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iDiet; iDid-it! Losing Weight with Wearables

The intersection of health and technology has received much attention due to the popularity of wearables like fitbit and dieting websites/apps such as myfitnesspal. But how do these high- tech tools work for the everyday person trying to lose weight and stay healthy? Based on my own personal journey, I describe how these technologies helped and sometimes hindered my 75 pound weight loss. Over the course of a year, I used fitbit, myfitnesspal, wifi scale, heart rate monitors, digital food scales, and various motivational apps to help me lose and maintain the weight loss. But it was not easy- I found that some tools created healthy sustainable habits, while some created almost unhealthy obsessions. Some products made the process easier, while others made dieting more complicated. In all the discussions about weight loss technology, it is important to have a real person's experience and perspective to help others best utilize these tools for their own health and fitness!

Additional Supporting Materials

Questions

  1. What are the most popular fitness apps, gadgets and wearables that are available and which ones did I use? (i.e., fitbit zip and force, wifi scale, myfitnesspal, polar heart rate monitor, digital food scale, digital tape measure, etc.)
  2. What features of the fitness apps and wearables did I find to be the most beneficial for weight loss. What are the must-have features, gadgets and apps?
  3. What are the drawbacks of the popular diet/fitness apps, wearables, and fitness/diet gadgets? This question will address difficulty of use with some of the apps,wearables, and gadgets. Also, what are some of the behaviors and habits encouraged by these technologies that may hinder weight loss and weight maintenance. For example, becoming overwhelmed/obsessed/frustrated with the maintenance of the different apps and devices; OR even gaining weight despite these technologies.
  4. How to use these apps, gadgets, websites, and wearables in conjunction with each other? For example, how to integrate myfitnesspal and fitbit?
  5. Since weight loss is not just about the physical, but emotional and psychological, what are other apps and gadgets that are not specifically for "weight loss" or "fitness" that are helpful for overall health, which in turn aid weight loss. For instance, I used meditation, sleep, and motivational apps, blogs, and websites.

Speakers

Organizer

Joy Banner, Assistant Professor, Marketing, HustonTillotson University


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