Obesity is an epidemic. Processed foods, fast food outlets, the constant availability of junk food and nutritional information that doesn’t always give the full story have made it easier than ever to over indulge.
Diet has changed a lot in the last 50 years, moving from largely fresh food cooked at home to an ever increasing reliance on pre-made, processed food or takeaways. We eat out more frequently too, restaurants are much cheaper and therefore used more frequently. As the food producers try to drive their prices lower they also have to drive their costs lower, and often, this means compromising on the nuitritional value of their foods.
The rise of technology too has changed how we act, more people sit watching television or playing computer games where before they would have been doing something more active. We sit browsing the Internet, maybe even we read or write blogs! All this contributes to societies collective widening waistline.
It’s not all bad though, the rise of technology has also brought about the advent of the fitness app. These apps and gadgets can make staying in shape much easier and give us an advantage that people of 50 years ago couldn’t have, certainly not easily. Heart rate monitors, calorie counters, GPS, the choice is enourmous. Personally I use three different fitness apps and thought I’d use this opportunity to talk about them.
I have a Fitbit Blaze bought for me for my birthday by my lovely wife. In fact it’s in large part due to the Fitbit that I started my weight loss and fitness journey in the first place. Fitbit is great. It allows you to track your activity, monitor your heart rate, track exercise, monitor your sleep patterns, it even tells the time! I wear mine all the time but for me the most important function is to get a fairly accurate idea of how many calories I’ve burned during a gym session or bike ride.
Everything I eat gets logged in my fitness pal, everything. For those who don’t know about this app myfitnesspal allows you to enter your age, height and weight and set a weight goal. Based on what you want to do the app will set you a calorie goal for the day as well as targets for carbs, fats and protein. By entering what excersize you’ve done you can earn extra calories, and it will even sync with the Fitbit.
Strava allows you to track your bike rides or runs (bike rides in my case) it uses GPS to say where you’ve been, gives you a top and average speed and measures how far uphill you’ve gone. In addition to this Strava has “segments” where you can measure your performance against others on the same route.
Technology therefore has made it much harder to eat well, but with the advent of fitness technology you’re equipped with all the tools you need to try to combat this. As Bob said; “the times they are a changing” how the effect changes you is up to you!