So I’ve determined that I need some tools to help me get to where I want to go in the weight loss portion of my journey to good health. After looking around at what is available in the market, I’ve settled on the following:
- FitBit Zip wireless activity tracker – this is basically a simple pedometer integrated with a web-based service to track steps
- FitBit Aria WiFi scale – this “smart” scale measures weight and body fat percentage and automatically uploads it’s readings
With these hardware tools (along with a set of software tools I’ll cover in my next post) I’ve created a system which will facilitate tracking my input (calories eaten), output (calories burned through activity) and results (weight and bodyfat % trends).
I’ve been considering getting a FitBit tracker (or something functionally similar) since I first heard of the product segment (in late 2011 with the release of the star-crossed JawBone Up). It wasn’t until this January that I finally decided my health was worth the $100 investment to try it out.
I was initially looking at the FitBit One, which offers a few more features than the Zip (sleep tracking, stair climb counter, wireless syncing) — the One sells for about $100 v. $60 for the Zip. However, in early January I found a package deal offered by Best Buy for a Zip and an Aria scale (which normally sells for $130 by itself) for $150. I wasn’t really planning on investing in a scale; I already had a perfectly serviceable (although non-connected) bathroom scale. But I saw the value in the package (figuring that if I didn’t like the scale I could re-sell it and still come out ahead versus buying a Zip on its own) and took the plunge. I’m so happy I did, because of the two items I’m finding at least as much or more value from the scale as I am from the tracker.
The scale simply removes one more barrier from the weight loss tracking process: having to manually record and track one’s weight. I simply step on it every morning as soon as I get out of the shower and it does its thing and uploads its results to the FitBit site automatically. It’s so easy and having this daily data is probably not something I would otherwise take the time to consistently track. Having daily weight readings is important to the accuracy of the moving average trendline.
In my next post I’ll discuss the software tools which integrate with the FitBit hardware to flesh out my weight loss system.