Online Tools for Monitoring Weight Loss Programs
One of the best ways of staying on track with your weight loss program is to keep a diary of your progress, by recording your weight each day or week and comparing it with your target. You can do this with a hand-written diary, or a spreadsheet or various programs that you buy or download. This will help you see how you are progressing towards your weight loss goal. There are various software programs available that you can use for this and many of the diet and weight loss programs include such tools. Recently a number of online tools have been developed which allow you to keep a weight loss diary simply by accessing a website. This is much more convenient as you can enter data anywhere and at any time and there is no need to download and store the software at home and at work. This is especially convenient when the tool also allows you to record details of your food eaten and exercise you have undertaken. You can enter your lunch details or lunchtime jog, walk or swim exercise, straight away immediately after you have eaten or finished the exercise. But there is much more on offer – Food, Exercise, and Calorie Deficit!
What are the features to look for when choosing an Online Weight Loss Tool?
Weight and Target Weight document generator
The tool should allow you to enter your weight each day or week and compare it with your weight loss target for that day that week. For example, let’s say you want to lose 2 pounds or 1 kilogram per week towards your final goal. The program should allow you to enter your weight (say 100lb) in a diary and compare it with your daily and weekly target (say 99lb), and show both on a graph for your program. There are various tickers and other tools for doing this, but most do not allow you to compare your daily weight with your daily target for that day. This is essential to keep you on track.
The tool should allow you to record the number of calories (or kilojoules) eaten each day. There are lots of calorie counters available, but most are too complex and a pain to use. Most people have very similar meals especially for breakfast and lunch, and a small number of dinner meals that are regularly eaten. The best tools are those that allow you to work out the calories for each meal once, and then record the meal details and calories for the meal in a table. Then you can easily work out your calories eaten in a day by having the tool add up the calories for each meal you have eaten that day. You want to be able to add meals and make simple changes, for example halving your portion sizes or eating 2 apples rather than one. The tool should allow you to record meals, portion size and calories and add up your calories for the meals eaten each day.
Calories Burnt through Exercise
The tool should allow you to record the total calories burnt through exercise each day. It should help you work this out once and record it, without the need to go through the tables each time. Most people have a small number of exercises that they undertake for their program. For example, – walk at a fast pace for 5 miles, jog slowly for 10miles, swim at moderate pace for 10 laps of the pool, half hour workout at the gym. The energy expended depends on you weight, vigor, and time and distance for the task. There are lots of tools for calculating the calories burnt for each of your tasks. But the best allow you to record your own exercise tasks and their calories burnt values, once in a list. You can then easily work out your total calories burnt each day by adding up the calories for each of the tasks done each day. The tool should do this for you, and allow you to record total calories burnt through exercise.
Basal Metabolic Rate and the Calorie Deficit
Your Basal Metabolic Rate is the energy you consume in maintaining your basic metabolism doing your routine activities – that is during ‘rest’ or your normal daily life.
It is the energy needed for your body to maintain itself and the energy needed for all the routine things you do each day. Your exercise program consumes extra calories on top of this. Your Basal Metabolic Rate depends and your age, weight and how active you are doing the routine things each day. There are lost of ways of working this out and your tool should allow you to record this. The Calorie Deficit is basically the difference between the number of calories eaten in your food, and the number of calories burnt each day. If you are dieting you will aim to eat fewer calories than you consume, so that your body will burnt fat to make up the difference. Your calorie deficit is the calories consumed in your basal metabolic rate, plus that consumed in exercise, minus the calories eaten in food. It’s that simple! If you have a calorie deficit each day, and you stick to it, you will lose weight! The higher the deficit – the faster you will lose weight. Your online tool should calculate this calorie deficit each day so you can see how you are going with your diet and exercise, and how much it affects your weight loss.
Putting it All Together – Plotting your Progress
Ideally you want an online diary to record your weight each day or week and see how it compares with your target. Also, you want to record your calories eaten and burnt through exercise, and estimate your calorie deficit. You also want to see your data plotted on graphs so you can monitor your progress, and see the relationship between weight loss, diet, exercise and your calorie deficit. There is nothing like a graph!