Tag Archives: weight
Jae Osenbach LOVES chocolate. Unfortunately, her body does too. She decided to go on a calorie-restricted diet of 1200 calories a day for 6 weeks and track her weight loss. In the lively video below, Jae talks about her experiments with nuts vs. no nuts and chocolate vs. no chocolate, and her surprising T-test results. She has also kindly posted her slides and instructions for how to add an analysis toolpak to Excel. Hooray for chocolate! (Filmed by the Seattle QS Show&Tell meetup group.)
We’ve posted some great talks by Amelia Greenhall here on the blog and we’re excited to bring you another insightful presentation. Last year Amelia gave a wonderful talk about her weight loss journey and the power of using running averages. In this updated talk Amelia gives a more in-depth look about how using a 10-day moving average serves as an “early warning system” that puts helps put her back on the path of mindful eating. Filmed at the QS Silicon Valley meetup group
Lisa Betts-LaCroix has been tracking her weight off and on since 2000. In this Show & Tell talk at the recent Silicon Valley QS meetup Lisa details the trials and tribulations that go along with attempting to track her weight and other associated behavioral variables. From simple excel spreadsheets to using Google forms to finally using the Withings wireless scale Lisa explains why and how she’s finally been successful at reducing her weight. Watch this insightful video to see what Lisa feels are the keys to self-tracking tracking and feedback mechanisms.
Rob Portil is sixty-six years old and has been overweight twice in his life. He’s been using FitBit for the past four months, and has reached his target weight. In the video below, he describes how he experiences the daily tracking, how his sweetheart experiences it differently, which Four Hour Body workouts he does, and some key eating tricks he learned along the way. (Filmed by the Bay Area QS Show&Tell meetup group.)
Amelia Greenhall lost forty pounds with the simple feedback of checking her weight every day. In a bulimic college environment, she set herself some rules starting out: no dieting, and only long-term changes. She read The Hacker’s Diet, and was inspired to track the 10-day moving average of her weight for two years. Watch the video below to hear Amelia’s story, including the cascade of amazing lifestyle and attitude changes she made along the way. (Filmed by the Seattle QS Show&Tell meetup group.)
The idea of having one’s devices automatically upload data to a Web site is much hoped for among QS readers. Here’s one take on solving from the problem, presented at the the QS Show&Tell II by Brandon from A&D Weighing, one of the leading manufacturers of medical scales. (Brandon was a good sport in dealing with the comments he received when he revealed that, no, the data was not portable.)
This week I set out to buy a scale. My requirements were simple: I wanted a home scale accurate to within .25 pounds that had Bluetooth or a USB port so that I could transmit data to my computer. It didn’t turn out to be so easy. Here is a brief report about my quest. If anybody has suggestions, let me know and I’ll include them in a future post.
The idea of a scale that can easily transmit weight data to a computer for analysis is so obvious that it must already exist, right? Well, sort of. The idea certainly exists. Over the past few years many press releases have been issued noting the appearance of USB and/or Bluetooth enabled scales. Sometimes the press release is all there is.
For instance: here (above) is a phantom scale that exists only as a picture. It is supposed to have both an RS232 output and optional Bluetooth. I have searched pretty thoroughly and also emailed the company. So far, no sign of this scale.
Last year there was a little burst of Web attention for a Tanita scale (above) with a bluetooth module that could send your weight to a mobile phone and from there to a Web site. Akihabara News mentioned that Tanita had several bluetooth scales, and Gizmodo
said that this scale had a USB port and well as bluetooth. But they were nowhere to be found; even searching the Japanese Tanita site doesn’t turn up this model, as far as I can tell, though more recent models may also have these features.
Unfortunately, the most up-to-date Japanese scales aren’t available to purchase from where I live:
This service is for Domestic only. Products cannot be purchased from overseas.
So aren’t there any scales available in the United States with a data output feature? Searching for all Tanita scales turned up this “Bluetooth scale” for $210 from a web store aimed at athletes called The Competitive Edge. How does the data output work? I found the manual at the Tanita site and looked up the Bluetooth instructions. With this handy spec sheet (below), you can write your own widget to take the data off your scale and import into your spreadsheet.
This may be the answer; at least the data is exported as comma-separated values. But first I took a look at another Bluetooth scale I found from A&D Weighing in Milpitus, which manufactures scales of all shapes and sizes. This one is substantially more expensive. Various health tech sites list it for between $360 and $390.
I located the manual to this scale, but unlike the manual for the Tanita scale there is no information here about how the data is output. It says only:
“At the end of the measurement, your weight will be sent automatically to your health monitoring device. You do not need to do anything.”
Could this be right? Certainly there must be some instructions, at least information about how the data will be formatted. A note at Convergent Tech explains:
“Product is not supplied with software or interface to make it “consumer friendly”. Product is intended for Vertical Integrators with the technical skill set to integrate device into their particular applications.”
In other words, with this as with the Tanita scale, we are not supposed to be messing around with our own data analysis, but simply stepping on it at the clinic or office, or perhaps buying it from a health services provider who will also give us the charts and other tools we need.
Okay – if that’s how it has to be, I’m willing to play along. I have no need to satisfy my instinct for writing widgets; in fact, I possess no such instinct. All I’m looking for is a handy way to upload weight data and then export it to a spreadsheet. I don’t want another health plan or insurance policy or enrollment in a high risk patient monitoring program. Isn’t there a company that has written a widget, fired up the web site, and is offering convenient access and a data export feature at a reasonable price?
There is. A firm in Redmond, Washington has gotten there first. Microsoft Health Vault has drivers for both the Tanita and the A&D scales.
That’s pretty terrific. Health Vault is a free service that allows users to store all their medical data, and Microsoft has been working to integrate Health Vault with medical records system in large health plans. But you can sign up for an individual account, and use various applications to upload data either manually, or automatically from certain supported devices, including both the Bluetooth scales.
Finally, I’d found it. I’m a Mac user, myself, but I also have Windows Vista loaded, which I run using Bootcamp. So, here was the answer. To automatically upload and track my weight data, I just need to restart my Mac in Windows mode, sign on to Health Vault, fire up the Health Vault Connection Center, step on the scale, wait for device pairing, and–.
Well, this is the solution I came back to in the end. Write down weight in notebook. Enter weights in Excel when I get around to it.The hard way turns out to be the easy way. The picture here of my blood pressure records. For weight, I’ll just add another column. (Of course, there are also supposed to be bluetooth enabled blood pressure monitors…)