Scott lost 130 pounds with Fitdigits

Scott decided to change his lifestyle

Testimonial by Fitdigits user Scott B.

Last September my wife and I made a strong and ongoing commitment to get into and maintain healthier lifestyle. I was 41 and had been morbidly obese much of my adult life. At one point I weighted almost 300 pounds. I had also been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes seven years ago and severe sleep apnea too. I knew it was critical I make some significant lifestyle changes or face even worse health risks.

We started by eating healthy and incorporating a variety of exercises, including cardio and resistance-based activities, into our daily activities. I had owned several heart rate monitors in the past and found them helpful. Both my wife and I started to use them again to track workout intensity and caloric burns. In Mid-September of last year I discovered the Fitdigits app and was blown away by its features. It quickly proved to be one of the more essential tools I used to get down to 170 pounds by April of this year and see other health improvements: I no longer have sleep apnea or have to wear a CPAP mask every time I try to sleep. More importantly, my blood sugar/glucose levels are now within very healthy levels without the need for medication! My resting heart rate went from the low 80s to upper 50s now. For the first time as an adult I can both jog and run respectable distances.

The Fitdigits app stands out from the other heart rate monitor and running apps because of the broad feature set, level of customization, the Fitdigits website, partner integration, ease of use despite the large feature set, and great support.

After getting familiar with the app and features my wife and I did the Fitdigits fitness assessments. From that we had something to measure our progress, more accurate and personalized heart rate zones, and other information the Fitdigits app uses to more accurately measure and display your heart rate related data and calorie burn. I like that the heart rate zones the Fitdigits app created support more modern information regarding optimal fat burning, aerobic, and anaerobic heart rate zones and not the old 10% increments of your maximum heart rate that have been used in the past.

The next thing I did was setup custom dashboards to display different data based on the activity we were doing. The custom dashboards are capable of displaying up to 12 items per screen, and you can have multiple screens! As an example, when I am on the elliptical I want to see my heart rate, what zone I am in, total calories burned, current calories per minute I am burning, average calorie burn per minute, total workout time, etc. If I am doing a custom workout routine I want to see how long I have left in the current zone, and how much time is left in the routine. How is all that data useful? The data is like a coach telling you how hard you are working your body, and if your efforts are in align with what you are trying to accomplish with that workout; I can look at the screen and see if I need to keep my effort as is, push it harder, or slow down.

The ability to easily create custom routines is very nice. Sometimes I just want to burn a lot of calories, other times I am doing a structured high intensity interval training workout to boost my cardio, and other times and am focusing on cardio endurance. Routines help guide you so that you stay on track with the proper intensity levels throughout the workouts.

As mentioned, the Fitdigits app has the ability to display a lot of useful data during the workout but it also stands out from other similar apps in what you can do with the data post-workout. The app itself saves all the workouts locally and syncs them to your Fitdigits account online. I find it incredibly useful and motivating to compare past and present workouts to monitor my progress. I can see very clear improvements in my cardio and running speeds on a regular basis. Doing the fitness assessments regularly and comparing those is also very helpful to track progress and ensure the cardio related settings within the Fitdigits app update and maintain accuracy.

The web site allows you to setup different types of goals so that that you can better track, measure, and get reports on your progress. Both my wife and I have found the goal related features very helpful in staying committed. We both have weekly calorie burn and workout duration goals. Since I can now run, I also have a weekly distance running goal too.

One of the other great features about the Fitdigits Ecosystem is that they have partnered with some of the other popular fitness-related resources. My favorite is MyFitnessPal. Many people, including my wife and I, use that free site to plan our meals and track food consumption. We like that our workouts get synced to the site so we can track net calories (consumed calories minus burned calories).

I previously purchased two Garmin FR-620s ($450 each) for my wife and I before Fitdigits implemented the BLE stride sensor feature. I have to say, after using my Polar HR strap and stride sensor with the Fitdigits app—the Garmin watches will only be used on very long runs. Thankfully Fitdigits has made it very easy to import data from Garmin and other companies that use common exportable data logging formats.

Overall I feel the small cost of the Fitdigits app, compatible heart rate monitor, their optional MVP program features, and taking a little time to both understand how to use the features and setting up an obtainable action plan are an amazing value and a must have investment for anyone that wants to improve their fitness.

Should I Weigh Myself Everyday? Part I


It is a question everyone trying to lose or gain weight struggles with. Should you weigh yourself everyday, and if not, how often should you weigh in?

In part one of two, we argue that weighing yourself twice per week is more ideal for evaluating your weight over time as opposed to weighing in everyday. To understand your weight fluctuations and what you might want to look at and consider, we offer a few suggestions.

Understanding Your Weight Changes

Evaluating your weight over time allows you to identify your natural weight fluctuations, which are normal and happen everyday. These weight fluctuations can be caused by a variety of factors, including eating a large meal, excess salt intake, water retention, constipation, hormonal changes or even a sweaty workout. All of the aforementioned causes of weight fluctuations can lead to an increase or decrease of five pounds in a single day! If you hop on the scale only to find you have gained five pounds since yesterday and you didn’t consume an extra 11,500 calories (one pound = 3500 calories), your extra three pounds is not likely fat mass. But how can you be sure?

Always Weigh Yourself at the Same Time Each Day

To take out some of those inter-day fluctuations, always weigh yourself at the same time of day. Withings recommends weighing yourself within 30 minutes after waking up in the morning to avoid the wild swings that occur during the day due to diet, digestion and physical activity.

Check Your Body Composition

There is more to your weight than just the number of pounds. To understand your weight gain or loss, it’s necessary to also measure the changes in your body composition and how much fat and lean mass you are carrying. Weight scales like the Withings Smart Body Analyzer measure both.

Lean mass is the weight of everything in your body but fat and includes your bones, organs, muscle, skin, hair, nails, waste and fluids. Women should have 75-78 percent lean mass to be considered healthy ,while men should have 82-85 percent lean mass. Lean mass can also be expressed in pounds, and can be affected by eating a big meal, drinking a lot of liquid, and constipation.

Fat mass is the portion of your body consisting of fat and is divided into two categories: essential fat and storage fat. Essential fat is necessary for normal, healthy function. Storage fat is the fat that accumulates below the skin when your calorie intake (diet) is greater than caloric burn (exercise), which results in unhealthy weight gain. When weight gain becomes excessive, your risk for developing heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and even certain cancers can increase.

Understanding the Changes

Weight gain and loss, including lean and fat mass, fluctuate based your diet, activity, and digestion. Theoretically, drinking a glass of water or a long workout can affect your lean mass.

If you are strength training, you should expect to see your weight increase over time because muscle weighs more than fat. However, to be sure you are gaining muscle and not fat, your lean mass should increase while your fat mass decreases.

If you are exercising to lose weight, you should expect your weight to decrease over time; fat mass should also decrease as your lean mass increases.

If you are training for an endurance event, your weight may stay the same or could increase as your body adds muscle. Additionally, your lean mass should increase while fat mass decreases.

See the body fat examples in the graphic below to further understand how fat mass affects the body.

Conclusion

Watching your weight changes over time is more important than watching the daily fluctuations. If you weight yourself more than two times per week, be sure to pay attention to your weight and fat and lean mass changes overtime, and understand there will be minor fluctuations in between. My.Fitdigits.com shows a great “trend line” over time in the Weight section that can help show the true path you are on, and take out some of those day-to-day anomalies.

In Part 2, we will outline why it may be a good idea to weight yourself daily

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.