Fitness Trackers – Are They For You?

How do you track your training sessions? At worst I’m hoping you have a notebook to record your loads, weights, reps, sets, rest breaks etc and be able to refer to this information from one workout to the next.

Putting the Brakes on Your Metabolism

Since we know how the body burns calories it would also make sense to understand what puts the breaks on our ability to burn calories. Or in other words what slows down our metabolism?

How the body burns calories

In the last post I talked about the fact that for optimal health and weight loss we can’t simply worry about reducing our sugar intake. As well, we can’t simply focus on creating a caloric deficit. Both of these need to be addressed in order for healthy weight loss to occur.

The calories v. sugar debate

So recently on the interwebs there was a bit of discussion on a social network about the importance of sugar in the diet. Actually it was more than just a discussion as some members took to mocking the other side who then responded to blocking the immature commenter from their profile.

8 Steps for Weight Loss – Where hCG Fits In

Last week I introduced some of you to the hCG Diet. And a few of you were already familiar with it which is good. In fact one of you replied with what your experiences with it had been.

Exactly how many calories does (xxx) workout burn?

Hi there: I hope you had a great Hallowe’en weekend. It’s such a great time of year to be able to let loose and be a kid again for a night. And possibly the next morning if you promise to wear your costume the following Saturday AM for a stairs workout. Looking back this probably wasn’t the smartest thing I’ve decided to do but I did it and hopefully it lightened the mood for those that came out for the workout and helped them work a little harder. Below you can see a picture of Wonder Woman, Les Grossman and Kat Von D.

I’ve got some video footage from the Saturday morning workout and will try to work that into a future post.

Switching gears here a little bit I want to let you of a device I’m testing out. It’s called a BodyBugg and it measures you caloric expenditure. You wear it around your left arm and it records how many calories you expend during day.

Now some people will be thinking ‘I have a heart rate monitor that tracks my calories so how is this any different?’

True, a heart rate monitor provides an estimation on calories burned but it isn’t very accurate. Basically the caloric measurement from a heart rate monitor correlates to how many calories would typically be burned at a particular heart rate.

So first of all we realize this is an estimation and therefore is not a totally accurate method of tracking your calories. But secondly your heart rate monitor has no way of detecting whether an increased heart rate is due to physical exertion or a hightened emotional state. For example if you wore your heart rate monitor to a scary movie you might get a number of spikes during the frightening scenes of the movie. And your heart rate monitor would calculate these spikes as physical work being done and calories burned. But sitting on your butt for 2 hours watching a movie doesn’t burn a lot of calories. Actually when you consider the barrel of popcorn and huge pop most people drink at the movies there probably is a caloric surplus after the movie rather than any type of deficit as represented by the heart rate monitor.

So how does the BodyBugg do this? Well it has four different sensors to measure caloric expenditure. And if one sensor detects caloric expenditure but the other three do not it doesn’t count that initial reading. According to the manufacturers this results in the device having 95% accuracy of a clinical measurement.

But why is this important? Well for a number of reasons including:

* If our goal is weight loss we’ll know whether we have achieved a deficit or not.

* We’ll be able to quantify various type of workouts for effectiveness. How does one hour of a particular type of exercise compare to other types?

* It makes us more accountable. Just as writing down our goals leads to a great chance of success so too does having true numbers to record and measure keep us more on track and focussed.

I’ll provide more details and some video of the BodyBugg in days to come. There is also an online food diary component that I’ll review as well.

Have a great week.

Chris                                                                                                                                                                                                      ‘always moving forward’