Day 130 ~ My first week with Fitbit – A #YellowDress Update
November 5, 2014
You may remember that MrS surprised me with a Fitbit Flex last week, having told him all about them the previous weekend (and moaning about the shape of my tummy). I had been feeling very demotivated that day so it was exactly what I needed to kick me up the bum a bit, and several of you have asked me for feedback.
It was very easy to set up – I run it off my iPhone and iPad using the app and log into the website when I’m at work. To register you go to the Fitbit website and set up an account, it finds your Fitbit via Wi-Fi. You need to put in basic info to set it up – weight, height etc. You can put in much more than that though – you can tell the Fitbit if you’re wearing it on your dominant or non-dominant hand, you can set it to miles or kms. The more you tell it the better it will work.
I have the Fitbit Flex in black. The ‘display’ is a set of lights – flashing only when you reach certain goals (I have mine set to vibrate when I each 10,000 steps). It’s very low key and comfortable to wear, even in bed (the Flex records your sleep pattern if you want it to). I do take mine off to shower and when I go out in the evenings though but it’s really not intrusive.
During the day I add in the food I have eaten, either in the app or on the website at work. Here is where my main issue with Fitbit comes in. Adding food should be simple and it should work very much like other apps of its kind – WeightWatchers and My Fitness Pal. There is a barcode scanner too. However, unlike those other 2 apps the Fitbit has NO UK FOOD DATABASE AT ALL. I find this incredible to be honest. And very annoying. To start with I had to manually add each food I ate, regardless of whether it was a well-known brand or something from the local sandwich shop. Using the American brand information here in the UK is also very misleading as I know from Weightwatchers that lots of American foodstuffs are adapted for the UK market (less calories and fat usually). This totally detracts from the ease of use of the Fitbit and its app. I would suggest with Christmas approaching they get their act together and sort a UK food database. How hard can it be if others already have this information? For information you can get databases of these foods…..
I quickly found out however, that it’s possible to link your Fitbit app with MFP which took a little googling, but it’s very easy to do through the MFP website. Once I’d done that it was much quicker to add foods using MFP UK database. This then syncs with the Fitbit app (short time delay of about 2 minutes usually), however only the calories pertaining to each meal are synced, so you lose the detail of what exactly you ate when. So it’s really just a case of running both apps, not exactly an issue, but I am still astounded that Fitbit are so far behind with this.
I’ve seen lots of people say it’s a five minute wonder gadget but so far I feel totally motivated by it. Especially seeing how quickly the kms and steps build up. I am one for food denial too – pretending something doesn’t count because I “only had a small piece” or “it was someone’s birthday”. So far I’ve been pretty good at adding in my food consumption and getting in to the habit of turning on the exercise tracker when I walk for any distance. Seeing the debits and credits of food v exercise at the end of the day (hopefully the right way round!) is really rewarding. You can record exercise as “run”, “walk” and “hike” but no cycling – another glaring omission I think.
I also like the sleep monitor too, something which unlike others, I have found to be pretty accurate. I don’t have big issues with sleep so I will probably stop wearing it in bed after a couple of weeks, once I’ve seen if there’s a pattern there.
My best and worst bits?
Best bit is the motivation of seeing the stats at the end of the day and also, being more mindful of what I eat because I am reading the calories and fat% BEFORE I eat them, not just shocking myself afterwards! It is SO easy to use that it becomes second nature.
The worst bit is the Food Database issue. Fitbit really need to sort that out very quickly.
I would recommend getting one. And the best thing of all is I’ve lost 1.5lb this week.
Please feel free to ask questions below about anything you think I’ve missed out.
Please note this is NOT a sponsored post, just my opinion for anyone interested.