies have to be converted to this temperature. Therefore, when you drink very cold water, your body must expend energy to heat it up. Drinking ice water will have your body burning calories and losing weight without expending additional physical effort.

4. Spice Things Up

Add Hot Sauce to Any Meal To Burn More Calories and Suppress Your Appetite

Adding some hot sauce to your meals is a great way to get your metabolism into overdrive. According to Fitday.com,

“Studies have shown that a spicy meal, such as a bowl of chili, can provide a temporary rise in metabolism of about 8% greater than a person’s typical metabolic rate.”

Along with increasing your metabolism, spicy food has also been shown be an appetite suppressant. So sprinkle some Cholula on your eggs, Tapatio on your sandwich, Tabasco on some popcorn or Sriracha on a chicken breast.

5. Pump Some Iron
Lifting weights is effective for weight loss because not only will your metabolism be working hard during activity, but will continue to burn calories long after your workout is over. According to AskMen.com,

“Cardiovascular exercises will raise muscle metabolism during the activity and for a short time after the exercise session. Weight training, on the other hand, will raise your muscle metabolism during the exercise session — and for a long time after the exercise session. Some high intensity trainers have even seen their metabolism rise for several days following their training session.”

With that being said, do not ditch cardio entirely, as it is an important aspect to staying fit. Merely mix in some weight training to optimize your metabolism.

Insufficient sleep undermines dietary efforts to reduce adiposity.

In other words: The quality of your sleep has a direct impact on your ability to lose weight. Getting a good night sleep helps you lose fat! ( I admit had to look up ‘adiposity’ … big word for FAT )

In Insufficient Sleep Thwarts Weight Loss Efforts Medscape Medical News reports on new research published in the October 5 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

“Many people today are overweight or obese, and diet-induced weight loss is a widely used strategy to reduce the health risks associated with excess adiposity,” write Arlet V.Nedeltcheva, MD, from the University of Chicago, Illinois, and colleagues. “The neuroendocrine changes associated with sleep curtailment in the presence of caloric restriction, however, suggest that lack of sufficient sleep may compromise the efficacy of commonly used dietary interventions in such persons.”

In this study, the authors examined whether “recurrent bedtime restriction” affected the amount of weight people lost when dieting, increased their hunger, and affected their leptin and ghrelin serum concentrations. They also examined changes in circulating cortisol, epinephrine, norepinephrine, thyroid, and growth hormone concentrations due to sleep loss.

They randomized 10 overweight, nonsmoking adults (3 women, 7 men) whose mean age was 41 years and whose body mass index ranged from 25 to 32 kg/m2 to 14 days of dieting and 8.5 hours of nighttime sleep and then to a similar period of dieting and 5.5 hours of nighttime sleep.

The study took place in a sleep laboratory, and subjects were sedentary and spent their waking hours doing home office–type work or leisure activities.

The study found that the reduced sleep decreased the proportion of weight lost as fat by 55%. Subjects who slept 8.5 hours per night lost a mean of 1.4 kg, and those who slept 5.5 hours per night lost a mean of 0.6 kg (P= .043).

Also, sleep curtailment increased the loss of fat-free body mass by 60%. Subjects who slept 8.5 hours per night lost a mean of 1.5 kg, whereas those who slept 5.5 hours lost a mean of 2.4 kg (P = .002).