Tracking With Fitbook

Its Back! Yep, I'm switching back to the Fitbook as I look for another app to track my food and fitness.

I’m switching back to the Fitbook as I hunt for another app to track my food and fitness.

Fed up with My Fitness Pal’s “The App That I Will No Longer Name’s” data, I’m looking for another mobile tracker. But for now I’m going back to Fitbook. Yep, pen and paper for me.

While writing it down takes time, there is something nice about flipping back to my goals and notes. Yesterday I didn’t want to cook dinner. Thanks to the weather I spent the day cooped up in the house. The thought of going out to eat made sense to me. But before texting the hubby, I flipped open my Fitbook to my goals for the week. What did I see? Read More


Weight Loss: Reflect. Refocus. Repeat.

Behold the Fitbook! The weekly goal section helps me reflect and focus in on my goal of dropping 19.5 lbs. by year's end.

Behold the Fitbook! The weekly goal section helps me reflect and focus on my goal of dropping 19.5 lbs. by year’s end.

I’m loving my FitBook.  Yes, in the age of the app, I’m finding that pen and paper still has its advantages when dealing with weight loss.

Why? With the apps, it’s really about clicking something (and getting annoyed with my nemesis – Auto Correct!) and forgetting about it – pure tracking (but they are awesome trackers!)

With Fitbook, I actually have to think about goals for the week and the plan to hit those goals. Something the app trackers lack.

So this morning I rose early to take stock of my 2013 health and fitness goals. Other than my 5K goal, I haven’t looked at these in ages.  I wise I could say I’ve hit my targets. But the truth is they are terribly vague.

Wanna Lose Weight? Set Specific Goals
My next weight target is to lose 25% of my starting body weight. By when? How much is 25%? What will I do to lose 25%?

Ugh! How stupid. Is it little wonder I struggled with two plateaus this year.

If the goal isn’t specific, you won’t hit it.  If I can’t track or measure my goal, I’ll fail. My next weight loss goal must be specific with a target date.  So here we go:

Goal: I want to lose 30% of my starting weight (19.5 more pounds) by December 31st by sticking to 25g of carbs/day and working out 5 days a week.

With my 3 month goal set, I now need to break it down into smaller weekly goals to get me there.  Again, I need to think about what I’m doing.

Now that I’m tracking my food, it is really easy to see how my weight loss went off the rails.  I’ve reflected more on the negative – how I screwed up rather than my successes.  But most importantly, I completely forgot to take stock of where I’m at now on my weight loss journey and where do I want to go from here. Without refocusing my goals, how can I push myself to do better?

Reflect. Refocus. Repeat.

I’ve got 3 months to drop those 19.5 lbs. So after breakfast, I’m taking pen and paper in hand to spell out this week’s goals.

Note: In my haste this morning, I accidentally posted this under my husband’s name. Rest assured, this is a Dot2Trot post.


Fighting Late Night Hunger Blues

I need to eat more protein to keep up with my yoga and walking activities. Image courtesy of amenic181 and FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

I need to eat more protein to keep up with my yoga and walking activities. Image courtesy of amenic181 and FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

For the last couple of evenings, I’m feel famished at about 10:00 pm.  Rather than eat, I start chugging water. Thirty minutes later I’m hungry again once my bladder bursts. Something is afoot.

This is the beauty of keeping a food journal. I thumbed through my FitBook this morning and I found a potential culprit – protein. I’m averaging 3.5 oz. of protein at lunch and 4.5 oz. at dinner. Since I go low carb, I try not to go over six ounces of protein during breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Clearly I’m not near the 6 oz. limit per meal. But with the yoga and walks, I need to up my amount. Phew! An easy fix. I’ll find out tonight if this does the trick.


Keeping A Food Journal: 12-Week Challenge

Doubling down on food journaling! Today kicks off the start of my 12-Week Tracking Challenge.

Doubling down on food journaling! Today kicks off the start of my 12-Week Tracking Challenge.

Ok, I’ll admit it. I’m horrible at tracking my food. I don’t know why. I seem to go through cycles. Some weeks I am the most awesome tracker in the world. Others, I completely suck at it.

Guess what cycle I’m in now?

I know tracking works. When I track, the pounds fall off. It’s that simple.

Over the last 2 weeks, I went from tracking everything everyday to just a couple of meals a day to no tracking at all.

A part of me just thinks I don’t have to write it down. I can count my points and carbs in my head. Ha! I ended up snacking all last night and lost count sometime between dinner, the jello, the almonds, the wine, and the late night chicken wings.

Tracking Challenge
I decided to create a 12-Week Tracking Challenge using both paper and my iPhone. I want to reinforce a good habit…hence the 12-weeks. I’m tracking:

  • Food (PointsPlus and Net Carb)
  • Water
  • Exercise
  • Goals
  • Weekly Challenges

Paper Journal Vs. Apps
Conventional wisdom says apps make tracking “easier.” But I’m not so sure.

I find with paper, I’m actually thinking about what I’m doing. With the app, it’s more like I log it and think more about improving the app, not myself.

Since I’m tracking both PointsPlus and net carb values, I plan to use Weight Watchers, My Fitness Pal and Carb Master apps during the first phase of the challenge.

Truth is no one app does what I need it to do – calculate PointsPlus and net carbs, and track my activity. My Weight Watchers’ app is my workhorse for tracking, but it doesn’t count carbs (please WW gods add this feature!).  Friends recommended My Fitness Pal and Carb Masters. So I’ll also review the apps during this challenge.

Behold the Fitbook! My paper food journal for the next 12 weeks.

Behold! My paper food journal for the next 12 weeks.

I know paper isn’t a walk in the park either. I don’t know the PointsPlus value or net carb count of everything I eat. Paper is so DOS!

But again, if I write it, I tend to think about what I’m doing. Thinking is key to living healthy.

For the paper tracking, I settled on using Fitlosophy’s Fitbook. It’s a 12-week fitness and nutrition journal. It includes long- (3 months) and short-term (weekly) goals. It’s very clean and allows detailed info. It’s small enough to fit in my purse so I can take it with me.

The challenge starts today and ends December 18.