Putting Your Phone to Work For You

I listen to a lot of bemoaning of technology today, most focusing on phones. Yes, they can entice bad habit behavior, like cigarettes used to , along with television and government subsidies. This is a bit of thought on the positive aspects of this technology. It all started with a Ratburger comment….

(Hypatia made a comment on the “Things that used to be true” post that got me thinking. I started a reply, but it got way too verbose and was distinctly off thread of conversation, so here it is:)

Hypatia’s Comment (Thank you, Hypatia)

Hypatia:
I think it’s true that when you eat starch, body metabolizes that first and never starts on your fat. (I don’t get why eating fat gets your bod to get rid of the excess fat you’ve already got—but it seems to do so.)

My original reply

I suggest you read the Insulin Resistance Diet

Amazon Link

It covers the mechanism of why food fat is NOT equal to body fat. That single semantic misconception has caused a lot of premature deaths.  It is fuel. You also learn that all carbs become sugar in the body, so managing just sugar is worthless. Unused carbs get stored as fat by insulin.

You can then go into Keto, which is the most effective yet most difficult to do, but it further explains why fats only become fuel when there is minimal sugar.

Now to the Title Point

(Some background. Working from home is often NOT the best lifestyle for your health, as the calories burned by going to a place of work, travel, walking through airports, walking to meetings, etc are now gone. So for the second time, I got way out of shape over a period of a decade, slowly , creeping up while I was busy with other stuff. Last year I watched my sister die of advanced diabetes, a slow two year process involving heart surgery, amputations and so on. Then I got a diagnosis of just reaching the borderline for type II diabetes. It provided sufficient motivation.)

The only way I made this work for me (Now down over 50 pounds in 6 months (second time)) was to use an app (Lose It) to track ever dang thing I ate (it scans the nutritional info from bar codes on the package, so it is not that hard) and gain an awareness of what I was eating. Now I never buy anything without checking the nutrition info and apply what I learned about insulin resistance and keto. (The app also has a very large library of branded and generic foods.)

I found the tracking itself was one heck of a tactical motivator, and when tempted to cheat, it became like cheating at solitaire, leaving an empty feeling. 

Coupling this to an exercise program finished the plan. For me it was treadmill and weight training, working around a damaged elbow joint with careful attention and braces.

Since we have become attached to our phones, I decided to put that to use for a significant goal. I now have a set of biometric trackers that measure calorie consumption of exercise, heart rate, blood oxygen, blood sugar and the amount of light and deep sleep I get, all through the phone. 

It is like driving a car with actual instruments. Feedback works to change behavior despite what socialists and human resource managers will tell you.

Not so long ago, people worked hard, ate what was available and were thin, well muscled and lived healthy lives. No dashboard was necessary, but they were subject to stuff that medical science now can fix.

Today, with prosperity unprecedented we need the feedback mechanisms to cope with prosperity, where one can sit in a chair for six hours a day and make a very good living, buy whatever tastes good and be absorbed in passive entertainment.

Our phones can have a positive effect if they are viewed as more than entertainment. I use mine as a rangefinder, a GPS driven tide table, altimeter, vehicle diagnostics, sky map, weather radar, road atlas in addition to my body health dashboard. It is an incredible toolbox.

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Author: TKC 1101

Unintentional Man of Mystery. - Curmudgeon, Reserve Status - Heinlien American - Business Advice and Salvage - Proud Grandfather-

3 thoughts on “Putting Your Phone to Work For You”

  1. TKC 1101:
    The only way I made this work for me (Now down over 50 pounds in 6 months (second time)) was to use an app (Lose It) to track ever dang thing I ate (it scans the nutritional info from bar codes on the package, so it is not that hard) and gain an awareness of what I was eating. Now I never buy anything without checking the nutrition info and apply what I learned about insulin resistance and keto. (The app also has a very large library of branded and generic foods.)

    Good grief!  Somebody has actually built an Eat Watch from The Hacker’s Diet!  When I wrote about actually building such an apparatus in the “Signal and Noise” chapter, I said:

    “The Hacker's Diet”: Eat Watch schematic

    Let us repair to the workshop and try to turn this back of the envelope sketch into hardware. Rummaging through the parts bin, we quickly find all the components at the top of the diagram. Integrators, comparators, and indicators are available for pennies apiece.

    We come up short, however, looking for those confounded meters that read calories in and out. It’s possible to measure these quantities, at least in principle. If you were crazy enough to do so, you could calculate calories in by looking up everything you ate, as you ate it, in a calorie counting book and punching in the numbers on a keyboard. You could track calories burned by measuring body temperature, blood sugar, heart and respiration rates, etc., especially if you were willing to calibrate the readings for your own body over a month. Biosensors that measure these quantities have been used on astronauts, athletes, and intensive care patients for years.

    But the whole idea of the eat watch is to be unobtrusive and not disrupt your life! Being slim and trim and the envy of your peers loses a lot of its gloss if it means spending the rest of your life wired up like a labrat. “Bend over, please, this won’t take but a moment.”

    No.

    But it could be done. This is encouraging.

    It never occurred to me in 1991 that on the threshold of the Roaring Twenties people would have a handheld device that could scan the bar code on everything they are and fill in the key missing information: calories eaten, backed up by a global data network with access to a database of every product sold in supermarkets.

    That’s me: often right, always early.

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  2. We have so many great tools and people “around” us.

    I have found the knowledge factor to be the game changer.  Once I understood what sugar and starches were doing it was easy to kick them out of the diet. I also learned that going without food in a controlled way was healthy. That body fat was there to be used not stored.

    I made a mistake a while back in thinking I could go back to my old diet. I did and I got my old weight back. The good news is a new diet has taken the weight off as “magically” as the old one put it on. It can be a pleasure to see the scale in the morning.

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