March 25th, 2014 by () in News

Very clever…
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Posted in News
March 19th, 2014 by () in Diet Log

The Christmas BlowoutI am finally back to the weight I was just before Christmas. It was tough getting back down there but I am glad that I have made it.

Why has it taken so long? Well one reason could well be that the British Christmas dinner has been ranked as the unhealthiest in Europe and consists of about 7,000 calories. If it was just the Xmas day food it might not be too bad but the stuffing (pun intended) seems to go on forever making it worse.

Also given that the weather post Christmas is cold, wet and generally miserable there is much less incentive to get out and do some exercise. However, over the last couple of weeks the temperature has risen and I have been able to get back on the bike and start some serious training again which has really helped me get the weight off.

There is also a reason to be getting some more training on the bike and not just to shift the weight. For some unfathomable reason I have signed on to do the 2014 Newbury Magnificat. While I am only doing the short route of 44 miles it will still be the furthest I have cycled in one go.

I am hoping that over the summer I can get a few miles in on the bike and that will help me get the weight down and reach my target weight for 2014.

What are you doing to help you reach your weight goals?

Posted in Diet Log
January 19th, 2014 by () in Site Updates

Screenshot_19_01_2014_17_36It’s been a while but we are finally able to reveal a new feature to you all. If you record your weight in Fitbit, either manually or through one of their awesome wifi connected scales you can have those weights automatically sent your Chubby Challenge account!

To connect your Fitbit and Chubby Challenge accounts login to The Chubby Challenge and click the “My Account” link at the top right of the page. On your account page you will now see a new section call “Apps”. Click the “Click here to link your Fitbit account” and you will be taken to the Fitbit site where you will be asked to authorise the connection. Click the Allow button and that’s it – no more having to remember to update your weight it will happen every night automatically. And don’t worry we never see your Fitbit username and password and we cannot make any changes to your account. To unlink your accounts just go back to the My Account page and click the link again.

The same rules apply as to when you manually enter your eight now so you can only enter one weight a day so if you have done so manually then the Fitbit weight will be ignored.

So go on and link your accounts and get your weight automatically updated.

Are there any other integrations that you would like us to add? Let us know in the comments.

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Posted in Site Updates

January 2nd, 2014 by () in Hints & Tips

zeronoodlespacket-450We’re all looking for ways to lose weight without sacrificing the food we love right? So how does noodles with only eight calories sound? Let me introduce you to Zero Noodles (you lose the eight calories through eating the noodles).

I first came across Zero Noodles in the Metro newspaper describing how the TV chef Nigella Lawson had lost weight using them. If they were good enough for Nigella then they were certainly good enough for me and given that we eat a reasonable amount of egg noodles swapping them out for zero noodles would be easy enough.

Fortunately they are easy to come by and I was able to pick up a couple of packets in my local Holland and Barratt store. The first surprise was that they weren’t dried as I expected but suspended in liquid. The second was that they were pretty cheap and were on offer.

It is claimed that Zero Noodles can be used in any way that you would normal noodles. So for our experiment we decided on a stir-fry. Opening the packet revealed a very anaemic looking set of thin and watery noodles. After washing them off they were added to the stir-fry in the usual way.

Of course having zero calories is only any good if they pass the taste test and I can say that with our family at least this is where they came unstuck – they tasted awful. They really affected the taste of the overall meal, rather than the flavours of the stir-fry it was overwhelmed by the noodles themselves and they were pretty slimy too.

So, as ever, your mileage may vary but based on our meal I couldn’t recommend them which is a great shame as they promised so much.

Tried them yourself? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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Posted in Hints & Tips
July 7th, 2013 by () in News

201307188_160703-CapturFilesSo it has been a while since I’ve posted but we have been busy in the background and I wanted to let you know about a change that we have added.

When you now go to your home page, just below the graph, you will see a button called “More stats”. When you click this you will be taken to a new page showing a graph and the raw weight data below it. From here you can select your own date range and update the graph to show only this period, allowing you to track your weight over a much longer (or shorter) period.

When you change the date range the table of data below will also be updated with the relevant results for this range and below this table is a button called “Download Data”. When you click this it a file will be downloaded with the data for the current date range which you can open in your favourite spreadsheet tool, such as Excel.

Hop you enjoy the new feature!

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March 23rd, 2013 by () in Site Updates

20130382_160389-CapturFilesA really minor update to the site today but one that should make a lot of people happy – you can finally edit your last entered weight. So now if you make a mistake when entering your latest weight you can simply go back and correct it, hurrah! Look for the “Edit Your Weight” button just below the graph.

There is one cavet to the edit your weight feature in that the option is only there until the next day when the button will revert to “Record Your Weight”.

We have also made a second change that should make recording your weight easier too. Now when you record a new weight your previous weight is pre-filled for you so you only have to make a change or if there has been no change simply just click the save button.

 

Posted in Site Updates
February 22nd, 2013 by () in Diet Log

Celery StickSomething that has fascinated me for quite a while is how the number of calories in an item is in no way related to the size of the object. It is all too easy to pick up a sweet thinking “oh! that’s only small so it won’t have that many calories in it” when in fact it is packed with them.

Now the wiseGEEK blog has shown just what 200 calories actually gets you for about 50 common food items, including celery, donuts, eggs and Werther’s Originals.

It is a great reminder of just how much and how little you get of some common items and is really useful for reminding the dieter that size is important and thinking that by having something small it won’t have an effect. These pictures show that it certainly could.

Link: What Does 200 Calories Look Like?

Posted in Diet Log
February 8th, 2013 by () in Diet Log

BreadWhen reading an article today on the benefits or otherwise of butter vs margarine I was struck by just how difficult it is to keep up with the latest recommendations on just exactly what you should be eating. Worse still some of the advice is downright confusing and conflicting.

Today’s report is a case in point. We have previously been told that eating margarine is better for you than butter as one contains “good fats” and the other “bad fats” and many will have taken that advice and adjusted their diet accordingly. However, that now may not be the case and you might have been better sticking to butter.

The issue is that the body is such a complex thing and different people respond in different ways to the same inputs. Clinical trials are such blunt instruments that either don’t cover enough people or aren’t properly conducted – read Ben Goldacre’s excellent Bad Science blog for more on that. What’s more it is always possible to find someone that is willing to take the opposing view and to sound plausible.

If you are looking for an answer I’m sorry I don’t have one other than to say know your own body and eat sensibly.

Posted in Diet Log
January 31st, 2013 by () in Diet Log

Moves for iPhoneRecently I have been getting more interested in my personal health as I try and shed some pounds – so much so that I have even built this website to help me and others do so.

Been a gadget lover this has inevitably led me to look at some technology to help with fitness, weight loss and well-being. Currently there are two players in this market: Nike and Fitbit. Both produce hardware that will record your activity during the day (and night with Fitbit) allowing you to see how active you have been. They both do this with wearable devices – a wristband for Nike and a dongle for Fitbit. The issues with these are that the Fitbit just doesn’t seem practical to me, you have to clip it on, and both are expensive – £70 for the Fitbit and £120 for Nike equivalent.

Enter Moves for iPhone, which is an app that records very similar information to Fitbit and Nike but comes without the need for carrying any additional hardware and is free. What I like about Moves is that it is a set and forget solution. No having to remember to put on your dongle as it is part of something that I regularly carry with my anyway – my phone. Moves can record three types of activity: walking, running and cycling as well as logging when you haven’t been active by taking the car or public transport. The fitness information is shown as a series of bubbles on the screen for the day with a linear list below mapping out the day by time.

Having used it for a couple of days now a couple of things have become clear: Moves works incredibly well and when I am at home working I really don’t move about enough.

If I was Nike and Fitbit I would be worried as Moves really does eat into their market at a price point that you just cannot beat – free. No doubt there will be a pro edition at some point as they need to repay their investors and I am hoping that they introduce a calorie counter and an ability to set goals too but right now Moves is just perfect for the casual user to be able to track their movement or lack thereof.

Download Moves for iPhone here.

Posted in Diet Log
January 18th, 2013 by () in Diet Log

Tap & TrackAs I pointed out in a previous post the formula for losing weight is pretty simple – consume fewer calories than you burn. However, in practice that can be difficult to mange.

Consensus of medical opinion seems to suggest that a sensible level of calorie intake is about 2,000 for women and 2,500 for men a day. This depends on a certain level of activity. If you have a desk based job and don’t plan in any activity you may find that your requirements are less than this. Similarly if you exercise a lot you will need more. Either way once you have established what your intake should be it should be a simple case of just eating less calories than this amount to lose weight.

But, of course, nothing is as simple as that. Ignoring that your body is out to get you and goes into some lockdown mode when it thinks that you are trying to starve it, just how do you work out how many calories you have consumed?

For me I use the excellent Tap & Track app on my iPhone as I always have it to hand. Once you have set the app up with some basic information about yourself and set a daily calorie limit it it easy to use and keep an eye on how you are doing against those targets.

Tap & Track contains a huge database of items from major brands and stores (even if it is a bit US centric). You can also add your own items and, even better, meals, which is great and a huge time saver. The home page (which is shown above) gives a nice graphical display of how you are progressing on a particular day towards your goal.

The only thing that you have to be careful of is making sure that you enter every last calorie that passes your lips and that can be quite difficult to do. It is easy to pop a grape in the mouth without thinking about it. Or maybe you take a handful and think “I won’t record that as grapes are good for you so there can’t be any calories in them”, right? But it all adds up and, as I have found out, it is easy to slip over the daily limit without too much difficultly.

There are plenty of other apps for both mobile devices and online so if you choose to go down the calorie counting route you should be able to find something that works for you. Try and find one that has a reasonably large database of food items and is regularly updated as this will make your job much easier.

Does calorie counting work for you or do you prefer to do something else? If so let us know in the comments.

Posted in Diet Log