Using The FitBit One

I suck at being healthy. I drink quite a bit of beer (and not that ultralight crap, either), eat terribly, and I have a strong aversion to exercise. In my early 20s, this wasn’t an issue – my metabolism was a rockstar, easily processing all of this with no issue. Unfortunately, in my late 20s, my metabolism apparently packed up and left, and I gained 40lbs over a few years, going up 3 pant sizes.

My wife is helping with the healthy eating. She’s watched a few of those documentaries about the crap food we normally eat, so we do alot of ‘clean eating’ and whatnot. This is less fried and ‘fast’ food, and more veggies and fruits. For the exercise part, I didn’t really have much – I tried buying an elliptical last year, but that didn’t end well. We carry the FitBit at RadioShack, so I figured I would give the One a shot.

FitBit One
FitBit One

The FitBit One is primarily a step counter, but it has some other features, as well. There’s an included wristband so you can use it as a sleep tracker, and it tracks distance traveled and calories burned, too. Here’s a quick screengrab of my profile:

FitBit Dashboard
FitBit Dashboard

When I first got my FitBit, I purposefully didn’t make any changes to my habits – I wanted to get a benchmark for the level of activity I’m currently doing. I noticed that I was doing around 3.5k steps per day. This was a great starting point, and I was easily able to identify a few places to improve. I pretty much only take the elevators when I’m going up more than 3 floors, and the stairs the rest of the time. Since I work on the 7th floor, that’s a lot of ‘down’ stairs. I’ve been able to raise my goal to 6k steps per day by just making a few small changes.

The sleep tracker isn’t as solid, in my opinion. It works, I just have trouble trusting its accuracy. It tracks movement, so if I lay still when I wake up for ~30 minutes, it tracks that as ‘sleep’, though I’m clearly not asleep. It’s also a bit difficult for me to remember to take the FitBit One out of its clip and slip it into the wristband, though the FitBit Flex fixes that by making the whole thing a wristband. Still a cool feature, though, and one I’ll continue to use (with a grain of salt).

FitBit also ties into a number of other services, such as MyFitnessPal, where I can enter in the food that I eat to get a more accurate idea of calories in vs calories out. It’s still pretty inaccurate, especially if I eat out for lunch or dinner, but at least it gives me a slightly better idea as to what I need to improve on.

We’re soon getting a FitBit Aria scale – this scale connects to WiFi and tracks your weight, body fat percentage, and BMI (Body Mass Index), which should give me an even better idea of how I can get my body back in shape. I’ll definitely report back after a few weeks with that.

What do YOU do to try to keep in shape?

If you’d like to follow along and encourage me, here are the links to connect:

FitBit Profile
MyFitnessPal Profile

Update: here’s a more in-depth look at the FitBit One from my friend Rita El Khoury.

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