What is the LifehackrDiet?
Step 1 Overview
LifehackrDiet Lifestyle Assessment – Overview
Let’s get your steps and other activities recorded so that we know how many calories you are burning.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.)
- Fitbit makes a line of products and currently has three models to offer in two different form factors and at several different price points.
- They are a well established company with a large segment of the digital pedometer market.
- 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.
- Their products work seamlessly with the iPhone and from what I have heard, have excellent support for Android smartphones.
- 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).
- They offer free shipping on orders of $50 or more.
- They offer 45 day Money Back Guarantee.
- 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.)
- Fitbit products consistently score higher than competitive products, like in this shoot out.
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;
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″]
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″]
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”
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.
[iframe src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/-93kFIS-LXE?rel=0″ width=”560″ height=”315″]
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 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 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;
- An overview of your LifehackrDiet Lifestyle Assessment.
- You saw the LifehackrDiet Flow Chart which illustrated how the LifehackrDiet works.
- I outlined how you would use your selected device to synchronize your data to the Fitbit app.
- I recommended several digital pedometers and explained their pros and cons.
- Software was also discussed with links to download free apps that you will use.
- The importance of using a body weight scale was touched on.
That concludes the LifehackrDiet Lifestyle Assessment, Step 1.
Thanks for Reading!