Tech and My Training Wreck

With my up and coming trek to Nepal, I knew that losing a few excess kg’s was in order. So I got some tech to help me out.

The big question. Does it work?

The first thing I bought were some digital scales – Fitbit’s Aria seemed to fit a criteria:

  • Easy to use, just stand on them.
  • When a reading is done, it is automatically updated to a web server via WiFi.
  • Go to a browser and look at your success (and failures).

Here’s what it looks like:

fitbitaria

It’s all very simple. The setup is interesting, you have to connect to the scales first via WiFi and program it. There are no actual buttons anywhere on the scales (probably for water proofing). You don’t need to Bluetooth to a phone which is even better.

The other thing I got a few weeks after getting the scales was a Fitbit Surge:

fitbitsurge

I’ve already written a little about this device here. It’s got a built in GPS so it tells me exactly where I’m been when I’ve been training. So how good are these things and do they make you lose weight?

Last month I walked, ran, cycled hundreds of kilometers and climbed over 6 km:

fitbittotals

The month(s) before that I was achieving similar results.

After all this work I’ve only lost 6 kg since mid-July (a period of just over 3 months):

fitbitweightloss

That’s only 2 kg per month. I was hoping for much better than that. And every Mon/Tue I found myself trying to recover from whatever nice food (and alcohol!) I ate the previous week-end.

So it led me realize that exercising to lose weight is only part of the equation. In fact I would say only 20% – the rest is diet. And I hate dieting! Do I have to cut the wine intake? Sigh, the joys of being middle aged 😦

My theory is that exercise makes your digestive system “more efficient”. Exercise only gets you so far. Don’t get me wrong, exercise has extraordinary benefits for your health – too many to list here. I’d definitely struggle while trekking if I didn’t.

One thing I did notice was a reduction in resting heart rate which occurred very quickly (only after a couple of weeks of training). It doesn’t really show it below, but my heart rate has gone from around 68 to below 60 bpm. Yes, I’m not 20 anymore…

sleep

I can do 10 sets of stairs at the Kangaroo Point Cliffs (Brisbane, Australia) in under 16 minutes now. I originally started with only doing 6 sets at a much slower pace.

Stairs.PNG

You can wave your mouse over the charts at the bottom and see the cursor on the map move which is extremely clever.

So what do I think of all this? Does this tech make you lose weight?

The answer is no. These devices look at the past very well. They won’t help you with the future. You’ve just to sort that out yourself (and ditch the bad carbs).

What it did for me is to be more careful with my eating, especially on week-ends. But you have to admit the data from these things is amazing even if your results aren’t 🙂