Kickstart Your Diet!
It was Thanksgiving 2012 when I bought my first Fitbit and decided to make healthy changes to my lifestyle – little did I know at the time, I was about to take a tumble down the rabbit hole of diet technology!
Don’t get me wrong, the journey was worth it, but as usual I didn’t take the easy route. I followed paths that lead to dead ends, I took long detours, but in the end I hit my goal of losing 30lbs and reinventing my lifestyle. Initially I did this for myself with no idea that it would be of value to others. Boy, was I wrong!
It’s just over a month since I “soft” launched my LifehackrDiet Podcast and I have hit more than 1000 listens of the Podcast channel on iTunes and Stitcher Radio – unbelievable! Clearly the LifehackrDiet and it’s transformative, empowering message is resonating with you too!
I’ve done the heavy lifting of figuring out the LifehackrDiet, so you don’t have to! Now my job is to help you make small changes to your lifestyle so that you lose weight permanently and get healthier!
How Much Work is It?
Wait! You haven’t heard my pitch yet… Fine, let’s cut to the chase; I spend 5 minutes a day inputting and referencing my data – the rest is automated. This process will become second nature, so that 5 minutes a day of data input/analysis is all you will have to spend to lose weight and maintain your goals.
Where Do I Get More Info?
Throughout this “Kickstart Your Diet! Setup. Record. Observe.” overview post, I will be embedding links to more detailed Resources posts that outline the step-by-step actions with details, images and videos of how you can easily and quickly start your weight loss journey today!
LifehackrDiet Flow Chart
This chart shows the flow of your data on a daily basis. Your eating and activity decisions are based on almost realtime stats from your body. Cool, isn’t it!?
You are going to start at the beginning, and prepare for this exciting journey so that you have the greatest chance of success. I know you are excited to jump right in by cutting your calorie intake in half and walking 20 miles a day, but that won’t lead to success. The metaphor you should be thinking about is the Tortoise in The Tortoise and the Hare one of Aesop’s fables. We are here to reinvent your lifestyle, one tiny change at a time.
Ready! Set! Do Nothing!
That’s right, you are going to kickstart your diet by not changing your eating habits or current activities! The first week to ten days is going to be spent simply setting up the new tools, learning how to record your data and creating a baseline of “you” – a snap shot of you in this moment in time. Good news! When you hit your goals you can look back and be snarky to your old self!
Gather Your Tools
Follow the Resources links within this blog post where I will show you in detail how to prepare your device of choice (iPhone, Android, Tablet, Laptop or Desktop computer) and match it with a Fitbit digital pedometer that fits your budget and preferences. You can download the free Fitbit app for your smartphone or use their web portal, and start setting up the data recording process. Following the LifehackrDiet flow chart (above) you check the efficacy of the pedometer (calories out), your food diary (calories in) with a body weight scale and add it’s data to the Fitbit app.
Now let’s feed the LifehackrDiet machine with your data!
Link to detailed Sleep info
If you have selected one of the two Fitbit pedometers that automatically records your sleep data (duration, times awake, restlessness) you will have an insight into what happens when you are unconscious (or not). Sleep is one of the most under rated activities you can do to improve your quality of life and wellbeing. There have been many scientific studies that link a lack of sleep with cognitive, mood, health, weight gain and mental proficiency issues. Just going to bed earlier may not necessarily result in a longer or better sleep, so with the data you harvest from your Fitbit you can experiment to see what works for you. Maybe try to not to watch any screens after 7pm, or only drink coffee before noon, or don’t let your favorite canine on the bed (my two pups twitch and whisper-howl all night long!). Figure out what helps you get closer to your sleep goal so that you feel better, work better, play better and don’t remind your friends and family of a certain Marx Brothers character…
Link to detailed Weight info
I know that weighing yourself every day can be stressful but I invite you to look at this as a “project” and not your daily weight/body fat reading. One day doesn’t matter, progress towards your goal does, and there will be more good days than bad days.
You will soon be able to see a narrative unveil itself through the food you eat, marked by the events of your life, your mood and the seasons.
As an example my wife and I went to a Mexican restaurant where the waiter prepared our guacamole right in front of us. Before I could stop him, he sprinkled a rather large pinch and a half of salt into our freshly prepared guac. My family consumes very little salt, so this was more than my body would see in a week! Rather than waste a beautiful bowl of guacamole (to me every bowl is sacred!) we ate it. The next morning my weight was up almost a pound and a half! That wasn’t because I pigged out (I didn’t!), it was because I was retaining water due to consuming much more salt in that meal than I am used to. Within two days I had dropped back into the weight range I would expect.
These are (data) stories that have always been part of your life, but now you will recognize them, calmly, for what they are. You will learn to ride them and relax. You have the tools to fix any culinary indiscretion!
Exercise and Activities
Link to detailed Exercise and Activities info
One of the main principles of the LifehackrDiet is to keep moving and to utilize everything in your day as a way to keep active and burn calories (see 3 Strategies: Quit the Gym and Be Healthier!). Your steps are automatically recorded using a Fitbit digital pedometer but you can also add other cardio activities manually to the Fitbit app and you will get the appropriate calories-out credit.
Link to detailed Food info
Eating the right foods and reasonable quantities of them is important to your health, weight-loss and wellbeing. The approach of the LifehackrDiet is not to change things up all at once, but rather to start with your favorite foods and make small changes that over time lead to huge results. For more information and some ideas of how to do this, be sure to check out the blogpost Secrets of Eating to Lose Weight on lifehackrdiet.com. By recording what you are eating in the Fitbit food diary you are taking responsibility for every morsel of food that passes your lips. The once unconscious act of eating, will now be brought into the bright light of day and you will benefit from knowing.
Link to detailed Water info
Keeping hydrated is a very important factor in keeping you healthy on a daily basis. Drinking water is also a useful tool when you are dieting. Drinking a glass of water before every meal or snack helps to reduce the amount you need to consume to feel satisfied.
Which ever way you look at it, drinking at least 8, 8 floz glasses of water is the least you should be aiming for and the Fitbit Food Diary can help you by making it really easy to record and track you water consumption.
The Kickstart Your Diet! Observe. resources post describes how you can look at the data you are creating on a hourly, daily, weekly and monthly basis. The act of recording your data, looking at it, learning from it, and deriving experiments from it, is a very powerful act which takes you from being a passenger in your body, to being the driver! Instead of feeling guilty or panicking when you infringe on your dieting plans, you simply look at the tools in your control, and apply the right ones to get you back on track. It is that simple, it’s that powerful!
The LifehackrDiet is not a miracle weight loss program, currently there is no such thing. What it is – an easy to understand structure that allows you to see and make changes to your lifestyle, that create meaningful change. Once you understand the principles of the LifehackrDiet beyond the instructions and technology, you will see the miracle of your body and how being mindful in it, puts you into balance where you can achieve anything. As of writing this post, I am about to hit the 4,000 mile mark of walking while on the LifehackrDiet. To life!
Thanks for Reading!
As each of us start down our unique paths to leaner, healthier bodies there are always challenges along the way, which is why the LHD community is so important.
We would all love to hear your thoughts, questions, struggles and successes. Please add your voice to the discussion below and become part of the LHD community.
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Remember, today is the first day of the rest of your life so make it count. Have a great day.
© 2014, Man Mountain Productions, Inc.
Questions, questions, Diet Questions…
We get it big-time at job interviews; first dates are just veiled sessions with food and a movie, and, as teenagers, we were afflicted by them daily! What am I talking about? Interrogations, of course.
Things that matter to us are all subject to intense, personalized questioning, so why not interrogate your diet? Here are 10 good diet questions to figure out if a plan is right for you.
Today we put LifehackrDiet in the hot seat…sweat it baby!
1. Does your Diet plan take into consideration someone of my sex, weight, activity level, and lifestyle?
Lifehackrdiet.com: “Wow, that light is bright! Can you move it? No, ok… I’ll answer your questions.”
The Lifehackr Diet (LHD) is based on a series of simple principles that YOU apply to your lifestyle and, therefore, it takes into account your demographics, food preferences, exercise habits, your home and professional life. You are adapting the LHD to YOUR LIFE, not the other way around!
2. Do I have to eat special foods, take supplements, powders, or follow some strange regime?
Lifehackrdiet.com: On the LHD there are no special foods, pills, powders, or supplements – you eat what you normally eat. The LHD teaches you to make small changes to your food preferences, to reduce their calorie impact but maintain your satisfaction. Over time, the small changes or “hacks” you make to your diet will have a huge impact on your calorie intake.
3. Do I have to become a gym rat and spend my life working-out rather than living?!
Lifehackrdiet.com: Don’t go to the gym, you’ll be healthier for it! Chances are you already brush off plans to go, so stop fooling yourself. The LHD shows you how you can reinvent exercise by doing it “synchronously” with your work activities, personal life, and even grocery shopping! Exercise is a huge part of the LHD but, it is done differently – It’s adapted to your lifestyle.
4. Is your Diet just a quick fix so I can look good in a bathing suit in 6 weeks?
Lifehackrdiet.com: The LHD is not a quick fix, it is a permanent fix! The LHD is about making small changes to your life that add up to huge results. This takes time, and is based on your ability to implement changes that you are comfortable with. The more meaningful, positive changes you integrate into your lifestyle, the quicker you will reach your goals. The promise of LHD is that, when you are able to make enough changes to reach your health goals, you will have the tools to maintain those goals for life.
5. I bet your diet is really complex, with charts, rules, and food schedules…
Lifehackrdiet.com: The LHD is not complex, but, it requires some mental effort and self control. The good news is that, most of us have computers in our pockets (Smartphones) that can greatly simplify the process.
I bet you can open the door lock to your home easily but, when you try someone else’ lock, it’s a little more difficult – until you learn its quirks. That learning process is what the LHD teaches you about YOUR body/metabolism. Your Smartphone and a couple of free Apps will automate that process, so that you quickly get to know yourself. Then food decisions are as simple as looking at your personalized app screen. Expect to spend less than 5 minutes a day inputting data into your Smartphone.
6. How do I know if your Diet is safe for me?
Lifehackrdiet.com: If your current diet is healthy and safe, then applying the LHD food hacking principles will only improve its benefits. The LHD gives you the tools to look at your diet and make small adjustments that, over time, yield big results. For example, I love guacamole and chips but, together, that snack usually weighs in at around 250 Cal. I “hacked” that snack and replaced the chips with sugar snap peas, and now it weighs in at 120 Cal. If I eat the hacked version for 7 days instead of the original one, I will have saved 910 Cal!
7. Will your Diet take into consideration that I LOVE eating out?
Lifehackrdiet.com: You can eat every meal in a Restaurant on the LHD – if you want to. The LHD doesn’t require frozen dinners, protein shakes, or anything else that isn’t part of your lifestyle. The LHD is based on knowledge, tools, and techniques that have been uniquely adapted for you, by you. As a result, you can make the right choices in a restaurant, or any other situation, so that you continue moving towards your health goals.
8. Are you going to allow me to SPLURGE, or are all bets off?
Lifehackrdiet.com: You can splurge on the LHD and not blow your goals. The truth is that, no diet is based on a single meal, your body processes the calories coming in and being burned off. If you consume more calories than you planned for, you have simple choices to adjust; exercise more, eat a little less, or extend your diet duration. The LHD gives you piece of mind because you are in control with these tools.
9. I know many Diets are costly because I have to buy their products. How much does your diet cost?
Lifehackrdiet.com: The Tools required for the LHD are things you probably already own, or they are inexpensive or free to acquire. The LHD is based on data, techniques, and decisions. You will need a Smartphone, a digital pedometer, a body weight scale, a pair of good walking shoes, and a couple of free Apps. Assuming you already have a Smartphone and some shoes, your costs will range from $50-$120 (or slightly more, if you like premium products). You will use these tools beyond the LHD, so they are investments in your future health too.
The lifehackrdiet.com website, blog, podcasts, and videos are all FREE for you to use. Please sign up for the FREE LifehackrDiet weekly Newsletter to get the latest information on reaching your health goals.
10. Are there other people on your diet that I can chat with?
Lifehackrdiet.com: Sure! Every blog post, podcast, and video has a discussion board underneath it where you and other people using or exploring the LHD can have civilized, helpful, and honest conversations. Paul Michaels, the LHD guru will also chime in. Please join the conversation, your voice matters!
11. (Bonus question that will make any diet sweat!) Are you going to freak out if I talk to my doctor about you?
Lifehackrdiet.com: No. Feel free to discuss the LifehackrDiet with your Doctor. Read about the LHD on our blog, Listen to the LifehackrDiet podcast, and watch the Videos. Then tell your Doctor about the LifehackrDiet and get their opinion. Chances are, they will think it is a sensible approach to getting healthy, too.
“Now can you shut that light off – it’s killing my eyes!”
How did your diet hold up under the pressure of these diet questions?
Thanks for Reading!
Who am I?
As much as it pains me to say this, I’m an ordinary guy. I don’t possess any superpowers like some people I know. I can’t sing, my body flails around in spasm when I dance and although I tried several times, I can’t play the guitar. If I was to possess a semi-superpower it would be an insatiable curiosity for how things work. I’ve always loved to fiddle with systems so that I could master them. Must be why I have been so attracted to technology; I don’t always “know” the answer but I am unafraid of fiddling or “hacking” until I find my way to the solution.
At the start of the lifehackr diet plan story, I was approaching the ripe old age of 49 and had somehow ingested and retained 30- 35lbs of baby fat shed by my three kids (who are now teenagers). I was technically bordering on obese. I sat at a desk in my home office when I worked, I planned to go to the gym three times a week but rarely made it. I did a little bit of walking as we had recently adopted our first dog. At the start of the lifehackr diet story I was an ordinary guy.
My journey started with the purchase of a Fitbit Zip in November 2012. This was my first brush with the Quantified Self movement. Suddenly I was able to track how many steps, miles, calories I had walked/burned each day. I started to use the food diary built into the Fitbit iPhone app to track the food I ate and therefore the calories I acquired. I soon realized that I had my fingers on the two main dials of a system that controlled my weight. What happens if I dial up the distance I walk, or dial down the amount of calories I consume? – I lost weight! “This is fun”, I thought to myself. I kept hacking at the variables and after six months I had lost 30 lbs and walked one thousand miles! After one year I had walked 2,117 miles or the equivalent distance from Boston, MA to Glenwood Springs, UT, about 2/3 of the way across the United States! I did all this walking while I was going about my normal daily activities, I did not go to the gym to walk! I repeat, I am a ordinary guy who made a series of small changes in my life which over months added up to something really big. The great news is these changes fit perfectly into my lifestyle because I made them and they are unique to me, so my weight loss and fitness levels are now in my control.
What is the lifehackr diet plan?
The lifehackr diet plan allows you to eat the food you like and still lose weight – but how? It’s actually simple because you are your own gate keeper for the calories going in and being burned off. By “shifting” your thinking about food, exercise and your daily activities, you can make small changes that add up to big results.
The flow of data using the lifehackr diet plan principles.
You will use a digital pedometer, a food diary and a body weight scale all which synchronize with apps on your smartphone. It takes less than three minutes a day to check and input your data. You will get accurate readings of your daily intake/burn balance so that you can make intelligent food and exercise decisions. YOU ARE MAKING THESE DECISIONS EVERYDAY ANYWAY, CONSCIOUSLY OR UNCONSCIOUSLY. The lifehackr diet plan simply empowers you with digital tools to help you make the right conscious decisions for yourself! I will show you how to hack your exercise and your food so that you can easily achieve and maintain your health goals and not starve.
Why is the lifehackr diet plan right for you?
Because you are the one who is going to make the small incremental changes that fit your lifestyle and personality. It’s all about you and how you want to live your life. So the lifehackr diet plan is for everyone who wants to make the effort to lose weight naturally; no pills, no powders, no crazy foods. Just Simply.
Do you realize that if you walked one extra mile a day for a year, you could potentially lose 10 pounds? That is an extra 2,000 steps each day or less than 20 minutes of walking. When I go grocery shopping I walk an average of 1-2 miles!
Become a lifehackr…
The lifehackr diet plan is all about making small changes to your life. The two main factors in your weight loss are exercise and food. Learn how to hack (or make small experimental changes) to your favorite foods and your work/daily chores/exercise/habits to see weight loss results.
The lifehackr diet plan will show you how to go about your daily activities and maximize the calories burned by acting synchronously. That means when you have to make a choice between going grocery shopping or working out, you will now achieve both goals at the same time!
I love guacamole and chips! Together they are perfect-ly evil to my calorie intake… On the lifehackr diet plan I learned to hacked my snack and now I love guacamole on sugar snap peas or mini sweet peppers and they love me!
How can I start the lifehackr diet plan today?
You can start your lifehackr diet journey today by;
Signing up for the lifehackr diet journal, email newsletter. We will send you tips and tricks on a weekly basis to get you started.
Read all the lifehackr diet plan, blog postings
Checkout the lifehackr diet plan checklist to figure out what items you will need for the greatest chance of successful.
Check out the free Quick Start page for an Illustrated guide for getting started right now.
Engage in conversations throughout this website where there are comment fields.
Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Make it count by joining the lifehackr diet community now! Top