I used to use a web site called Calorie Count when I tried to lose weight back in 2012. I was able to lose around 40 lbs, but stalled there and quickly lost motivation when I got sick for about a week. After I got better, I had fallen off the proverbial wagon and gained the weight back (and then some). I failed miserably.
The sad part is that I was very diligent in tracking all my calories. If it went into my mouth, it was logged and tracked. I knew exactly how many calories I was eating each day, and initially, it seemed to help me stay under the limits for my weight. Then, when I hit a bump and was unable to track so rigorously, I easily fell of the wagon. When I look back as to why I failed, it’s because the food I was eating, while low calorie, just wasn’t filling or satisfying. I was always left hungry, and as my calorie requirements declined with my weight, I was left feeling hungrier and hungrier. It was a recipe for failure.
About two years before I did my first Whole30, I got a Jawbone UP and used it every day thinking that having this fitness and sleep tracker would motivate me to walk more and sleep more. It did for a little bit, but then just became a reminder to me that I wasn’t doing what I thought was enough to lose weight. Like many, I had the mistaken belief that if I just walked more, I’d lose weight. Of course, this didn’t happen, and I continued to gain weight.
When I started my Whole30, I had a Fitbit Surge. This was a great device and helped me track my sleep which was very important. I learned that I needed a minimum of 7.5 hours of sleep to realize any weight losses during the night, and the Fitbit helped me track that. Once I began running, the GPS feature in the Fitbit Surge helped me track my progress and was a large part of my success in running.
I started using the Strava website and iPhone app to track my running and I even splurged for the pro version to use the advanced tracking features. I’m no marathon or speed runner, but I’m very interested in my running progress and I want to continue to improve. The pro features have been very helpful to me in gauging just how efficacious my workouts are and to track my progress and trends.
I recently switched over to the Garmin Fenix 3 HR, and this watch has been the best yet. I really feel it helps me track my running and sleep in better ways than any device or app before it, and checking my data points has become a part of my daily routine.
Could I do it without technology and apps? Certainly! I found that counting calories didn’t work for me at all while eating the Paleo Diet did (and it requires nothing more than cooking and eating meat and vegetables). I could even run and get my exercise without using high-tech devices and apps, but utilizing them has given me added information which aids my progress and helps me understand which areas I need to work on.