One of the most popular questions I receive as both a personal trainer and healthy lifestyle blogger has to do with losing weight and maintaining a healthy living way of life.
Without fail, my answer always involves similar questions back to the client or reader.
– “What does a normal day look like for you?”
– “What do you like to do in your free time?”
– “How conscious are you on the nutritious content of your meals and snacks?”
– “What does your current fitness routine look like?”
– “What are your goals?”
More times than not, the overall response I get from someone who wants to lose weight or get on board the healthy lifestyle train needs to make one major change, and that involves tracking.
Of course every case is different, but the most common factor in those asking haven’t really taken a step back to look at their days from an outside perspective.
Life is busy and throws us into all kinds of crazy schedules. I get it. Luckily, there’s an easy way to track what you’re doing, and I recently got the opportunity to test the new Polar Loop 2 out to help me prove it.
I previously shared how having an activity tracker is a great way to stay on top of your goals. I have been wearing my Loop 2 for over a month now, and I love being able to check in throughout the day to see where I’m at.
Whether it’s a day with scheduled activity like a run, hike, or workout or one full of running nothing but errands, having a fitness and activity tracker with you can make a huge difference in how much and how often you move!
To show how I’ve been using my Loop, I tracked an entire day of activities yesterday. I didn’t track a full day of eats like a normal What I Ate Wednesday post, but I wanted also include a few snacks and meals that kept me fueled throughout the day!
My hopes are for you to see how easy it is to incorporate delicious and nutritious foods into your days as well as extra opportunities to move.
When it comes down to it, food is really just fuel right? I’m all for rewarding myself with the occasional bowl of ice cream or slice
or four of pizza, but on a regular day-to-day basis, it’s important to get used to filling your plates with a good mix of proteins, carbs, healthy fats, and colorful foods like fruits and vegetables.
Let’s get to it!
A Day of Tracking & Refueling with the Polar Loop 2
I started my Wednesday morning with a new kind of workout.
It’s called Barre-dio and was a challenging 50 minute barre class with cardio elements at The Barre Code. (I’ll be sure to share more details on this workout and studio soon!) I never do well with tackling morning workouts on an empty stomach, so I grabbed a mini Cliff Bar and a banana to eat for breakfast with my morning coffee on the drive over.
Class kept me moving! I ran a few errands on my way home and couldn’t wait to dive into breakfast #2.
Check-in #1 – after a cardio barre class // 9:45 a.m. // 793 calories, 4,987 steps
I quickly rinsed off, changed, and made one of my new favorite recovery bowls.
Low-fat cottage cheese topped in a sliced honey crisp apple and cinnamon
It felt great to knock out a third of my steps by the mid-morning, and I felt confident about reaching my daily goals without having to do anything crazy.
Just to see how active I was (or wasn’t) during my normal blogging hours, I took note of my stats before and after I sat to work on the computer for a good part of my day.
Check-in #2 – after breakfast #2 & sitting down // 11 a.m. // 880 calories, 5,852 steps
I didn’t move too much besides putting the dishes away and getting up to refill my water glass. It’s easy to do when you drink from a cute tumbler filled with cucumbers. (Cucumber and fruit infused water is where it’s at!)
I got up to do some things around the house (like switching clothes over in the laundry room, making the bed, and straightening up) from time to time, but the only true break I had was for lunch.
Organic white quinoa with sautéed chicken sausage and green, red, and yellow peppers
It took me just about fifteen minutes to whip up the meal you see above, and I already had all of the ingredients in my refrigerator. I realize that a lot of you aren’t home to cook for lunch, and there was a time when I wasn’t either. Back in the day, I used to make sandwiches, wraps, salads, and pre-make meals like the one you see above to take with me!
(By the way, quinoa is one of my favorite grains because it’s loaded with protein, fiber, and minerals without gluten. I always feel satisfied after a meal similar to one you see above, and rarely do I feel stuffed.)
Check-in #3 – after lunch // 1:45 p.m. // 1,134 calories, 7,454 steps
*Hey, I’m already about halfway to my goal for the day! I’ll take it.
I continued working on the computer for a solid three hours and got up to move around every so often. I finished my afternoon post minutes before I needed to get ready for my 3:00 appointment and the gym, grabbed my water bottle, and headed out!
(It’s so important to have water and snacks available when you know you are going to be away from home for any length of time. If you aren’t already in the habit of carrying a refillable water bottle with you to work, do it!)
I wasn’t super hungry while working, but a quick glance at my Polar Loop 2 reminded me that my body is continuously burning calories throughout the day. I broke out a container of almonds on my fifteen minute break, and a few generous handfuls kept me fueled for the rest of my afternoon.
Raw, unsalted almonds… but I also enjoy the flavors!
I packed my things up around 5:30 and hit a little bit of traffic on the way home. I felt a vibrate while I was walking around at the gym, and I finally remembered to check what the heck it was telling me…
I hit my activity goal! I still had about a third of my steps to go for the day, but my workout in the morning set me up for a win.
Check-in #4 – after working at the gym // 5:50 p.m. // 1,513 calories, 10,610 steps
I felt super lazy on the dinner front, so I pulled out a sweet potato and had an easy and nutritious go-to for one. (Scott was out for the night!)
Sweet potato topped in Amy’s organic chili and shredded cheese with a side of steamed kale
Hitting my activity goal motivated me to “go the long way” on my walk to check the mail with Roadie when I got home and hit the stairs and extra time or two when I needed something upstairs.
Out of pure curiosity, I measured how many steps it took for me to get from the kitchen/living room area to our bedroom upstairs. I take that same path back and forth continuously throughout the day, and it came out just under 50 steps!
(The stairs in our household – one level up for the bedrooms and one level down for the basement – paired with my love for running is reason enough for me to go for the 15,000 steps goal, but the 10,000 mark would fit into most lifestyles.)
I made sure to check-in with my tracker to see just how many steps I was from my end of day goal. Almost there!
Check-in #5 – winding down for the night // 9:15 p.m. // 1,828 calories, 14,130 steps
After folding and putting away a couple loads of laundry, I hit the 15,000 mark in no time. I took one last lap to put things away downstairs, and I went back upstairs feeling super accomplished. For what? Simply going about a normal day.
Activity trackers can help you realize exactly what your days look like.
Are you sitting for a long period of time? Are you getting in a decent amount of steps? If not, it will remind you to do just that.
To get a full gage on what my day really looked like, I plugged my Polar Loop 2 into the FlowSync software. I usually think to plug it in to give it a charge when I know I am going to be sitting at the computer or sleeping, but I only briefly took my tracker off during the two short times I was in the shower yesterday.
(Yes, there are a lot of days where I take two showers… #fitnessindustry)
I don’t usually geek out over technology, but I think it’s pretty neat to see stats from my days all the way up to how many hours of restful and restless sleep I get.
I like the notes on the sides that recap an overall glance at my days, too. This one acknowledged that I sat for a lot of my day (#bloggerlife), but that I didn’t sit still for too long at a time. I will occasionally get an activity stamp (a little gold triangle) on my summaries, which means I sat for longer than a 55 minute period at a time.
If I’m traveling in the car or by plane, there’s obviously nothing I can do about getting up to move, but generally, it’s a gentle reminder to get up and move! I love that.
So the real question comes down to this…
Would I pay my own money to own an activity tracker like the Polar Loop 2?
Absolutely. Like I said before, I’m not really one who oohs and ahhs over technology, but having a personal and easily accessible reminder of where I’m at and where I need to still go activity-wise in my days is pretty cool.
As a personal trainer, I recommend getting an activity tracker (preferably one that also monitors heart rate) to all of my clients, and especially to those who have goals of losing weight. While extreme exercise and dieting can initially help you drop a few pounds, it’s adapting to an overall balanced healthy and active lifestyle that actually keeps that weight off.
For more reasons why I am on board with the Polar Loop 2, see my post on how activity trackers help healthy lifestyles!
Polar Loop 2 Discount Code
The Polar Loop 2 retails for $119.95. If you’re looking to step up your activity tracking and want to try the new Loop, make sure to take advantage of a 20% off discount! Simply enter the promo code POLARFITBLOG upon checkout at Polar.com to receive the discount on any Polar Heart Rate Monitor or activity tracker.
Please note that the code expires on 12/31/15, and is only good for customers in the U.S.
Have a great Thursday, and I’ll see you back in the morning with Friday Favorites!