Saturday, November 16, 2019

Wearables, Apps, and Weight Loss. How Much Weight has Dr. Michael Aaronson Lost?

Weight Lost by Dr. Michael Aaronson (so far) thanks to MyFitnessPal

I am striving to achieve my goal weight by the end of the year. I am very close to obtaining the target. People keep asking me if there is a secret to my successful weight loss given the constraints of living the life of a busy physician. I think there is a "special sauce."

I started to track my progress, both food and exercise, using a unifying platform. The program I chose to use is called MyFitnessPal.

Although there are many options out there, I decided to join my MyFitnessPal. There is a free and a premium plan.

Here's why I like using this program:

  • Both the app and the online versions are user-friendly. 
  • The program can integrate all my gear, so I can view everything in one place.
  • The system connects with wearables, such as the FitBit, and scales, such as the Withings brand, so you can track your progress (steps and weight) automatically. 
  • The setup process lets you adjust for the number of calories you want to ingest daily, allowing for intermittent fasting. 
  • You can also ask it to track the kind of calories that are important to you -- such as grams of protein.
  • Those who wish to limit their carbs can do so.
  • Let's say I'm on a fast day (also called a restricted calorie day), and I am allotting 500 calories to be consumed during the day. The system allows you to eat more calories if you wish because you exercised. 

    Michael Aaronson through exercising can eat 1000 more calories today, even though it is an intermittent fast day. He initially had 500 calories allotted. He worked out hard and now can consume 1527 calories today and achieve his weight loss goal as planned.

  • Some might say you should only eat the 500 calories, given all the books written about intermittent fasting and the theories of why it works. This system does the math for you, believing (as I do), that you can burn calories and use that expenditure to your advantage and add those calories to your total. You can consume more and still achieve your weight loss goal by a certain period of time because the program does the accounting for you. 
    • Note: you should strive for 1-2 pounds (0.45-0.91 kg) of weight loss per week. Your goal is to look great, not gaunt.
    • Tracking food is easy. The interface is simple. Scan a bar code, get the information uploaded fast!
    • The app settings change as your weight changes. I like that feature and the fact the program is customizable.
    • There are so many things to track! For those patients with heart failure or nephrotic syndrome on a fluid restriction, they can easily track the amount of water they consume in a day, no longer having to deal with fluid tickets.
    • Full disclosure: I have used other apps to help me lose weight, track how I am doing over the day, and avoid having to input data. One app I like is called MyFast. MyFast tells me the percent of the day I have left to restrict my calories. Another app, the Fitbit app, provides the step data I need and integrates into my system. It is cheaper than an iWatch, at least for now.

    30 percent of the fast is complete. Dr. Aaronson views the MyFast app on his Android phone.

    Pounds lost so far

    "Sing your life. Any fool can think of words that rhyme." -- Morrissey on YouTube