Saturday, June 2, 2012

If I Can Lose It

Since my last post was about Michael Bloomberg's desire to ban large drinks with sugar in them in New York City, I decided to review a weight loss book that I recently read on my Kindle.  The book is entitled If I Can Lose It...A Middle Age Tech-Fanatic's Extraordinary Journey & Guide-Book For Losing Weight written by Jonathan Ellis.

Quite a mouthful of a title, eh?  Henceforth, I will refer to it as If I Can Lose It.  The author of the book, Jonathan Ellis, is not a medical doctor.  He is a middle aged man, like me, who has always struggled with his weight, like me, who also happens to be into technology, like me.  So you can see how I might be interested in seeing what he had to say about weight loss.

I really liked his style of writing.  It was conversational and humorous.  Ellis is a man who has tried a number of diets over his life time.  Some of which worked for awhile, but eventually he would go back to his old habits and gain all of the weight back and maybe a few more to boot.  Been there, done that!  His goal in writing the book was to take control of his weight loss plan and to do it in a way that would be sustainable in the long term.

So, what is his secret for losing weight?  Consume less calories each day than your body requires to maintain its current weight.  Hardly earth shattering, right?  That is what doctors diet gurus have been telling us for years.  I remember when I was younger, my mom would have a book of calorie counts and when she was trying to lose weight, she would dutifully tally her caloric intake.

Seems like a lot of work to me.  I can easily see why doing that would get old quick, and would not be easily sustainable.  What if there was an easier way to keep track of your calories each day?  That is the driving force behind the Ellis weight loss plan.  His secret to losing weight is by utilizing the MyFitnessPal app on his iPod touch so he can easily track his daily calories.

I have used MyFitnessPal in the past.  It is a great little app.  In fact, I have recently started using it again.  I am discovering a lot of features that I did not notice before that I think are going to be quite helpful in my goal to achieve a permanent healthy weight.  One of the features allows you to enter a recipe so that you can  calculate the caloric content of the food.  I recently added one of my favorite meals that my wife cooks for us.

MyFitnessPal has tools that you can use on the internet or from the app.  It has a place to enter all of your food and exercise daily to track your net calories each day.  I mostly use the app on my smartphone.  It has a great feature where you can scan the UPC barcode on a package and it brings up the nutritional info so that you can add it to your daily diary.  This way, you do not have to try to remember to log it online at the end of the day.  They have a huge database of info.

In the previous paragraph I mention "net" calories.  This is an important part of the app and achieving your goals that I learned from the book.  When you set up your account, you enter your weight, your goal weight, and how much weight you want to lose each week.  That gives you a daily calorie goal.  It is important that your net calories each day not fall below 1200 calories.  That is the minimum number of calories that the body needs each day to function properly.  If you enter a daily diary of less than 1200 calories, the app actually gives you a warning message.

I have to confess that I did not finish the book.  The first half of the book consisted of the main focus of the book, how to take control of your weight loss plan.  It consisted of 11 chapters which shared encouragement and tips for achieving your goals.  When I got to chapter 12, I stopped reading.  Chapter 12 was over half the book and consisted of his daily diary of his quest.  It probably would have benefited me to read it, but I just couldn't bring myself to do.

I can't say that I highly recommend the book because it really didn't break a lot of new ground for me.  I did enjoy parts of it, and I did learn a couple nice tips.  The thing for me is that I know what to do, it is just sticking with it when I get frustrated.  I do recommend the MyFitnessPal app if you desire to lose weight.  I looked at a few others, but of the ones I looked at, MyFitnessPal had the most extensive nutritional database.  Below is my badge at MyFitnessPal tracking my progress to my goal.

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Weight Loss Tools


  1. Willy uses my fitness pal. It is easier than reading a book.

    10-4 Willy

    1. Mrs Dickster even started to use it



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