What Weight Loss Gadgets, Services, and Plans Have You Tried?

+1 vote
asked May 8, 2012 by MattRyan (230 points)

What weight loss gadgets, services, and plans have you tried in the past? Have they worked for you? Did they fail miserably?

Tell us about your experience.

14 Answers

+3 votes
answered May 9, 2012 by thelearningcomputeri (86 points)
This is my story/ tips I have found personally useful.

Weight lost is one of the more or less common things we all strive for. One concept should be cleared up in this muddy water of weight loss tips and trick, and that is the fact that no one can do anything for you to make you loose weight. A person who is interested in the goal of weight lost is absolutely going to have to know the human body, or else how would you change what you don't understand.

When it comes to weight lost you have to have a plan of what you want your bodies outcome to look like. There are more than many books, videos, and blogs out there for the work of diet, exercise, and weight lost in general. You may read and/or view all the materials you wish and/or want, and this isn't a bad thing at all. But remember one thing, your still going to be the one to do all the work.

Preparation for your goals are also key. Things such as the time, weight goal, and dedication are variables you will have to decide early in the quest of weight lost. On my personal experience I can absolutely say that a blind eyes is a useless eye when it comes to loosing weight.

Well enough about preparation, lets just get to the fun part which is the actual work out and diet plans. It is well known that **not everything works for everyone**. What might work for your friend might not work for you, due to the fact that every one is created differently.

So how can you know what plan to try?. Well here's the right way of knowing what is appropriate for you. **Get to know your own body, duh!**. The more you know about what your body needs to maintain stability, the more you can bend those rules to achieve what you want. If you are a 300 pound male, the odds are that you will need to eat at most 2000 - 3000 or more calories a day. Therefore if you wish to loose something like a pound a week then you will probably need to cut down on your caloric intake. There are different ways to figure out your own plan. But which ever way you wish to go it is fundamental to run your plans around the 3 main categories which are time, workout, and diet. Time being the time a day you can give your work out. Work out being the intensity of your activities, and how many activities you do. And Diet being what you will and can intake to reach your goal.

To Do List:

1: Get your priorities straight.

2: Figure out how much you want to sacrifice(Time, Workout, and Diet wise).

3: Make sure you have consolidated your doctor for approvement on you work out plans(That way you don't hurt your self from trying too hard too quickly).

4: Get approved and start doing the plan immediately.

5: Once you finish your day, record your progress.

6: Find space for improvement in your work out and diet that will give you the result you want.

7: And remember one thing. **Good things come to those who wait**.

Sincerely Brian Rodriguez (Went from a 210 pound slob to a 185 pound muscle man, in my goal set of 4 months).

PS. This post might be a little bit irrelevant to the Gadgets, Tools, And Plans you are looking for. But as a good person who has had experience with weight trouble, I found my self drawn to clear up the concept of Downloading Gadgets, Tools, And Plans that are not really the best way to tackle the problem. The only Gadgets or Tools I would ever recommend are the ones that help you understand why things happen a certain way within your body. And also Gadgets that help you get the data you need to record your progress. Again I am very sorry I wasnt able to give you the answer you wanted to hear or receive.
commented May 9, 2012 by MattRyan (230 points)
Thanks so much for sharing your tips. This is incredible!
+2 votes
answered May 9, 2012 by MontgomeryRats (46 points)
I'm currently using the Fitbit Ultra, the Aria scale, and My Fitness Pal. And they are currently working well for me. I have in the past used Weight Watchers online, and that worked for me at the time as well.

What I am finding is that technology is making my goals easier to reach. I eat a lot of processed foods (I know, I know), and I can pull out my smart phone and scan the package, and voila, my food diary is up to date! The ease of it all takes away some of my excuses, does that make sense?
commented May 9, 2012 by MattRyan (230 points)
I've done Weight Watchers for a year... well... paid for it and never really followed through. Every time I got in the groove, I became aware of how many processed foods I was taking in because it really WAS easy. I'm still technically a member, though I'm finding FitBit Ultra a great all-in-one solution that doesn't leave out exercise.

Thanks for sharing your experiences. Keep us updated!
+2 votes
answered May 9, 2012 by Pelletron (31 points)
I'm using a fitbit ultra and fitbit's website to keep track of everything.  I'm just starting out but I like the tools it has.  I've used the weight watcher's online in the past and it worked OK while on the plan, but it was easy to stop tracking and start cheating.
commented May 9, 2012 by MattRyan (230 points)
Same here. We appear to be in the same boat on that one. Weight Watchers was a great idea, but cheating was far too easy. FitBit holds me responsible for not going on walks or getting enough sleep.
+2 votes
answered May 9, 2012 by creatortony (31 points)
Something that I ended up doing a while ago was downloading a calorie recording app for my smart phone and basically forcing myself to write down every single calorie I ingested... Really you end up getting so fed up with it that you avoid eating so you can avoid having to record the calories.
+5 votes
answered May 9, 2012 by slowandgo (76 points)
Here is my story, I am a disabled Vietnam Veteran.  My weight has blown up to 280lbs, so my doctors at the VA started pushing me to lose weight.  So in December 2009, I bought my first gaming systems(I refused due to all the computers that I have), I bought a WII Fit Plus hardware/software.  I started using it and I saw a dramatic loss of weight.  In October 2010, I had lost about 50lbs, but then I broke my ankle, which set me back 3 months.  I then got lazy about my exercise program and my weight went up to 260lbs.  So in December 2011, I started to push myself again, and I lost approximately 30lbs.  I had to stop for a couple of weeks due to minor surgery on my back.  But I am back on it again.  I exercise 4-5 times a week for approximately two and half hours and I burn around 900 calories each time.  So I hope to be under 200lbs by the end of the year.  I am 61 years old and I am giving it all, so anyone can do it.  Watch your diet (small portions) and commit to a exercise program.
commented May 9, 2012 by MattRyan (230 points)
Thank you for sharing your story. It's good to see that you're getting your health back on track -- and thank you for your service.
+2 votes
answered May 9, 2012 by SwamiGodd (31 points)
I have tried a lot of tools in the past.  I have used the calorie count android app and a gps pedometer. I've used weights, heck, I even bought a bicycle.  None of that worked.

I've fluxed in weight for most of my adult life, and last summer, I hit the max (that I know of) at 380 pounds.  I changed jobs from Computer Tech (spending most of my time sitting) to Teacher (standing or walking most of the time)  In October, I had 2 wisdom teeth extracted, and the dentist botched it, cracking the bottom left tooth, and leaving fragments of tooth lodged in my jaw.  I spent the next two month healing from that, and eating nothing but mashed potatoes and macaroni.  That helped push my weight down, followed by finding out, via dramatic (60 pounds in two months)weight loss, that I am diabetic.  Since then, with help from my family doctor, and regular exercise and diet, we are working on a safer weight loss plan.  Today, I weigh 265 (115 pounds less than where I started a year ago.) pounds and I plan to continue losing.  

I am plan to work on an Open Source Weight Loss Plan with you.  BTW, I don't recommend the botched dental surgery method.  Sucks royally, despite effectiveness.
commented May 9, 2012 by MattRyan (230 points)
I lose so much weight after my wisdom teeth removal, it wasn't even funny. I think I dropped from 265 down to 240, but it was temporary. Sorry to hear about your rotten luck. That couldn't have been a fun experience for you. Please keep us updated on your progress. We're all in this together.
+1 vote
answered May 9, 2012 by CrowdedMill (16 points)
Well, your timing on this article couldn't be any better. I have been on the same journey as you have, Matt. I am a Systems Admin and have had a sedentary job for 20+ years. I am 6'3" and have been overweight since high school. Sadly, that overweight has steadily cruised to the obese that I am now. I graduated high school in 1991 at around 200 lbs. Today, I weigh just over 340. I can't be sure what my weight is because the scale in my bathroom registers "E" above 340. I have seen 339 here and there, so I think I am floating around right there.

So, that is the climb. I have had some success in losing weight in the past. Back in 2010, I started tracking what I ate. I started with LiveStrong.com (even subscribed to the "Gold" level). The tracking was a real eye-opener and, as another poster commented, knowing what goes in can really help you put the brakes on when you have over done it. The thing that LiveStrong was missing was social interaction. I needed people to help "hold me accountable". After a few months there, I discovered SparkPeople.com. That site was better at tracking and great at the social support. I bought the book and really stuck with it for 6 months. In that time, I lost nearly 40 lbs and got down to 304. I can't really say what the event was that caused me to stop following through with it...I just did. Today, I am back up at the 340(ish) mark.

I have a YMCA membership and a 4-year-old. Those two things together help me with plenty of opportunity to stay active, I just need some support for staying vigilant on my intake. It was just YESTERDAY that I posted an idea to Google+ about using Hangout as a sort-of digital support group ([Link to Post][1]). I could see logging in once every other night or so and visiting with others that were in the same boat. I know that it is the face-to-face accountability that makes Weight-Watchers effective, and Google just handed us a tool to make it free. Sadly, I don't have that many followers, and my post is barely visible. This morning, as I was wallowing in my unpopularness on G+, I realized that I was trying to sell weightloss to a group of hangout folks....what I should be doing is selling hangouts to a group of weightloss folks. I was sitting here at my computer thinking how I was going to try and bring Hangouts to SparkPeople.com when I read a post bringing me to this conversation. (Hence my comment about timing at the front end of this manifesto/testament).

So, I am in. Hell, I am ALL in. All 340 pounds of me. If you want a tech savvy person with drive, determination and the NEED for some social support to keep me on track, I am your guy. Let's do this.

- Matt

  [1]: https://plus.google.com/u/0/109207910702373636359/posts/AnpCNzc28SK
commented May 9, 2012 by MattRyan (230 points)
CrowdedMill, your story is extremely touching. I can certainly feel your pain having struggled with this for quite some time, as well. Perhaps in these comments, and through the community's suggestions and tips as the year goes on, you can find a plan that works for you and breaks you of this vicious cycle.

I want to see you succeed. Please keep us updated on your progress.
commented May 10, 2012 by robertworstell (31 points)
This is a great story, indeed. G+'d your page and hope this brings you more people. Just send me a nudge when you're ready for a Hangout.
+2 votes
answered May 9, 2012 by robertworstell (31 points)
Interestingly, this comes across Google+ at a good time. Because of my build, the BMI index is way off. Not your typical geek, though I make a living at it, I also run a farm that gives me plenty of opportunity for exercise.

But I did get tired of being "slightly" overweight and a paunch that wouldn't go away. I started Shaklee's Cinch diet (http://www.worstellfarms.com/cinch-weight-loss-shakes-supplements.php), paying for it by not having to buy all these processed foods (and caramel coffees with donuts).

What's good about this diet is the education you have to go through by simply staying on it. Sure, the diet shakes fill you up, but you quickly learn that eating a medium to big meal fills you like a Thanksgiving dinner - too tight. You learn about your metabolism - how it feels to have energy again.

Their one plus is in incorporating the amino acid Leucine, used by sports enthusiasts, as most diets lose weight by losing muscle mass - which screws up your ability to burn calories. Leucine preserves your muscle while encouraging fat loss, the actual culprit.

I started 6 weeks ago at "only" 244 and have lost 20 pounds with this so far. I got a special deal on a four-month plan, so intend to stick it out in order to see how much I can lose. At this rate, I'll be back into my high school size by that time.

Luck to us all.
commented May 9, 2012 by MattRyan (230 points)
Thanks so much for sharing your story and best of luck to you hitting your goal. Keep us updated. I look forward to seeing you hit your mark.
+1 vote
answered May 9, 2012 by Harrison (16 points)
Well, I finally committed and sustained a diet now for nearly 6 months (starting November 2010) after hitting 332lbs.  I turn 31 this week, and have just hit 272, 60lbs lost in 6 months.

I had been larger than anyone else I knew ever since about grade 3 or 4.  While I had tried being active when I was younger, and worked out in various spurts during my early and mid 20s, I was never really successful at keeping anything going for more than a few months.

My wife was doing weight watchers (online + meetings), and since I do all the cooking, I was eating healthy food but in larger portions than I should.  I finally decided enough was enough, and figured out the weight watchers plus points systems to track the points myself.

After a while I found that tracking points and trying to eat low calorie foods to keep me full wasn't working well for me.  I started doing meal replacements for breakfast and lunch, and eating healthier and fuller snacks between those meals.  This is now allowing me to eat a proper dinner and give me enough energy to be active in the evenings.  I no longer need to track my points/calories, unless I'm making a meal I've not prepared before.  Having tracked points for as long as I have now, I know the value of food, and the appropriate portion to eat.

I'm using loseit.com to track my weight-loss, and spot check my calorie intake every few days.
commented May 9, 2012 by MattRyan (230 points)
I've seen LoseIt.com and always wondered how well it actually does at helping you keep track of things. The app is pretty great, and compatible with the FitBit. Perhaps I should take another look at it. Thanks for sharing, and please keep us updated on your progress.
+1 vote
answered May 9, 2012 by djmoore711 (2,051 points)

I commented on your Lockergnome posing, but I will lay it all out here.

I am 25, going on 26, with a beautiful wife and a baby on the way.  I have been diagnosed with mild depression, social anxiety, and general anxiety, making it hard to enjoy my day 90% of the time. I want to be happy and healthy, so I can enjoy time with my family and new baby, when it arrives.  The doctor told me that eating right and exercising would play a key role in my recovery from my mental illnesses.  So, here I am; I'm 250-260 pounds and all of it is on board with you.

I am a Computer Support Specialist (but since our department is so small, I am becoming a jack of all trades) that stays in one office most of the day sitting down.  There isn't much I can do about this, but I can do something about when I am at home.  I work overseas in Qatar and eat at a DFAC where food is prepared for you.  I can't choose how to prepare it, but I can choose what I eat.  I am going to start making healther chooses, no matter how bad they often taste.  I have been exercising one hour a day for a little over a month now, and I plan on keeping this up, if not increasing it.  I will keep everyone posted on progress.

I use Nike+ GPS and MapMyRIDE+ to track my workouts.  I was using DailyBurn and paying $10 a month to track calories, but I found this too time consuming and stopped my subscritpion after the first month.  I also stopped tracking.  I ALSO lost no weight during my first six weeks.  I'm sure this is a result of my eating habits, but I did change them somewhat along with more exercise.  I can attest that if you do not change what you eat, you will get nowhere.
commented May 9, 2012 by MattRyan (230 points)
Congratulations on the baby currently in beta. Thanks for sharing your story. Hopefully, you'll find some helpful information in this comment thread, or at the very least the feeling that we're in this together as the year progresses. Best of luck.
commented May 9, 2012 by djmoore711 (2,051 points)
Matt, do you have a blog where we can keep track of your progress; one place to bring it all together?
commented May 9, 2012 by MattRyan (230 points)
djmoore711, I'm going to post weekly updates on LockerGnome.com and link them all to the original article (linked above) in a Table of Contents fashion. Also, you can check out my FitBit.com profile here: http://www.fitbit.com/user/22T9WX That will give you all the updated info on how many steps I take, my sleep, food, etc.
commented May 10, 2012 by robertworstell (31 points)
I have to agree that doing the same things and expecting different results means you will have to accept the results (Not) or change the operating basis. Here's hoping you find everything you want.
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