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torimartin

Has anyone here tried Vida or MyFitnessPal?

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I've used MyFitnessPal for two years (same username as here) to log everything I eat & drink accurately & honestly. I lost weight and have successfully maintained (so far).

For the calories out side of the equation, I have two activity trackers: Fitbit Flex and Jawbone UP24. (They both do the same thing, but I'm a data nerd.)

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I have used MFP off and on, and when I'm disciplined enough to use it accurately, I have lost weight. I may start it up again, since I need to lose about 15 lbs. I have been using a pedometer to track my steps walked, but ordered a Fitbit Flex, and it arrived today -- yay! It's charging as I type.

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I have a Jawbone Up regular and a VirginPulse pedometer (which actually pays me money for walking through my employer).  I'm considering getting the new Jawbone Up3 when it comes out, but I'll have to see how good it is. I've had to replace my present Up band 3 times (fortunately all covered under the warantee).   Having a fitness tracker is a definite boost for me.  It keeps me conscious of how much I move during the day.  I make sure I get at least 12,000 steps a day.   The pedometer and the Up band are usually fairly close, although occasionally they are off by as much as 1000 steps.  One feature the Up band has that I like is that I can set it to buzz when I've been idle for too long. You can set it to go off as often as every 15 minutes to 2 hours.   I set it for 45 minutes.  When it goes off and I'm at work, I get up and walk to the end of the hall and back, about 100 steps each way.   At home, I get up and try to do something useful.  

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I haven't used any of these. Recently the weight I lost a few years ago is "finding" me again. How frustrating. My primary issue right now is I replaced all my "fat" clothes with new sizes, and everything is getting snug. I was a misses XL (size 18-20) to a medium (8-10) . I'm wearing more dresses/skirts to work, since they are more forgiving than pants. I need to get back on track, fast, before I have no clothes to wear.

Does anyone have a breakdown of which of these devices or programs do what? Fitbit seems to be the latest. Pros and cons? Worth the money? How do these devices work with the machines at the gym? I use an elliptical machine and do some weight machines too.

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Does anyone have a breakdown of which of these devices or programs do what? Fitbit seems to be the latest. Pros and cons? Worth the money? How do these devices work with the machines at the gym? I use an elliptical machine and do some weight machines too.

You lose weight by eating fewer calories than you burn, period. All calorie counts and burns are estimates; some are more accurate than others. Any burns that don't factor in your age, sex, height & weight are useless. (Including the machines at the gym.)

Everybody's different, and weight loss takes a whole lot of trial & error to find what works for you. I log all my food & drink accurately & honestly in MyFitnessPal. I connected my Fitbit account to get more accurate burns.

I can't address the pros & cons of all the activity trackers out there, just the two I have: Fitbit Flex & Jawbone UP24. Fitbit makes other models that clip to your bra or slip in a pocket. It's possible for any Fitbit to fall off. Both Fitbit & UP sync with MyFitnessPal, and they both show you your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure). If you eat less than that, you will lose weight.

Fitbit can sync (via a dongle) with a computer; UP requires a smartphone or tablet. Fitbit's customer service is better. They're both super motivating. If I get home and see I'm thisclose to making my goal, I keep walking.

Edited to add that activity trackers track step-based activity. Non-step exercise (like swimming or biking) must be logged in the tracker's app. It will take trial & error to see if you need to log the elliptical. I would just consider the weight training extra insurance that you're actually eating at a deficit.

Edited by editorgrrl

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Thanks for the input. I'm putting fitbit it on my Amazon wishlist. It's my husband's go-to for how to shop.

I wish there was a way to get him motivated to get in better shape. (Said as I watch the guy with high blood pressure eat two hot dogs and a mound of potato chips for lunch)

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I have the Fitbit Flex, because it was free* -- I pretty much use it as a pedometer that I don't have to clip to my waistband, and to get a rough idea of how restless my sleep was the night before (since it tracks arm movement). I see where Fitbit is introducing new (pricier) models in 2015, including a couple that feature a heart rate monitor.

 

I'm not a hard-core exerciser, I'm walking for heart health. I'm also working to lose some weight, but I'm doing it slowly by changing my eating habits and adding in exercise. I don't go to a gym, because I'm self employed and on a budget -- I have DVDs and at-home workout gear that I've accumulated over the years, and I walk outside when the weather permits, and at a close-to-me mall the rest of the time.

 

* My Fitbit Flex was free as part of my health insurance wellness program (Humana Vitality). This isn't an endorsement or sales pitch, but I figure if I'm going to pay a gob of money for insurance, I might as well get as much out of it as I can.

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I wish there was a way to get [my husband] motivated to get in better shape.

You can't change anybody but you. Work on improving your own health. Maybe your progress will inspire your husband; maybe not. At least you'll be cooking healthier food. You can ask him to keep junk food out of your home, but make it all about you—never him. Do not nag, do not try to control what he eats on his own. You can ask him to participate in fun, healthy activities with you (perhaps start with walks?), but do not push or cajole.

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Yeah, Vida is quite new. I have been using the service for 6 weeks now with great results (lost about 15 pounds!) as the coach works closely with you to meet your specific health goals, diet and exercise routine. You should try, first week is free and its $15 per week afterwards.

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Update - I have been using the fitbit flex for 3 weeks now. I do like it. I have it set up with a wireless connection to my phone, and also to my computer. There is a decent online forum for questions and tips. The bracelet is easy to get used to. One tip I got from the discussion forum is to put the device in your pocket, waistband, or attach to your shoe when using the elliptical at the gym. Because of the ways it records steps, low-impact exercise doesn't register as steps. Otherwise, it's pretty easy and perfect for someone who is not an athlete. At the end of the day, if I haven't logged enough steps, I do laps around the house to get my step count up.

Editorgrrl - you mentioned you have both a fit bit and jawbone. What is the reason to have two? Do they have different functions?

I am ready to start my new year with healthier habits.

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backformore, if you're a little short on steps and don't want to do laps around the house, try jumping jacks or even swinging your arms -- not technically steps, but the wrist movement will be logged and you'll get cardio benefits if you put enough effort into it.

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Editorgrrl - you mentioned you have both a fit bit and jawbone. What is the reason to have two? Do they have different functions?

I have a Fitbit Flex & a Jawbone UP24. They both do the same thing—calculate your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure), aka your maintenance calories. If you eat at a reasonable deficit from that, you will lose weight.

They both sync with MyFitnessPal. By the way, Under Armour just bought MFP. No idea what changes will occur. I'd gladly pay for an ad-free version!

I have been using the fitbit flex for 3 weeks now. I do like it. There is a decent online forum for questions and tips. The bracelet is easy to get used to. One tip I got from the discussion forum is to put the device in your pocket, waistband, or attach to your shoe when using the elliptical at the gym. Because of the ways it records steps, low-impact exercise doesn't register as steps.

Sorry, but ur doing it wrong. The algorithm is designed to calculate your TDEE when worn on your non-dominant wrist. Non-step exercise (like swimming or biking) must be logged in the Fitbit app. Logging elliptical (or not) is entirely a matter of personal preference.

Don't take off your activity tracker, and don't stick it where it doesn't belong. The more you know!

Edited by editorgrrl

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Sorry, but ur doing it wrong. The algorithm is designed to calculate your TDEE when worn on your non-dominant wrist. Non-step exercise (like swimming or biking) must be logged in the Fitbit app. Logging elliptical (or not) is entirely a matter of personal preference.

 

The customer support folks on the fitbit website advised this as a way to count steps on the elliptical.  Because the elliptical "steps" are low-impact, the fitbit doesn't calculate the exercise as steps.  They advised putting the devise in a pocket or waistband, even a sock.   I have a small pocket in my workout pants, I use that, only for the elliptical, and I checked, it calculates steps  very well.  Yes, I can also log it under exercise, but I don't always do that, and I want a step count each day.

 

I'm still confused by your answer to my original question - why use two devices that do the exact same thing?  do you wear both the fitbit and the jawbone every day? 

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Yes, I wear them both. It's a very long story.

And thanks for teaching me something new. Did you know some people put their Fitbits on their dog to get extra steps?

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Are Fitbits waterproof? I'm 99% sure I'm calculating how many calories I burn while swimming wrong, but I'm not sure what type of instrument I could use to better calculate things.

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Are Fitbits waterproof? I'm 99% sure I'm calculating how many calories I burn while swimming wrong, but I'm not sure what type of instrument I could use to better calculate things.

They are considered water-resistant,  not waterproof, but no, not ok for swimming.   I suggest going to the fitbit website and ask about swimming, because there are several models, there might be one that is more appropriate for swimming. There is a discussion forum there where you could ask the quesiton, or search to see if someone else has asked.   I have the fitbit flex model, which is the basic (for the non-athlete) model, and it's not ok to shower or swim with it. 

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Are Fitbits waterproof? I'm 99% sure I'm calculating how many calories I burn while swimming wrong, but I'm not sure what type of instrument I could use to better calculate things.

 

I have a Fitbit Flex, which is "water resistant, and can be submerged up to 10 meters." I only take it off to charge, so I wear it in the shower every day, and I've worn it in tubs. However, Fitbits can only track step-based activity. All non-step exercise (including swimming) must be logged in the Fitbit app. So you can just take it off while swimming.

 

According to http://help.fitbit.com/articles/en_US/Help_article/Can-I-swim-or-shower-with-my-tracker

All Fitbit trackers are water-resistant, which means they are rain-proof and splash-proof and can stand up to even the sweatiest workout.

 

Do not swim with your tracker. We also don't recommend showering with your tracker; though the water won't hurt the device, wearing it 24/7 does not give your skin a chance to breathe. Whenever you get your tracker wet, dry it thoroughly before putting it back on.

 

Fitbit Surge is water resistant to 5 ATM, or 50 meters, and Fitbit Charge HR is water resistant to 1 ATM, or 10 meters. This means the trackers can be submerged and will still work when removed from the water. However, this does not mean the trackers can withstand the force associated with swimming strokes, so as mentioned previously we don't recommend swimming with the trackers.

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Did you know some people put their Fitbits on their dog to get extra steps?

Oh, that's funny. My mom offered to wear mine on her "wild" wrist -- after her stroke, her hand kind of does what it wants to. I'd never do that, or put mine on a dog (if I had one), but I don't have a problem transferring mine to my pants pocket when I go grocery shopping. Pushing the cart not only prevents my steps from being counted, but the vibration often puts the tracker in sleep mode.

 

I also take the tracker out and put it in the larger strap, then fasten it around my ankle before riding my stationary bike. I could attempt to gauge my speed or distance and enter the time as activity minutes, but it's easier to just let rotations count as steps. I know it's not completely accurate, but I'm not training for a race, just trying to encourage myself to be more active and to burn more calories.

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I've got a fitness tracker (Virgin Pulse) which I got from my employer, for which we actually get paid.   In the instructions they warn you not to put the tracker on your dog.   My coworker joked that she made the mistake of fastening the tracker to her cat, and wound up with almost 0 steps.  

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No one has been around here in a while.  Just checking in to see if there is anything new about MyFitnessPal?  Anyone think that it helps?  

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On 2/22/2015 at 1:16 PM, backformore said:

The customer support folks on the fitbit website advised this as a way to count steps on the elliptical.  Because the elliptical "steps" are low-impact, the fitbit doesn't calculate the exercise as steps.  They advised putting the devise in a pocket or waistband, even a sock.   I have a small pocket in my workout pants, I use that, only for the elliptical, and I checked, it calculates steps  very well.

That's what I do and I keep it in my pocket most days. In hindsight I should have bought the fitbit that clips on to my clothes and saved some money.

On 3/13/2017 at 7:19 AM, SunnyBeBe said:

No one has been around here in a while.  Just checking in to see if there is anything new about MyFitnessPal?  Anyone think that it helps?  

When I use it, as is (non-premium) I find it sufficient enough to be sucessful with my weight loss goals. It's not a new feature but I love begin able to scan the bar-codes (on the app) and copy/paste a recipe into the interface (on a computer). Some days I'll enter everything I've planned to consume into my food diary either in the AM or the night before. It helps me if I get snacky, I can already see where my calories are allocated.

The key to *my* success is everything in moderation and to not beat myself up if I go over my goal once in awhile because I indulged in an extra treat I was craving.

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