How Wearable Computing Helps Me Lose Weight

After exploring the early iterations of wearable computing, I decided to buy the new Nike Fuelband SE. It is interesting walking around with a sensor on my arm. I am actually learning some interesting things about my lifestyle, which help me to lose weight.

But first, let’s discuss the expanding gut problem.

I’ll admit it. I’ve gotten fat over the past year. Ever since I blew my knee out, the pounds have been adding up, and the belt knotches have been slipping. About 25 pounds to be exact.

Now, I was in really good shape before the knee blew out thanks to running the Tough Mudder, BUT, matters have gotten a little out of hand. It is time to reign my waistline in.

Plus I wanted to try out wearable computing. I didn’t like Google Glass when I was given a chance to wear a headset, in large part because I am blind and don’t want to wear contacts. The Galaxy Gear wrist watch is neat in concept, but has some issues.

Then there’s this weight issue. So I decided to go with a wearable fitness sensor, and opted for the new Fuelband SE over Fitbit. I made the choice based aesthetics and Nike’s social community.

Coach Fuelband


Yes, Fuelband has a couple of issues, but I really like it. The app (currently only on iPhone) is great, and let’s you log-in special activities. You can see performance, compare with your peers, and set goals. If I want to share online I can.

Within the Nike+ Community I can better gage my performance on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Further, the data is providing insights into my weight problem.

During the period when I was gaining weight, I was on client site four days a week (through October 11). I still go in one day a week, and this week I wore my Fuelband. Guess what? I was so sedentary that my activity level dropped by 50%, even after a 40 minute workout at the facility gym. This showed me how important a couple of 10 minute walks a day are.

Second, I am actually quite activenow that I am not on client site. Yet the pounds are not slipping away as quickly as they have in other times of high level fitness activity. This points to a dietary issue.

Yes, I have been eating too much of Soleil’s mac & cheese, and half-eaten cupcakes, and everything else that she doesn’t eat. Plus we eat much more meat these days than I am used to. Ah, the quest to feed the baby protein. Caitlin admits that generally we could be eating lighter.

I can always ratchet it up a notch on the fitness front, and intend to do so. At the same time, Fuelband is showing me the problem lies elsewhere.

All in all, wearing a sensor on my arm has been less intrusive and much more helpful than I imagined. A big thumbs up for the early generation of what will surely be an evolving mobile computing technology.

Do you wear a Fitbit or Fuelband?


  • I don’t, but this article makes me think I should. I could lose some pounds, too.

  • I’ve been using a Garmin chest strap with the Digifit iPhone app. With the new iPhone, the 30-pin adapter will not work, so I’m on the lookout for a new solution. Some chest straps do not require the adapter, but they are more bulky than the Garmin, so I’m not thrilled with them.

    Shelly Kramer introduced me to the Amiigo wristband, and that one intrigues me (it does heart rate monitoring). The Fuelband/Fitbit wrist bands do not include heart monitoring, and I use that for my zone training. The Amiigo is interesting in that it can also interpret movements, so it knows the difference between when you are on a treadmill or elliptical. It can also tell curls from bench press, etc. It doesn’t require the adapter on the phone since it uses BLE (bluetooth low energy), and it doesn’t require the chest strap.

    Would love to read some early reviews before purchase, though.

    • That Amiigo sounds really cool!

      • I agree – hope some of the initial buyers (when it was still in concept stage) get their straps quickly…and write reviews. Umm, I rarely ask for a Christmas gift, but this one may qualify!

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