Reverse Tracking: An Experiment

This week (starting yesterday on Saturday) I am trying out Reverse Tracking.  I am doing this experiment with Weight Watchers tracking, but you could actually use Reverse Tracking with calorie counting or other forms of tracking.  This is not my idea.  I got it from the Weight Watchers message boards (which I recommend to those following Weight Watchers).  Here is a thread there about reverse tracking (FYI, I post on those message boards as catspell).

What is Reverse Tracking

Reverse tracking is a way to pick your tracking day to start whenever you want.  The default for most people is to think of the tracking day as beginning with breakfast. In my case, with reverse tracking, I am starting my tracking day to begin with dinner (actually starting it at 6:00 PM to be precise about it). To do this, I track the dinner I eat today (as well as any snacks thereafter) in tomorrow’s place for dinner.  Therefore, my Weight Watchers “day” starts at 6:00 and then continues  for 24 hours until the same time next day.

Here is how it looks in my online tracker for today:

Reverse Tracking

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Fitbit Blaze First Look Review

Today, I received my new Fitbit Blaze.  I was extremely excited to get the Fitbit Blaze because it had some great features I really wanted from a Fitbit.  It has a watch type color display. It has a band that can be switched to another color or style. I can connect it with the GPS on my phone to better track my activity outdoors.  I walk, but others may use it for running or bike rides. It is also going to get Reminders to Move in the future by firmware update (as per Fitbit). This post is a first look and very early review.

Blaze in Box

This is my 4th Fitbit and I am really excited about it.  I started with my first Fitbit a couple of years ago, when I bought a Fitbit One that I carried in my pocket. It was nice, but when the Fitbit Force came out I replaced it to get a wrist-based tracker with a display (my husband had a Flex which was wrist based, but didn’t have a stats display).  The Force was recalled and Fitbit refunded that purchase.  Then, last year I bought the Charge HR when it came out.  The Charge HR was similar to the Force except it had a heart rate monitor built into it so I could measure my heart rate throughout the day while wearing it on my wrist.  I posted previously when I first received the Charge HR and then later posted an update.  I was happy with the Charge HR, but wished it had a GPS and I really liked the changeable bands on the Flex.

And, then last month, Fitbit announced the Blaze.  I ordered it that day as it had a number of the features that were really appealing to me.  It was more like a watch with a large color touchscreen with Gorilla glass.  You can change the wristbands on it.  That was a feature that the Flex had that I loved, but I didn’t like the other limitations of the Flex.  While the Blaze doesn’t have GPS built into it, it will connect to my phone GPS and use that to give me a nice map of my route when I get home.  Just being able to change wristbands and the connected GPS were enough to sell me on the Blaze.  In addition, because of the larger display it can display more information and you can tell it when you track an activity what you are doing. [Read more…]

Anniversary Dining Out Update

The day before going out for my anniversary, I posted about what I ate that day and my plans for handling eating out on my anniversary.   I just wanted to update how it went.

I did end up sticking to my plan. We ate out mid-afternoon and I had what I had planned: the Kung Pao Shrimp, small, steamed.  I ended up getting both a Vegetable Spring Roll (4 SmartPoints) and a Vietnamese Chicken Salad Roll with a little peanut sauce (7 SmartPoints).  I had both because I overslept Sunday morning so had a late breakfast and I knew that we were eating late enough I wouldn’t have a large meal in the evening.  The total of the meal was 28 SmartPoints.  I ended Sunday with 12 Weekly SmartPoints left to last me through Friday.  I had aimed for having at least 10 left, so I was happy to end up with a couple of more.  I was glad that I decided to eat at a restaurant where I could easily make my points and calories work.  That allowed me to enjoy the occasion without any stress.

The only negative was on the exercise front.  I had taken Friday off from exercising, since I was a little sore from my personal training session on Friday.  I had thought we would take a walk outside on Sunday.  But, it was raining so it ended up being a sedentary day.  That means I really need to exercise every day for the rest of this week (which ends on Friday).

Low SmartPoint Chili’s Lunch and Making Restaurant Choices

Today, I went to my Saturday Weight Watchers meeting.  Since I have already weighed in for the month, I didn’t weigh in today.  I had a better week this past week than I did the 3 weeks before.  Frankly, I had gotten really out of whack on my SmartPoints.  The week before this one I averaged over 1600 calories a day and ended the week — after Daily and Weekly SmartPoints and FitPoitnts — 93 SmartPoints in the hole!  This past week I started get myself back to normal eating.  I ended up slightly in the hole.  I do, however, have me set on losing even though I am at goal.  If I set myself on maintenance, I would have been within my SmartPoints.  This week was good enough to maintain, but not enough to lose weight.  It was the weeks before this week that did the damage.  On my scale I am up about 2 1/2 pounds, so my goal this week is to really get back to eating within the losing mode.

Tomorrow is our anniversary and we will be going out to eat so I know that will be my high point day of the week.  Today, we went out to lunch but I wanted to be really careful what I ate given that I am eating out tomorrow.  The first thing I try to do in that situation is to eat at a restaurant where I know there are choices that  I like that will be lower points.  I emphasize “that I like” because it doesn’t help me at all to go somewhere that has lower calories options that I don’t like.  It has to be somewhere that I actual like those options.

I ended up with a 410 calories/10 SmartPoints lunch:

Chilis lunch

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Weight Watchers Promising Study on Diabetes Prevention

News came out about a new research study regarding Weight Watchers and diabetes prevention.  The study found that prediabetic adults who followed Weight Watchers, with a specific prediabetes component, lost more weight and had better blood glucose control than those who received counseling materials and were told to lose weight on their own.  The study has received a lot of news coverage and a gain of almost 18% in stock price today has been attributed to this news.

I found this particularly interesting.  At the end of 2014, my hemoglobin A1C level was 5.9 which was in the prediabetes range. Note that at that time, I had already lost almost 50 pounds (I don’t know what my A1C level was before I started losing weight).  During last year, I lost a little over 13 pounds and really worked on my eating habits.  At the end of 2015, my A1C level was down to a normal 5.44.  And, I really do largely attribute this to my loss of weight and my better eating habits on Weight Watchers.  So, I was quite interested in learning about this study (although I attended regular Weight Watchers and not one with a prediabetes component).

So, what did this study say?  Unfortunately, the complete article about the study is not available for free online.  The study is entitled Comparison of Commercial and Self-Initiated Weight Loss Programs in People with Prediabetes: A Randomized Control Trial and an abstract is available at the American Journal of Public Health.  Because I only had access to the abstract, there are many details that I don’t know about.  (I understand why a journal wouldn’t want to make everything freely available.  And, I would pay a dollar or two to get a copy of a single article.  But, they want $22 for 24 hour access to the article!  So I must make do with the abstract).

What the Study Says

The researchers randomly assigned 225 people with prediabetes to either Weight Watchers or to Your Game Plan to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes, which is a program the National Diabetes Education Program developed.  This was during 2013 to 2014, so presumably would have been using the PointsPlus program.  Those who went to Weight Watchers lost significantly more weight than the other group at 6 months and 12 months.  The Weight Watchers group lost 5.5% of their weight at 6 months and maintained the loss at 12 months.  The control group lost .8% at 6 months and had some regain at 12 months, for an overall loss of .2%.  The abstract also indicates that the Weight Watchers group had significantly greater improvement in hemoglobin A1C and HDL cholesterol levels. [Read more…]