Gear – Tracking Food with Fitbit and a Notebook

The weight loss journey continues, and I am now into week two.

When it comes to trimming one’s gut, everyone knows the old adages, which tend to be repeated ad nauseam:

  1. Abs are made in the kitchen, and
  2. You can’t out-train a bad diet.

Given these truisms, I have been working on the bad diet thing with various levels of success for awhile. My big concern up to this challenge, as noted in an earlier blog, has been with salt, since my blood pressure has been borderline.

So, I have been tracking my food, and my food diary has looked like this:

Food Diary in Spiral Notebook

Tracking food the old fashioned way and doing my own arithmetic.

I have tracked calories, salt, fiber, and calcium at first. Then I added potassium, because that balances or counteracts the salt on some level according to research. Then, I added protein because of its importance to building muscle.

When I began this stage, I decided that I would try a tool I had hanging around on my phone – my Fitbit app.

(Full disclosure: I own Fitbit stock, but they don’t know that I am writing this, and I have no connection with the company.)

So I have the app, a Fitbit Blaze watch, and we have the scale. These things were purchased over time, and I decided I should use the tools I have. (Kind of like that gym membership.)

The scale and the watch synch to the app, and if you log your food, it gives you a budget of calories and the breakdown of the macro-nutrients you eat.  It all looks like this:



It is interesting to see how your caloric budget changes throughout the day as you move around and burn calories. My assumption is that it is all an estimate, but a decent one. It has gotten me to pull back on my snacking and portion sizes. I am now weighing and measuring things so that I can log them accurately.

The drawback to the Fitbit app is that while I am seeing my consumption of the three macronutrients, I don’t know what the ideal ratios should be. I know I eat too many carbs, but adding protein can be tough.

The other concern I have is that I do not have a sense of how much sodium I am consuming each day. I Know Fitbit has that information, but I haven’t figured out how to get the app to show me that. I am still eating low sodium foods, but it is not always clear how I am doing.

So, I think I will likely add back some version of my notebook for tracking the other nutrients that I am concerned about.

So where am I after a week? I am down about four pounds and my waist has shrunk a little bit. Still, most of my exercise has been fencing, and I need to add to that to make more progress.

Measuring tape around a person wearing a tee shirt.

There’s a little shrinkage here.


Weight: 195.2lbs



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