I went from a size 16 to a size 4!

I was ready for serious change

Testimonial by Fitdigits user Heather K.

I am a 43-year-old, married mother of two. I had my children in my early 30s and was able to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight pretty easily. My weight had stayed pretty level through my 30s, hovering around 135 despite my bad eating habits, until around 38 when the female metabolism typically starts to slow down. It snuck up on me at first. Then it was obvious I’d been gaining weight, but I still did nothing to help myself, so the weight gain continued. In November 2012 (the date of the picture on the right), I was just about to grow out of yet another size, and I’d had enough. I was 5′ 3″ and around 179 pounds. I started making small changes, but I wasn’t really serious yet.

January 2013 rolled around, and I made my annual “I’m going to lose weight” resolution, only this time I was ready to make some serious changes. My weight at that point was 174 pounds. I found MyFitnessPal via a news article about highly-rated weight loss apps. My intent was to do this the “right way” — I didn’t want to do a special diet that I couldn’t maintain long term, and I didn’t want to use any pills or gimmicks. I needed to do this in a way that would be healthy and sustainable, and I really believed that meant a combination of diet and exercise. The first step was a reset of my perception of food portions and how many calories were really in the food and drink I was consuming. MyFitnessPal made it easy to record intake and see at a glance how good or bad I was eating. And I could eat what I wanted, keeping my calorie goals in mind. That didn’t mean I could hit fast food every day, like I used to, but it did mean I could have it occasionally.

Not too far into this plan, my husband purchased a heart rate monitor that interfaced with an app on his phone. I thought it was a pretty cool gadget, and I borrowed his HRM a couple of times before deciding to purchase my own. I purchased the Polar H7 in early February, and I discovered it would interface with Fitdigits, which would then feed the information back to MyFitnessPal. Easy peasy! While it was a little depressing at first that the HRM showed fewer calories burned than my elliptical did, I felt it was better to have real data based on real effort than a result based on assumptions. Seeing clearly how many calories I was burning in Fitdigits allowed me to better determine how long I needed to work out. Or whether I need to step it up or dial it back a bit, depending on my heart rate and calories burned. I used it also to track my weight training.

In July, I started running. At first, I hated it! But I was very sore the next day, so it obviously worked different parts of my body than the elliptical did. That was probably a good thing, so I continued running. With Fitdigits, I could track my routes and know exactly how far I’d gone and how fast. Seeing my progress real-time motivates me to go just a little bit farther each time. Last weekend, I ran 6.25 miles straight! Considering I was “dying” less than 1/2 mile into my first run, that’s real progress.

Eventually, I added the Fitbit to the mix. It also interfaces seamlessly with MyFitnessPal, so it seemed like a no-brainer. My job has me sitting all day long, and knowing the Fitbit is tracking my steps motivates me to get up a little bit more during the day or move more at home at night.

50 pounds lighter and feeling great!

So we come to today. I’m around 124 pounds and feel like I have so much more energy than I used to. My BMI is firmly in the “normal” zone, which is such a great feeling. I also feel so much stronger. It’s amazing to me how far I’ve come from the couch potato of last December. I’ve lost 50 pounds since I got serious at the beginning of January and went from a size 16 (almost 18!) to a size 4/6. I’m not sure when I last wore size 4/6! My original goal was to lose 40 pounds, but once I got there, I knew I could continue. I’m currently in “maintenance mode” in MyFitnessPal, and I still exercise 4-6 times a week: elliptical/weight training during the week, and running on the weekends, using Fitdigits to track it all. My friends tell me I’m an inspiration to them, which makes me feel good.

I’m honestly not sure I could have made it this far without the help of technology. If I hadn’t been using the HRM and Fitdigits, I likely would have been overstating my calories from exercise, based either on what the elliptical told me or some generic formula found on the internet that can’t possibly know how hard I worked (or didn’t). Since the exercise allows me more calories in a day, that might have really slowed my progress (assuming I ate all the extra calories). I feel like I have a better handle on what I’m doing and what I need to do with the real-time feedback from Fitdigits.

The only downside to all of this has been the many shopping trips required for smaller clothes! New clothes are fun, sure, but somebody has to pay for them! Small price to pay for a healthier life, I suppose.

I need a new wardrobe!

Exercise, Nutrition and Activity: The Weight Loss Triad

Losing weight is hard. I do not need to throw on a stethoscope and a white lab coat to break that news to you. It takes discipline, motivation, dedication and a game plan.

In order to execute without guessing all over the place, you need to gather information. Armed with the proper weapons in the battle vs. the bulge, you will be able to appropriately plan both how often you workout and what you eat. You might as well call Fitdigits the forbidden tree in the Garden of Eden because we are straight dropping knowledge on all you information seekers.

We call it the Weight Loss Triad, formed via the perfect partnership between exercise, nutrition and activity. When properly utilized, you will be able to see the exact deficit between how many calories you eat and burn. For example, one pound of fat is equal to 3500 calories, meaning in order to lose an entire pound of fat you will need to burn 3500 more calories than you eat. If you want to burn a lb of fat every two weeks, that means on average you will need a caloric deficit of 250 calories a day. That is where the Triad comes in.

Exercise

Use Fitdigits to track all of your workouts. If you want the most accurate calorie count, it is essential to use a Heart Rate Monitor along with a Fitdigits Fitness Assessment. Now you will have custom heart rate zones and a Fitness level that will help get incredibly accurate caloric burn during workouts. Fitdigits also will act as the central data collecting hub for Nutrition and Activity Trackers.

Activity

Choose from one of the many Fitdigits compatible activity monitors to track your daily activity, so when you walk around the grocery store or do chores around the house, you will get credit for the steps you took and calories burned. Fitdigits is compatible with Fitbit, Jawbone, Misfit, Withings and Garmin Vivofit devices, as well as the apps that come with most iOS devices (Apple Health) or Android (Google Fit). You have quite a few options to work with, including those that are free with the phone you bought.

These trackers works great in conjunction with the workout data collected by Fitdigits. Begin by linking your Fitdigits account with your activity monitor. Now all of your Fitdigits and activity monitor calories will be collected in one spot. Don’t worry, you can wear your monitor while also recording with Fitdigits and the calories will not count twice.

Nutrition

The final piece of the equation is tracking nutrition with MyFitnessPal. MyFitnessPal takes inventory of everything you eat. Enter in your meals using MyFitnessPal’s enormous library of foods, and it will tell you how many calories you ingested. You can also set weight loss goals so that MyFitnessPal will instruct you on how many calories you can eat based on how much you are working out. If you already have linked Fitdigits to your activity tracker, then all you need to do is link your activity tracker account with MyFitnessPal.

We have found that linking Fitdigits with activity tracker, then the activity tracker with MyFitnessPal is the best way to link the three partners. If you try to link them a different way, problems will occur. For more details, read our blog post on Linking MyFitnessPal and Fitdigits.

With these three tools you are in the drivers seat when it comes to weight loss. All you need to do is turn the key, shift into drive and get started!

Click to download MyFitnessPal from the App Store

Click to download MyFitnessPal from the Google Play Store

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!