You know, most people greatly overestimate how many calories they are actually burning each day - and greatly underestimate how many calories they are consuming!
Here is a solution I have discovered to help me accurately gauge where I am really at in balancing calorie burn with calorie intake. Meet Exerspy - my favorite "tool" in a quest for better health!!!
Seriously, this little gadget is AWESOME! Worn on the tricep, it has sensors that record heart rate, core body temperature, perspiration....it even works like a pedometer and counts your steps. It can tell when you're sleeping and how efficiently you are resting. (I have tested this - when I wake up during the night and stir, I will look at the clock by my bed. When I look at my sleep data the next day, I can see in my sleep pattern the exact time I woke up and how long it took me to fall asleep again. That is way cool!)
What does this mean? Why is this so important?
Well, for starters - I can download the data to my computer (thru a USB port) and tell immediately how many calories I am burning, minute by minute throughout the day. It indicates whether my physical activity has been moderate or vigorous. I can see if I am on target for my 10,000 steps each day - and know if I need to take another walk or bike ride in the evenings to reach that goal.
As part of the DotFit program, I also log in all the food (and drinks) I consume every day. The program tells me how many calories I have consumed and breaks it all down into a nifty bar graph showing my Fat/Carbs/Protein intake. This is really helpful in my efforts to balance carbs and proteins (because I am a carb junkie!).
To make this program even more user-friendly, it summarizes both my calorie intake and calorie burn on a summary page (the "dashboard") and lets me know where I am at any given point. I can see instantly if I have an appropriate "calorie deficit" for the day - this might mean I need to eat a snack if I'm too low on calories. But, most often it means I need to skip a snack because I'm too high on calorie intake and too low on calorie burn! Finally, it projects where my weight should be based on all this information. I've been amazed at how accurate the projection is when I weigh in each week.
I have been using the Exerspy for over 12 weeks now and surpassed my goals for that first 12-week period! Working slow and steady - aiming for only 1 pound of weight each week - I did it the "smart" way. No crash diet - just lots of exercise and eating right. (Trust me, you're much more careful about what you put in your mouth when you're having to log it all in!) It's all about healthy foods, eating in moderation and developing a lifestyle that will allow me to maintain weight loss without starvation - no more yo-yo dieting!
Now, I am entering a 6-week plan to loose just 6 more pounds - nice and steady. After that, I will continue to use my Exerspy to make sure that I am taking in enough calories - and in the right balance - to maintain my weight.
When I first started wearing the armband, I was a little self-conscious, but that quickly passed. People would come up to me at the grocery store and ask me about it. It doesn't bother me at all now - I even sleep in it. Of course, it makes for a sorta funky tan line - but I can live with that!
So, that's my Exerspy - and now you know why I love it! That and my gym membership are the best investments I've ever made in my health.
Til next time...
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