I find it wise to rely on objective data when it comes to making progress. This includes everything from calories and body measurements to weights in the gym. Without the data, it’s extremely difficult to answer why you aren’t losing or gaining weight. Like everything else, there’s a short learning curve but soon you’ll find that a few minutes a day will give you valuable information about your food habits and a vast knowledge about different kinds of food.
I’m mostly interested in data about four things. Calories, macronutrients (protein), weight and body measurements. By adding these to my own Excel document, I can play around and create graphs or draw conclusions. Another advantage is that you store the data on your computer and don’t risk losing it when a company deletes it.
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The traditional method to estimate calorie requirements is to use the Harris–Benedict equation. However, the activity level often end up becoming a problem with people over- or underestimating it. Therefore, I recommend Fitbit One to get more accurate numbers. Read my post on why wristbands isn’t a good idea.
The number one service to track consumed calories. I was a big fan of ShapeUpClub until they released a new version with several bugs, breaking the whole platform while ignoring customers complaints on their forum. As a result, I gave MyFitnessPal a chance and I’ve used it ever since. I’m not using their app but the website has several functions I didn’t even know I needed while being completely free.
There’s plenty of cheap food scales available. I’ve had mine for four years and it’s still as good new. When purchasing a scale, I prefer digital ones with different levels for the buttons and the weight surface so your plate doesn’t accidentally hit the buttons. Size isn’t as important since you can place your plate on a small bowl (photo).
The tracking of body fat using scales is pointless due to inaccuracy but I find the WiFi function to be extremely helpful. The weight transfers automatically to their website / app and then syncs with my other services such as MyFitnessPal and Fitbit. It saves a lot of time and I’m sure I wouldn’t do it daily if had to update both sites manually.
I recommend body measurements as complement to weight and photos. The advantage with MyoTape compared with regularly tapes is the automatic contraction when pressing the button. By doing so, it becomes easier to measure yourself and you remove the risk of tightening it to much or little which could’ve given incorrect data.
it’s not perfect but I still reckon it to be the best service to track your weight lifting, one exercise after another. If you can accept some ads, it’s a free app for your smartphone. You’ve got a built in timer which I find extremely useful at my home gym so I don’t begin doing something else but actually follows through. There’s a database with routines but I still find it best to create your own based.
If you’re serious about measuring your progress, I’d also recommend taking photos of yourself.