LifehackrDiet Lifestyle Assessment – Step 3

LifehackrDiet Lifestyle Assessment – Step 3

Step 3 Overview


 
 

LifehackrDiet Lifestyle Assessment – Overview

Step 1
Let’s get your steps and other activities recorded so that we know how many calories you are burning.

Step 2
Next up, with the help of a free app, you will start logging your food, giving you a clearer picture of your calorie intake. Your real-time, calorie balance calculation, will allow you to make informed decisions about food and exercise.

Step 3
Finally you will share your assessment data with our resident LifehackrDiet coach. That requires downloading of a final free app, which will share your data with our coach and allow two way messaging communications. You can ask questions and get advice from your coach during the assessment period. Finally after approximately 10 to 14 days, your coach will make your final assessment, taking into account all your data.

Lifehackr diet chart to lose weight

LifehackrDiet Flow chart

Click here if you have already read this section

The LifehackrDiet Flow chart is the basis of the approach you are going to be taking while you are on the LifehackrDiet. It’s a simple, empirical approach which gives you tools to help you reach your weight-loss and wellness goals. So much about eating, body image and weight is tied to deep emotions and self-identity. These tools will help you separate from those strong bounds and let you see the issues for what they are; habits you can change, one small change at a time.

diet chart

Pedometer – Calories Out

A digital pedometer enables you to quantify the calories you burn by moving during the day. Today’s technology gives us realtime, always on, wireless devices that automatically synchronize (via Bluetooth technology) with your smartphone and installed apps. All you have to do is remember to attach the pedometer to your self in the morning, the rest is automated.
 

Kickstart your Diet Chart -

Food Diary – Calories In

Now that we have a clear idea of how much we are moving and how many calories we burn in a day, we need to start figuring out how many calories we consume. To do that, use a food diary to record what and how much you eat in your day.

 
 
kickstart you Diet chart

Weight Scale – Results

A body weight scale works as a validator of the (calories out – calories in) sum. If the amount of calories you burn in a day/week/month is greater than the calories you’ve consumed, you will lose weight. The body weight scale will validate this.

 
 
diet chart

Smartphone – Evaluation

When you know how many calories you are burning, consuming, and the resulting weight change, you can make informed choices about your food and exercise in order to move yourself towards your goals.

 
 
diet chart

You – Decisions

Your pedometer, food diary, weight scale and smartphone software can calculate where your are at any given moment, but it is ultimately up to you to make the decisions which will move you forward towards your health goals. LifehackrDiet helps you set up this system and also shows you ways in which you can make small changes to your lifestyle that will bring permanent change. It’s up to you, and no one else, to make all of this happen.

 

Step 3

Now that you are;

  1. Using your Fitbit Digital Pedometer to record each and every footstep you take. Step 1.
  2. You are recoding every morsel of food that passes your lips in the Fitbit app food diary Step 2.
  3. Recoding your sleep, weight, body fat percentage and water intake. Step 2.
  4. You are simply recording what you normally do, so that you create a baseline of data.
  5. It’s time to start sharing your data your LifehackrDiet coach.

 

Let’s Connect

I am going to have you download one final free app, Nudge app (iPhone or Android), and I suspect you will find it very useful. The reason for having you do this is three fold;

  1. Nudge app will open a secure (HIPPA compliant) chat stream with your LifehackrDiet Coach and give you the power to “revoke” access whenever you wish.
  2. Nudge app will synchronize with all your Fitbit (and Jawbone UP) data so that it is instantly and continually is in the “know.”
  3. Nudge app will become the “curator” of your data. For many people, all the numbers and charts that litter apps like Fitbit and MyFitnessPal, can be overwhelming and turn them off of the whole “Quantified Self” approach. This app will quiet down all the noise and give you all the info you need to move forward, in one graphic!

FYI, you can revoke Nudge app’s access to your data at any time and delete the app with no impact on your Fitbit data.

Please download Nudge App (iPhone or Android) and we will continue;

 

Setting Up Nudge App

LHDLA-step3-images-001-004

Once you’ve downloaded the Nudge App for your smartphone, run it and click on the “Apps” button bottom center (see fig. 1 above). You will be presented with several synchronization choices. For this assessment we are going to use Fitbit (if you already own a Jawbone UP, you can sync that app to Nudge.) You will then be presented a screen which requests that you give Fitbit permission to share it’s data with Nudge (see fig. 2 above), please select the “Allow” button to continue.

You will then be returned to the Apps Syncing page (see fig.3 above) where you will see that you can “stop” Nudge app from syncing with Fitbit at any time. To confirm that the two apps are connected, tap the Log icon and scroll until you see the “Activity” row. If your Fitbit has recorded any steps today, they should show up in the “Steps” circle, in an abbreviated format. At the top of the Nudge app screen you will see that you can view and edit the past three days of data, so you can also browse through those days and see that your steps have been synced from Fitbit.

If you purchased a Fitbit that records your sleep, and you have used that functionality, you will see your sleep duration show up in the “Sleep” row. Now, you can see that by capturing your data in Fitbit, you can share that information with other apps and gain whatever benefits that specific app has to offer – record once, use many times. I love it!

 

Connecting with Your Coach

LHDLA-step3-images-005-009

To connect with your LifehackrDiet Coach, tap on the “Dashboard” icon (bottom far left) of the Nudge app. You will see the main Nudge Factor screen which is the core of the this app and a brilliantly simple way to see all your data, but more on that later.

At the top left of the screen (see fig. 9 below) tap on the “Profile” button and you will find yourself on the Profile screen where you will see and be able to change all your personal information. To connect with your coach, tap on the “Enter a Promo Code” button. Once the Promotional Code screen has opened, you can now enter the promotional code that was sent to you in your “Welcome” email. Press “Submit” and you should now have a heading “My Nudge Coaches” with the name of your coach and an image to the left of their name. You will also see to the right of you coach’s name a “Revoke” button. This allows you to disconnect from your coach and erase your information from their computer, should you want to.

If you tap on the “Messages” icon at the bottom right of the Nudge app, you will be presented with a screen (see fig. 7 & 8 above) where you can chat with your coach, much like you do with your family and friends on your favorite messaging app. Send your coach a message, they are looking forward to hearing from you!

 

Nudge App Walkthrough Video

A walkthrough of how the Nudge App works and why it is so awesome

 

Using Nudge on a Daily Basis

LHDLA-step3-images-009-012

Nudge is one of the simplest and smartest health apps I have seen. It serves as visual guide for what you need to try and achieve in the day ahead of you (a quick glance in the morning) and as a review of how well you acted on those intentions in retrospect (inputting your data into the app, before bed).
 

Nudge Factor

Your Nudge Factor is a single graphic that shows you everything you need to know, in order to keep moving towards your health and weight-loss goals, for that day (see fig. 9, above). The number in the center of the circle represents an accumulated number representative of your statistics over the past 30 days. If you tap on the number you will see a graph (see fig. 13, and red arrow, below), of the statistics Nudge is following over time (see fig. 14 below). Tapping on the “Info” button at the top of the screen will take you to a screen that outlines what the Nudge Factor is based on and the terms for each of the levels you can achieve. Tapping on the quadrants of the circle (see fig. 13, blue arrow, below) you will see an explanation of how Nudge measures each of those categories of statistics (see fig. 16, below).

LHDLA-step3-images-013-016

 
 

Recording Your Data

Portion Control Lifehackr Diet

Some of the data that Nudge captures and uses in it’s calculations for your Nudge Factor are automatically passed from the Fitbit app. Those stats are; Activity, Weight (the coach does not see your weight) and Sleep duration. In the evening, you can review your day and in your mind, see how well you executed based on the intentions you set in the morning. Then you can very simply tap on the circular input buttons in the “Log” screen of the Nudge app (see figs. 10, 11 & 12, above) to record your beverages, food, actives, sleep, indulgences, energy level and weight.

Tip: For those of you that might not have a Fitbit (or other) digital pedometer that automatically records your sleep duration, you can input it manually in the Nudge app “log” screen and gain the benefits of tracking your sleep.

To give you an idea (because this even came as a shock to me!) of portion sizes to use for your Nudge data recording, I have included three graphics (above) that are featured in the Nudge Blog article 3 Unbeatable Serving Size Guides. These are worth bookmarking, or even better, downloading to your smartphone photo app so that you can blow other people’s minds as well as your own! You can grab the full resolution images from the Nudge blog article listed above.

Those portion sizes look incredibly small (especially for North Americans) but I can assure you that after following the LifehackrDiet for several months, you will have reset your brain and your stomach and these portions will actually satisfy your appetite.
 

Your Daily Routine During the LifehackrDiet Lifestyle Assessment & Beyond

Your daily routine of data collection should go something like this (trust me folks, this will take you less than 5 minutes a day);

  1. Wake up, go to the bathroom, then stand on your body weight scale.
  2. Remember your weight and body fat numbers long enough to record them in the Fitbit App.
  3. Remember to put your Fitbit unit on your body, somewhere.
  4. At some point in your early morning, launch the Nudge app and check your Nudge Factor (score number and circle quadrants (water, food, sleep and activity). Figure out what you are going to work on today (a single item or multiple items).
  5. Eat breakfast (remember what you ate/drank or if you prefer, immediately log it into your Fitbit food dairy)
  6. Eat Lunch (remember what you ate/drank or if you prefer, immediately log it and breakfast into your Fitbit food dairy)
  7. Eat dinner (remember what you ate/drank or if you prefer, immediately log it into your Fitbit food dairy)
  8. As you prepare for bed, log any remaining snacks, activities or other information, into the Fitbit app.
  9. Launch the Nudge app and go to the log screen and quickly add your water, food groups, indulgences, any activities/sleep not automatically recorded, and finally your energy level.
  10. Get a good night’s sleep
  11. Don’t make any changes to your lifestyle. We are recording a base line of data to work from.
  12. Repeat for 1 week to ten days
  13. If you have any questions or need some advice, please contact your coach through the chat feature within the Nudge app, we are here to help!
  14. After the assessment period is over, you and your coach will have a detailed conversation about your data, lifestyle and ways in which you can make small changes that yield huge results.

This is the basis for your routine while you are practicing the LifehackrDiet.
 

Please Keep in Contact with your LifehackrDiet Coach

If you have any questions, issues you are unsure about or information discussed in these three steps of the LifehackrDiet Lifestyle Assessment, please do not hesitate to contact your coach, either through the Contact Us link or through the chat feature of the Nudge app. We want your assessment to be a positive, fun experience that will show you the way to make great (small) changes to your life.

 

What We Covered

In LifehackrDiet Lifestyle Assessment – Step 3, We covered;

  1. An overview of why your are going to use the Nudge app.
  2. How to setup the Nudge app so that it automatically grabs data from your Fitbit app.
  3. How to connect with your LifehackrDiet Coach through the Nudge app.
  4. How to use the Nudge app on a daily basis, and why it is so simply awesome.
  5. I explained the Nudge Factor and food Portion Sizes.
  6. Finally, I outlined your daily routine on the LifehackrDiet and explained that it should take you less than 5 minutes a day to complete.
  7.  

    That concludes the LifehackrDiet Lifestyle Assessment, Step 3.

    Review LifehackrDiet Lifestyle Assessment, Step 1.

    Review LifehackrDiet Lifestyle Assessment, Step 2.

     
     
     
     

    Thanks for Reading

    [cta]

LifehackrDiet Lifestyle Assessment – Step 2

LifehackrDiet Lifestyle Assessment – Step 2

Step 2 Overview


 
 

LifehackrDiet Lifestyle Assessment – Overview

Step 1
Let’s get your steps and other activities recorded so that we know how many calories you are burning.

Step 2
Next up, with the help of a free app, you will start logging your food, giving you a clearer picture of your calorie intake. Your real-time, calorie balance calculation, will allow you to make informed decisions about food and exercise.

Step 3
Finally you will share your assessment data with our resident LifehackrDiet coach. That requires downloading of a final free app, which will share your data with our coach and allow two way messaging communications. You can ask questions and get advice from your coach during the assessment period. Finally after approximately 10 to 14 days, your coach will make your final assessment, taking into account all your data.

Lifehackr diet chart to lose weight

LifehackrDiet Flow chart

Click here if you have already read this section
The LifehackrDiet Flow chart is the basis of the approach you are going to be taking while you are on the LifehackrDiet. It’s a simple, empirical approach which gives you tools to help you reach your weight-loss and wellness goals. So much about eating, body image and weight is tied to deep emotions and self-identity. These tools will help you separate from those strong bounds and let you see the issues for what they are; habits you can change, one small change at a time.

diet chart

Pedometer – Calories Out

A digital pedometer enables you to quantify the calories you burn by moving during the day. Today’s technology gives us realtime, always on, wireless devices that automatically synchronize (via Bluetooth technology) with your smartphone and installed apps. All you have to do is remember to attach the pedometer to your self in the morning, the rest is automated.
 

Kickstart your Diet Chart -

Food Diary – Calories In

Now that we have a clear idea of how much we are moving and how many calories we burn in a day, we need to start figuring out how many calories we consume. To do that, use a food diary to record what and how much you eat in your day.
 
 

kickstart you Diet chart

Weight Scale – Results

A body weight scale works as a validator of the (calories out – calories in) sum. If the amount of calories you burn in a day/week/month is greater than the calories you’ve consumed, you will lose weight. The body weight scale will validate this.
 
 

diet chart

Smartphone – Evaluation

When you know how many calories you are burning, consuming, and the resulting weight change, you can make informed choices about your food and exercise in order to move yourself towards your goals.
 
 

diet chart

You – Decisions

Your pedometer, food diary, weight scale and smartphone software can calculate where your are at any given moment, but it is ultimately up to you to make the decisions which will move you forward towards your health goals. LifehackrDiet helps you set up this system and also shows you ways in which you can make small changes to your lifestyle that will bring permanent change. It’s up to you, and no one else, to make all of this happen.

 
 

Step 2

This week we are going to simply setup, record and then observe our data. What does that mean? Like any new project we need to take time to ensure our success by planning and setting up the tools we will be using. I know you are anxious to get started on your weight loss journey, but this is an important step that will help you, ultimately, be successful – bear with me on this.

This blog post “LifehackrDiet Lifestyle Assessment – Step 2” is the second installment in a series of three posts that are designed to get you up and running on the hardware and methodology of the LifehackrDiet. In the LifehackrDiet Lifestyle Assessment – Step 1 we did exactly that. We established that your smartphone supports bluetooth LE and will automatically sync data from your Fitbit digital pedometer to your smartphone. Next up was discussing the importance of having a digital pedometer so that all of our steps are recorded, the free apps you will use daily to store and synthesize your data and finally why a body weight scale is an important tool for the LifehackrDiet flow.

This blog post will go over how to record your food consumption, exercise, sleep and weight all within the Fitbit app. We will detail the recording process and take into consideration that some of you will be waiting on your new Fitbit pedometers to arrive, and some will already have them.

Once you have your digital pedometer, It is important to record a baseline of data for one week before you start making small changes to your lifestyle, one of the core principles of the LifehackrDiet. This means that you should not try to eat or exercise any differently than what you are doing on an average day.

Recording

Let’s start the process of recoding your data within the Fitbit smartphone app (see more info on how and why to download the Fitbit app) I am going to play the recording sequence out in a chronological order, which should be similar to most people’s day. Clearly your sequence might be slightly different – feel free to move things around to fit your individual lifestyle.

 

Sleep

Getting an adequate amount of sleep every night is very important to your overall health and well being. Not getting enough sleep has been tied to weight gain among other health issues. From now on using your Fitbit app you will be able to see this dynamic in action. You are about to embark on an adventure of seeing your body and how it functions in a totally different way. Data tells us many stories, we just need to read and understand them.

 
Kickstart Your Lifehackr Diet Sleep screens 01

Sleep – Manual Recording

Two out of the three Fitbit pedometers currently available (Fitbit One and Flex) have auto sleep recording functionality. The Fitbit Zip does not. Although the automatic sleep recording is very nice, you can still record basic sleep data manually if you forget to wear your One or turn on the sleep mode of the Flex.

Open your Fitbit app (with a connected Fitbit One or Flex), from the main screen (Dashboard) scroll down until your see the quarter moon icon. Click on the icon and you will be presented with the Sleep Detail screen (see fig. 1 & 2 above). To manually start recording your sleep you can press on the “+” symbol in the top right of the Sleep detail screen. You will be offered a choice of either “Add Sleep Log” or “Begin Sleep Now. (see fig. 2 & 3 above)” The first choice “Add Sleep Log” is what you would use to manually input your bed time and your wakeup time. This is something you can do in the morning when you wake up or anytime that day when you remember. The input screen is self explanatory; you input your bed time and your wake up time and then press the “Log” button in the top right of the screen (see fig. 4 above). Your sleep duration will be calculated and recorded in your Fitbit Dashboard.

The “Begin Sleep Now” option will automatically start your sleep timer and offer your “I’m Awake” button (see fig. 5 & 6 below). Now you can turn off you smartphone screen and go to sleep. When you wake up, simply turn on your smartphone screen and press the “I’m Awake” button. The Fitbit app will calculate your sleep duration and show you the data on the Dashboard. You can use either of these options or mix and match based on your preference or circumstances.

 
Kickstart Your Lifehackr Diet Sleep screens 02

Sleep – Auto Recording

Fitbit One
Using the included wrist strap, place the the Fitbit One in the pouch by sliding it through the opening on one side. Secure the wrist strap to your wrist (it needs to be pretty snug) and then I rotate the strap to that the pouch opening is on the side of my wrist so that the opening is choked off. When you are ready for sleep press and hold the thin raised button on the Fitbit One until you feel a quick vibrate and a stopwatch appears on the screen. Let go of the button and the display will go dark in a few moments. It is now recording your sleep/awake and restlessness. When you wake up simply repeat the process of pressing the button and waiting for the vibrate alert. Now when you open the Fitbit app on your smartphone (and it synchronizes) you will see you sleep duration and all the other statistics about the quality of you sleep (see fig. 7 & 8 above). There have been nights when I feel like I’ve had a really bad night’s sleep and the data reflects that, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it was, I was just being a baby!

Fitbit Flex
The Fitbit Flex will already be on your wrist as that is how it is worn so all you have to do is tap the Flex unit rapidly for one to two seconds (sometimes three). Your Flex will vibrate and display two slowly dimming lights to indicate that you have entered sleep mode. When you wake up repeat the rapid tapping sequence. When it exits sleep mode, your Flex will vibrate and flash all five LED indicator lights three times and then display a spinning light pattern. Now when you open the Fitbit app on your smartphone (and it synchronizes) you will see you sleep duration and all the other statistics about the quality of your sleep (see fig. 7 & 8 above).

 

Body Weight and Fat Percentage Data

I know that weighing yourself every day can be stressful for some people, but I invite you to look at these numbers as data points in a “project” and not “your” daily weight/body fat reading. One day doesn’t matter, progress towards your goal does! There will be more good days than bad days and you will see the trend line flow downwards towards your goal. If you weigh yourself daily then you will have an accurate data picture to look so that you are able to make smart decision about food and exercise that get you to your goal.

 
Kickstart Your Lifehackr Diet weight screen 01 using the Fitbit app

Body Weight and Fat Percentage Data – Manual Recording

Using the EatSmart Precision GetFit Digital Body Fat Scale or your existing scale will require that you add you body weight and body fat numbers to the Fitbit app manually.
This is a simple process, the most difficult part is keeping the two numbers in your head (within minutes of waking up) long enough to put them into your smartphone!

Tips: It’s best to weigh yourself right after getting out of bed in the morning, but be sure to expel any excess liquids or solids first (go to the toilet first!). Also I would recommend standing on the scale with as little clothing as possible (your birthday suit is ideal). It is important that any scale you use is flat on the floor before you stand on it to ensure an accurate reading.

Once the Eat Smart scale locks on your weight, it then calculates your other statistics like body fat percentage and body water, body muscle and bone mass. Remember you weight and body fat numbers and open the Fitbit app on your smartphone. On the dashboard scroll until you see the weight scale icon and select it (see fig. 1 above). You are now on the Weight screen and you can manually input your data by selecting the “+” symbol at the top right of the screen (see fig. 2 above). Input your two data points and then select the “Log” button in the top right of your screen (see fig. 3 above). You can now see your data points recorded with the word “Manual” to the right of the numbers (see fig. 4 above). Select “Dashboard” on the top left of your screen and you will be taken back to the Dashboard.

Body Weight and Fat Data – Automatic Recording

Using the Fitbit Aria Scale
Getting your weight and body fat numbers from the Fitbit Aria (once you’ve set it up) into the Fitbit app, are quick and easy – your eyes don’t even need to be open! Simply step on the Aria scale (please read the “tips" in the section above) and let it calculate and lock on to your weight, BMI and body fat readings. When you open the Fitbit app and it syncs, your data will appear in the Weight section of the Dashboard. That’s it!

 

Exercise and Activity

One of the main principles of the LifehackrDiet is to keep moving and even utilize everyday chores as a way to keep active and burn calories (see 3 Strategies: Quit the Gym and Be Healthier!). This is more easily recorded using a Fitbit digital pedometer but can also be pieced together by manually recoding your activity in the Fitbit app.

Exercise and Activity – Manual Recording

While you are waiting for your Fitbit digital pedometer to arrive, you can get used to recording your activities, burning calories and building a baseline for moving forward with the LifehackrDiet.
Go do something! Walk, run. go workout, paddle a kayak, do some gardening – anything! Take note of your start and end times and calculate the duration of the activity. When you are done, open the Fitbit app on your smartphone and from the dashboard select the Stopwatch icon with the text “No exercise today” (see fig. 1 below) – we are about to change that! You will be taken to the Exercise summary with a graphic representing your Exercise Frequency. Select the Stopwatch icon in the top right of the screen (see fig. 2 below) and a new screen for Tracking and Logging your exercise will appear (see fig. 3 below). If a dialogue box appears on your screen, just select “OK” for now as we will be dealing with that later.

 

Kickstart Your Lifehackr Diet activity screen 01 using the Fitbit app

Log

Now select the word “log” at the top of the screen and the white slide should now move over behind the word “log” (see fig. 3 above). Just below is a text entry field, tap it and start typing the keyword of your exercise (see fig. 4 above). For most typical activities at least one if not several choices should appear in a list below the text entry field. Select one that is the closest fit to your activity and you will be taken to detail screen with more information (see fig. 5 below). If you want to select another activity from the list, simply select the “Back” button and you will be returned to the list. Once you are on the detail screen of your choice you an enter the information requested.

The start time doesn’t have to be exact so input whatever information you have. When you are done select “Next” and input the duration of the selected activity and then select “Done” to finish up. In the red box at the top right of your screen you will see an amount of calories that Fitbit believes you burned during that activity/duration (see fig. 6 below). If you disagree you can simply change the calorie amount by selecting the text “Manually enter calories burned” mid screen. Now you can alter the calories burned count for that activity. When you are done, select the “Log It” red button and you will be taken back to the Fitbit Exercise summary screen (see fig. 7 below).

Please note that by adding more calories to the activity in the Fitbit app, you will not make your body burn more calories than it did during the activity. Only adjust the calories if you are sure that what you did, burned more or less than what the Fitbit app suggested. You can’t fool your body!

 
Kickstart Your Lifehackr Diet activity screen 02 using the Fitbit app

Track

The Fitbit app for most non-smartphone devices (computers, laptops and some tablets) does not support this functionality as it uses the GPS chips inside your device to record and measure your walks, hikes or runs using the “Track” functionality. This is a really cool feature, but be warned depending on your device, it could use more battery power than an average app on your device.

As you are about to start your walk, hike or run select the Stopwatch icon from the Fitbit Dashboard to be taken to the Exercise summary screen (as described in the “Log” section above). Next, select the Stopwatch icon at the top right of this screen. By default you should be in the “Track” screen/function (see fig. 1 below). If a dialogue box appears on screen that indicates your device only has wifi (and not a navigation chip) and the results may be erratic, then its best that you log your activity manually as described above.

If you are ready to start your walk, run or hike press the big red start button on the screen and the active Tracking screen will appear (see fig. 2 below). When you are done your activity, select the big red button (now with a pause icon in the center) and then hold down the “Finish” button until the green flood animation fills your screen. Now you should see a summary screen with a map and your route plus stats visible (see fig. 3 below), congratulations! Your walk, run or hike has now been recorded in the Fitbit app and you have been awarded the calories burned (see fig. 4 below).

 
Kickstart Your Lifehackr Diet activity screen 03 using the Fitbit app

Exercise and Activity – Automatic Recording

Once your Fitbit pedometer is connected to your smartphone all you need to do to is let the app sync with your Fitbit pedometer for all your data to upload to your app and subsequently the website. If you want to track walks, runs or hikes using the “Track” or “Log” functionality described in the “Manual Recording” section above you can do that as well and Fitbit is smart enough not to double your recorded data (sorry, nice try!). The Fitbit pedometer only records your steps so if you are gardening, at a yoga session, stand up paddle boarding or any other activity that is more than just steps you should manually record those activities as described above.

Food and Water

What you eat and drink, how much of it, all has a direct effect on your body weight, fat index, your overall health and wellbeing. We all make dozens of decisions a day that have an impact on our health. Some are conscious but for most we are “checked out” when we make them. The LifehackrDiet will show you how to take control of those decisions and learn to make them with your health and wellbeing in mind.
By recording what you eat you are deciding to take responsibility for your actions. Your good habits will shine and the bad ones can no longer lurk in the dark, it will be sunshine all around!

Food

Eating the right foods in reasonable quantities is important for your health, weight-loss and wellbeing. The approach of the LifehackrDiet is not to change things up all at once, but rather 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 with the Fitbit food diary you are taking responsibility for every morsel of food that passes your lips.

 
Kickstart Your Lifehackr Diet food screen 01

Open the Fitbit app on your smartphone, you should see the Dashboard screen. Scroll to the knife and fork icon “Calories Eaten”, and select it (see fig. 1 above). You are now in the “Food” summary screen where you can see your stats for the past week, an update on how you are doing for calories out and in for that day, and finally a list of food items you have logged for the day (see fig. 2 above).

To add a food item to the diary, select the “+” icon in the top right of the screen and you will see the “Log Food” input screen (see fig. 3 above). Assuming that this is the first time you have input food items to the Fitbit app there will be no items listed under the “frequent” or “Recent” categories. If you have logged before then you can input your items much faster using these pre-populated lists.

To log a single food item, manually, just touch anywhere in the “Search” text field and your devices’ virtual keyboard will become active. Start typing the name of the item (as an example “apple”) and you will see a list of all the apple items in the Fitbit app’s database listed below (see fig. 3 above). Start scrolling until you find the item that most closely matches what you are looking for and select it.

Meals

If you go out to eat or you prepare a homemade meals, it would be very time consuming to input each and every ingredient into the food diary, and frankly, a little obsessive. Good news, I not here to make you crazy! You can search for dishes in the Fitbit food diary too.

For example if you went out to a Vietnamese restaurant and had a portion of “Shrimp Spring Rolls” you would not have to put in every ingredient just search for it; “Shrimp Spring Rolls” (see fig. 5 below). The result won’t be the exact calorie count of the ones you are actually eating but they will be in the range (see fig. 6 below). If your home garden is exploding with ripe tomatoes and cucumbers and you decide to make a batch of Gazpacho soup, search the term and you will find plenty of options to choose from. Sometimes you will have to get a little creative with recording meals, but remember it’s better to over record your calories since you can’t cheat your body/metabolism. The next day or two you will be pleasantly surprised, when your weight inches down.

 
Kickstart Your Lifehackr Diet food screen 02

Scanning

The Fitbit app takes advantage of your smartphone’s camera and can use it as a UPC barcode scanner (see fig. 7 above). This functionality allows you to simplify the food/meal item(s) entry into your food diary. There is one caveat; your food items needs to have a barcode. This works well for packaged items, frozen goods, frozen prepared meals and snacks.

Open the Fitbit app on your smartphone (or tablet), you should be on the Dashboard screen. Scroll to the knife and fork icon “calories eaten” select it (See fig. 1 & 2 above). You are now in the “Food” summary screen. To add a food item to the diary, select the “+” icon in the top right of the screen and you will see the “Log Food” input screen. To the right of the “search” field you will see a barcode icon, select this and the app will engage your camera and it’s barcode scanning module (see fig. 7 above). Now move the barcode of the object you want to scan so that it fits just inside the guides on screen. When the Fitbit app registers seeing the barcode, the guides will turn green and a moment later you should see the results of the scan in the “Add Food” screen. Adjust the serving size, which meal and if you need to adjust the date/meal. When you are done adjusting the data, select the “Save” button at the top right of the screen to record your item and return to the “Food Summary” screen.

Quick Tips for Data Entry

Here are 4 shortcuts that can help you input your food data quickly and efficiently. From the Fitbit Dashboard select the “calories eaten” panel to be taken to the Food summary screen. Tap the “+” icon in the top right of the screen and you will be on the “Log Food” screen.

Frequent – As you manually add or scan items into your customized food diary, the list of items below the “Frequent” tab will grow. Now you can either quickly scroll to find a favorite item or start typing the name of the item in the search field. Items that you eat frequently will gather on this Frequent list for faster entry.

Recent – Items that you have recently selected or added to your food diary will appear in this list. If I am eating my way through some leftovers, I can usually find them listed here.

Custom – If you have searched the Fitbit food database by either text entry or scanning and you aren’t able to find the food item, you can select the “Custom” tab and manually enter the product’s nutritional information. By tapping the “Add Custom Food” icon you will be taken to the “Create Food” screen where you can get access a simplified version of the nutritional information fields. If you would like to put more nutritional information into the database, tap “Switch to detailed View.” To return to the simplified view scroll to the bottom and tap the “Switch to Simplified View” and you will be brought back to the basic info fields. To save your newly entered food into the Fitbit food database, tap “Save” in the top right of the screen.

Add Calories – If you are in a hurry or simply want to quickly add calories to your food diary you can do so by tapping the “123” icon, at the top left of the “Log Food” screen. You can quickly add the number of calories consumed via a number pad. Tap the “Save” icon at the top right of the screen to record your entry and return to the main food summary screen.
 

Water

Keeping hydrated is a very important factor in keeping you health 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.

Whichever way you look at it, drinking at least 8, 8 fl. oz. glasses of water (64 fl. oz.) is the least you should be aiming for. The Fitbit Food Diary can help you by making it really easy to record and track your consumption.

Kickstart Your Lifehackr Diet water screen 01 using the Fitbit app

From the Dashboard of the Fitbit app on your smartphone screen, scroll until you see the glass of water icon with “0 fl oz” to the right of it (see fig. 1 above). Select this icon and you will be presented the “Water” input and summary screen. There are three ways to input the amount of water you are drinking;

1. Tap in the large text field beside the standing person icon and your device’s number keyboard will appear allowing you to manually input the number of fluid ounces you have consumed. Tap “Log it” to enter the amount into your diary (see fig. 2 above).

2. Touch and hold the silver button and drag it to the right until the number of fluid ounces you want, appears in the text field above.Tap “Log it” to enter the amount into your diary.

3. Tap on the glass/bottle icons that represent the amount of fluid ounces you want to record and then tap “Log it” to enter the amount into your diary.

Select the “Dashboard” button to return to the Fitbit dashboard where you can see your statistics summary (see fig. 4 above). You will see your current water consumption status included in the list.

 

Food Plan

One of the ways the Fitbit digital diary helps you lose weight (behind the scenes) is that once you set up your goals, it shaves off a corresponding number of calories from your daily allowance. So if you have a 1000Cal allowance for the day, the app takes off 250Cal (Easier plan intensity) so you actually have 750Cal remaining. That 1000Cal is the amount you could eat to keep your weight static, the –250Cal ensures there is a downward trek for your weight. Higher intensity plans increase the calorie deficit and although you might be tempted to crank up the intensity in an effort to lose weight fast, it most likely won’t work!

We are creatures of habit and our metabolisms are programmed to keep us alive – big changes often don’t work the way we expect. From a psychological perspective we don’t adapt well to large, sweeping changes to our lifestyle and we fight to get back into our comfort zone. From a metabolic perspective our body reacts in a defensive manner when experiencing a large, lasting calorie deficit as it tries to hold on to a fat reservoir to keep us alive. Crash diets rarely work for very long and are not healthy.

The reason the LifehackrDiet is so effective is because it respects both your psychological and metabolic processes. Remember;
– Small changes that fit YOUR lifestyle
– Start with your favorite foods and make SMALL changes
– LIGHT calorie deficits so as to not freak out your metabolism.
– Making all these small changes over time so they BECOME your new lifestyle.
-When you reach your goals, you don’t need to diet anymore because you’ve reinvented your lifestyle.

Now with all of that in mind lets setup a Food Plan that will get you to your goal and keep you there.

Create Food Plan

If you have already setup a food plan and want to make changes, please see “Goals and Updating Your Plan” below. If you have not already set up your food plan go to the Fitbit Dashboard, scroll until you see “Start a food plan” with a plate and cutlery icon. Select it and you be taken to the “Create Food Plan” screen where you need to enter your starting weight (what you weigh now) and your goal weight (see fig. 2 below). You can change your goal weight at any time so you might want to consider a staggered approach and select your first goal weight. Once you hit that weight, you can celebrate and then lower it again. Repeat until you reach your final weight goal.
When you have entered these numbers press “Next” at the top right of the screen.

Plan Intensity

As discussed above, there really is no point in rushing your weight loss as we are working on making permanent change in your life. You are going to be making lots of small changes to your life, so I would suggest until you get the hang of this change-y thing, start with the “Easier” plan intensity setting (see fig. 3 below). You should see an estimated date for when you will hit your goal weight (see fig. 3 below). Don’t freak out if this date is further out than you expected – remember permanent change!

You will also see, once you are knee deep in your LifehackrDiet journey, that this date is a moving target and it doesn’t really matter because you are seeing positive change every day.

Read through the information on the “How it works” page and you will see “Calories you can still eat today:”. This number will be constantly calculated based on your digital pedometer steps reading, your manually added Activities and the Food you are logging in your food journal. Select the “Next” in the top right of the screen.
You will now see a summary of the choices you made (see fig. 4 below).


Kickstart Your Lifehackr Diet meal plan screen 01 using the Fitbit app

Goals and Updating Your Plan

The Dashboard of the Fitbit screen summarizes your daily data and uses a progress bar and it’s color to represent how close you are to each of your daily goals. This functionality is purely eye candy and a way of helping you sustain your motivation throughout the day. You don’t have to set these targets, or you can change them after the “observation” period, when you have an idea of what you can achieve. Feel free to play with this daily goal feature as much as you like.

From the Dashboard screen of your Fitbit app, select the “Account” icon in the bottom right of your screen (see fig. 1 above). Once you are on the “Goals” screen you can tap on any of the existing numbers to bring up your number keyboard and adjust the goal (see fig. 2 above).

You can also edit your “Diet Plan” from this screen by tapping on the currently displayed “Food” and calorie deficit number (see fig. 1 above), which will lead you through the “Food Plan” sequence (see fig. 2, 3 & 4 above) as discussed above.

This screen also allows you to set your goal for daily water consumption (see fig. 1 above) which will be reflected on the Dashboard summary page and the detailed water logging page. Remember a great goal to start off with, is 64 fl. oz.

 

What We Covered

In LifehackrDiet Lifestyle Assessment – Step 2, We covered;

  1. An overview of what recording your data means.
  2. How to record your sleep data manually and automatically using the Fitbit app and pedometers.
  3. Recording your Body Weight and Fat Percentage data both manually and then reviewed automatic recording process.
  4. We took a look at how to record your Exercise and Activity data manually using logging, tracking and then how to do it automatically.
  5. Food and water recording was reviewed along with shortcut techniques; meals, scanning and the use of frequent and recent personalized lists.
  6. Finally, we went into detail about the Food Plan, how to create one, which ones to choose and why, and how to update your plan as you progress.
  7.  

    That concludes the LifehackrDiet Lifestyle Assessment, Step 2.

    Review LifehackrDiet Lifestyle Assessment, Step 1.

    Move on to LifehackrDiet Lifestyle Assessment, Step 3.

     
    Please contact me if you have any questions.
     

    Thanks for Reading!

    [cta]

LifehackrDiet Lifestyle Assessment – Step 1

LifehackrDiet Lifestyle Assessment – Step 1

What is the LifehackrDiet?


 
 

Step 1 Overview


 
 

LifehackrDiet Lifestyle Assessment – Overview

Step 1
Let’s get your steps and other activities recorded so that we know how many calories you are burning.

Step 2
Next up, with the help of a free app, you will start logging your food, giving you a clearer picture of your calorie intake. Your real-time, calorie balance calculation, will allow you to make informed decisions about food and exercise.

Step 3
Finally you will share your assessment data with our resident LifehackrDiet coach. That requires downloading of a final free app, which will share your data with our coach and allow two way messaging communications. You can ask questions and get advice from your coach during the assessment period. Finally after approximately 10 to 14 days, your coach will make your final assessment, taking into account all your data.

Lifehackr diet chart to lose weight

LifehackrDiet Flow chart

The LifehackrDiet Flow chart is the basis of the approach you are going to be taking while you are on the LifehackrDiet. It’s a simple, empirical approach which gives you tools to help you reach your weight-loss and wellness goals. So much about eating, body image and weight is tied to deep emotions and self-identity. These tools will help you separate from those strong bounds and let you see the issues for what they are; habits you can change, one small change at a time.

diet chart

Pedometer – Calories Out

A digital pedometer enables you to quantify the calories you burn by moving during the day. Today’s technology gives us realtime, always on, wireless devices that automatically synchronize (via Bluetooth technology) with your smartphone and installed apps. All you have to do is remember to attach the pedometer to your self in the morning, the rest is automated.
 

Kickstart your Diet Chart -

Food Diary – Calories In

Now that we have a clear idea of how much we are moving and how many calories we burn in a day, we need to start figuring out how many calories we consume. To do that, use a food diary to record what and how much you eat in your day.
 
 

kickstart you Diet chart

Weight Scale – Results

A body weight scale works as a validator of the (calories out – calories in) sum. If the amount of calories you burn in a day/week/month is greater than the calories you’ve consumed, you will lose weight. The body weight scale will validate this.
 
 

diet chart

Smartphone – Evaluation

When you know how many calories you are burning, consuming, and the resulting weight change, you can make informed choices about your food and exercise in order to move yourself towards your goals.
 
 

diet chart

You – Decisions

Your pedometer, food diary, weight scale and smartphone software can calculate where your are at any given moment, but it is ultimately up to you to make the decisions which will move you forward towards your health goals. LifehackrDiet helps you set up this system and also shows you ways in which you can make small changes to your lifestyle that will bring permanent change. It’s up to you, and no one else, to make all of this happen.
 
 

Step 1

Welcome to Step 1 of the LifehackrDiet Lifestyle Assessment, you are going be on the fast track to reaching your health goals very soon.

Through the Smartphone and Gear survey, we were able to determine that your smartphone does support Bluetooth LE technology which is so important nowadays, as it allows your smartphone to connect with lots of devices, specifically a Fitbit (or your existing brand) digital pedometer.

We will move forward with downloading a free app and possibly ordering a digital pedometer. Next we will check to see if you have a standard body weight scale or not, and analyze how you can best collect data on your weight loss. Moving along we will set up the App you have downloaded and I will show you how to record your daily data (input will go very fast once you get the hang of it).

Finally we will take a week to get used to the technology, recording our data and simply observing what we normally eat and how much we normally move. It is very helpful to set up a baseline and kind of fun when you can look back and laugh at your old self (silly ‘ol me!)

Using a Fitbit digital pedometer with Bluetooth LE, your data collection is easy. Just clip or slip on anyone of the Fitbit pedometers and your every footstep is recorded and ready to be sent to your smartphone, when you open the accompanying Fitbit app.
Downside: You have to remember to wear the pedometer! Form Factor: They come as clip-ons or as a wristband.

Now, I make the case for getting your hands on a Fitbit digital pedometer. Don’t worry, if you decide not to keep it, there is a 45 day money back guarantee (if you are outside the US and Canada regions, please check with your Fitbit store online).

If you already own a Jawbone UP or a Misfit Shine/Flash, please feel free to use it during the assessment. I explain in more detail how you can proceed here.

 
diet chart

Pedometer Hardware

The next step (no pun intended) is to make sure everyone of the precious, calorie burning steps you take in your day, is recorded and scored against every (not so precious) calorie you consume! Time to get a digital pedometer!
Although there are several great manufacturers of digital pedometers with Bluetooth LE capabilities, I have chosen one in particular; Fitbit. Here is why I am suggesting, while you get started on the LifehackrDiet, we simplify things with one manufacturer. (Feel free to choose or use any other manufacturer’s device for the LifehackrDiet.)

  1. Fitbit makes a line of products and currently has three models to offer in two different form factors and at several different price points.
  2. They are a well established company with a large segment of the digital pedometer market.
  3. They have amazing customer service. I have had three incidences where they have taken responsibility for their products and made sure I was a happy customer.
  4. Their products work seamlessly with the iPhone and from what I have heard, have excellent support for Android smartphones.
  5. Their software app, Fitbit.app, shares data with many other software platforms and apps so that your data can move between apps (with your express permission, of course).
  6. They offer free shipping on orders of $50 or more.
  7. They offer 45 day Money Back Guarantee.
  8. There is a tsunami coming in the health wearables marketplace and things are going to shift drastically. I am confident that Fitbit has the assets to survive and thrive this market shakeout. (I will cover more of this change in the wearables market in a future blog post.)
  9. Fitbit products consistently score higher than competitive products, like in this shoot out.
  10. .

I have owned three Fitbit products, my wife owns one and we are constantly delighted with their products. I will have reviews and links to other manufacturers digital pedometers in the Resources section.

I have an affiliate relationship with Fitbit which means when you read this review and order one of their products from the link I provide, I make a little money from the sale and it COSTS YOU NOTHING extra (thank you in advance for buying through my link as it helps support LifehackrDiet.com).

Here is a brief rundown of the current Fitbit products;


Fitbit Zip

Fitbit Zip

Retails for $59.95 (free shipping)
A simple sturdy digital pedometer with a battery that can last up to 6 months and is inexpensive to replace. A great starter model.
Read Fitbit Zip “Real Life Review”
Watch Fitbit Zip Setup Video;
[iframe src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/2bx-qE-jPXs?rel=0″ width=”560″ height=”315″]
 

Fitbit One

 
Fitbit One

Retails for $99.95 (free shipping)
This is my favorite Fitbit, it’s elegant, collects lots of data and only needs to be charge every week to 10 days. If you are serious about your activity then the Fitbit One is a great choice.
Read Fitbit One “Real Life Review
Watch Fitbit One Setup Video;
[iframe src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/eb9oHiTausA?rel=0″ width=”560″ height=”315″]
 

Fitbit Flex

Make Fitness a Lifestyle with Flex

Retails for $99.95 (free shipping)
The Fitbit Flex has lots going for it including a fashion sense. This is a wrist band pedometer that tracks your activities during the day and your sleep at night. This is definitely a very popular Fitbit, and for good reason.
Read Fitbit Flex “Real Life Review”

Kickstart your Diet Chart -

 

Software

We have dealt with the smartphone and pedometer hardware, now we will discuss the software you need to get started. I am conflicted about which of the two apps I use, you should download first. I use both the Fitbit and MyFitnessPal apps and they are both excellent, but in slightly different ways. The good news is they are both free and the Fitbit app talks to the MyFitnessPal app and visa versa. That means you can start with the Fitbit app and later add the MyFitnessPal app to your app arsenal.
Let’s start with the free Fitbit app which you can download here; iPhone/iPad or Android.

If you have a Jawbone UP activity tracking device, please feel free to continue using it for the LifehackrDiet Lifestyle Assessment. In step 3, you will be able to sync your data with the Nudge App.

If you have a Misfit Shine or Flash activity tracking device, they do not automatically sync with the Nudge app (this could change in a future app update). If you are willing to manually enter your walking distance in the Nudge App and track your food in MyFitnessPal (all apps are free), we could make it work for the assessment. Please contact me if you have any questions about this.

The Fitbit app is easy to use and incredibly useful. Even while you wait for your newly ordered Fitbit digital pedometer to arrive, you can track your food and water consumption, your walking or runs by duration and other activities you do like gardening, kayaking, a work out at the gym and lots more. This is all great preparation for what you are going to do on the LifehackrDiet. All of this data recording might seem overwhelming at first, I can assure you that it will become second nature very quickly, and take less than 5 minutes of your day to complete.

    1. Download the Fitbit App for iPhone/iPad or Android.
    2. Watch the Fitbit Account Setup Video;

[iframe src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/-93kFIS-LXE?rel=0″ width=”560″ height=”315″]

 

kickstart you Diet chart

Body Weight Scale

As illustrated in the “LifehackrDiet Flow Chart” image (as seen at the beginning of this blog post) part of the the LifehackrDiet flow requires you to evaluate your body weight on a daily or several times a week basis. This helps you evaluate your “metabolic” picture and assess progress along with the other values you will be recording. If you already own a body weight scale that you are happy with, then there is no reason to replace it. You might want to consider replacing your body weight scale if it does not have a digital display with 10ths of a pound/kilo or does not have a body fat reading. These are both helpful when you are making decisions on the LifehackrDiet. There are many choices for body weight scales but again I want to make this initial process easy for you so here are my recommendations and reasons;

A Quick explanation of a Manual scale v.s. a Wifi or Bluetooth scale.
The problem with many of the Wifi or Bluetooth enabled scales is that (for the moment) they are locked into certain apps on your smartphone. That means, if you buy the scale by company “A” and you decide you don’t want to use their app anymore then your data will not transfer – it is siloed in the company “A” app and can’t be uploaded to your new app choice (there are exceptions to this). What I call a “manual” scale has all the measuring capabilities of the higher end scales but it lacks the auto data upload. That means you need to remember your weight and body fat index number long enough to put it into your app of choice on your smartphone. For me that is a whole 15 seconds, which first thing in the morning is a challenge, but a good one! The whole connected health device market is about to change with Apple’s introduction of the Healthkit ecosystem in iOS 8 (fall of 2014). Regardless I highly doubt that a manual scale will be left out of this sea-change.

EatSmart Scale

EatSmart Precision GetFit Digital Body Fat Scale
Retails for $49.95 (free shipping)
After trying several higher end body weight scales I found this inexpensive one (without Wifi/Bluetooth connectivity) fit my needs perfectly. Like Fitbit, this company is very involved with their customers (just look at the reviews on Amazon. The VP of the company is always making sure everyone is happy!) Because you need to put your daily data into your app of choice, manually, there are no connectivity and compatibility issues (your fingers do the data input).
Read EatSmart Precision GetFit Digital Body Fat Scale “Real Life Review”
Watch EatSmart Precision GetFit Digital Body Fat Scale Setup Video;

[iframe src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/GloOASlQEfg?rel=0″ width=”420″ height=”315″]
 

Fitbit Aria

Fitbit ARIA Wi-Fi Smart Scale
Retails for $129.95 (free shipping)
The Fitbit Aria tracks your weight, body fat percentage, and BMI, painting a picture of your long-term progress. It wirelessly syncs your stats with online graph and mobile tools that help you stay motivated and on track. When you’re in control, stepping on the scale feels good. Connects with the Fitbit app and as mentioned above, the Fitbit app can share that data with other apps like MyFitnessPal.
Fitbit ARIA Wi-Fi Smart Scale “Real Life” Review

Fitbit Aria Scale Setup Video;
[iframe src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/xsbG0qrTrZw?rel=0″ width=”560″ height=”315″ ]

 

What We Covered

In LifehackrDiet Lifestyle Assessment, Step 1. We covered;

  1. An overview of your LifehackrDiet Lifestyle Assessment.
  2. You saw the LifehackrDiet Flow Chart which illustrated how the LifehackrDiet works.
  3. I outlined how you would use your selected device to synchronize your data to the Fitbit app.
  4. I recommended several digital pedometers and explained their pros and cons.
  5. Software was also discussed with links to download free apps that you will use.
  6. The importance of using a body weight scale was touched on.

 

That concludes the LifehackrDiet Lifestyle Assessment, Step 1.

Check out LifehackrDiet Lifestyle Assessment, Step 2.

 
Please contact me if you have any questions.

 

Thanks for Reading!

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