Over the past couple of years, I had managed to gain some very unwanted pounds rather rapidly. I thought at first that my weight gain was hormonal, or perhaps I had a thyroid problem. I was running and walking long distances regularly, and I was (sporadically) writing down what I ate, but I wasn’t seeing any results.
According to my endocrinologist, my problem was a combination of poor eating habits (whether I realized it or not, I was grazing all day long), a vitamin D and B deficiency, irregular sleep habits, travel, and stress — lots of stress.
So late last year I got serious about reclaiming my health, and my new strategies worked. Today I feel better, and I’ve lost all of my excess baggage and then some.
How did I do it? It was a combination of things, but one of the biggest parts involved throwing out what I thought I knew about weight loss and starting fresh.
The first step was to change the way I eat; I began a weight-loss program that helped me reset my eating patterns. If I snack, it’s at a scheduled time, and it is always noted in the MyFitnessPal food journal. I started taking multi-vitamins and other supplements throughout the day. I made myself get a minimum of 7 to 8 hours of sleep (I try for even more when I have time to do it). I now try to get 15 minutes of full sun every day — without slathering on any sunscreen first (it’s enough to soak in real vitamin D but not enough to make me turn pink). And I started weighing myself every morning, without fail, even when traveling.
I have to admit that the ‘weighing myself every day’ idea went against just about everything I had ever read about weight loss, but it turns out that if you can train yourself not to freak out about little ups and downs, it is the secret to catching yourself before you get off track. The result? I’ve lost almost 40 pounds.
A big part of my early weight-loss success came from using the original Withings Scale (which I had been sporadically doing since 2011) in combination with the Withings’ app and the MyFitnessPal app.
Recently I was sent the newest version of the Withings Scale, the Withings Smart Body Analyzer, and it has become an even more useful tool than the original.
Let’s take a look at the Smart Body Analyzer and the Withings’ app …
Included in the box are the Smart Body Analyzer, a quick installation guide, four AAA batteries, and four feet if you have to place the scale on a carpeted surface.
The Smart Body Analyzer looks like many other modern electronic scales, but it does much more than just tell you your daily weight, BMI, and fat percentage. It also tells you your heart rate, the air quality (temperature and carbon dioxide) of the room it’s placed in, and it also gives you a weather report for the day ahead.
On top of that, the Smart Body Analyzer syncs with the Withings’ app to keep track of your weight trends, help you set goals, and give you a much broader picture of your overall health whether you are using other Withings products to measure sleep, heart rate, steps per day, and blood pressure, or if you are manually entering those values yourself.
Setup is easy — open the Withings’ app and select your new device, tell the app whether you have the original Withings Scale or the Smart Body Analyzer, and then you pair the scale to your iOS or Android device.
The scale will show you that it’s in pairing mode when you press the button on the back.
You may have an update to download as you do the scale setup, and once that is done the app will ask you to select the weight you would like to be, and how fast you would like to get there.
The Smart Body Analyzer syncs perfectly with MyFitnessPal, which is a multi-platform food and exercise diary that many of us are already using. Calorie entries that you post into the MyFitnessPal app will automatically sync with the Withings’ app, and weights posted to the Withings’ app will automatically sync with the MyFitnessPal app.
An added bonus of the MyFitnessPal app is the social aspect — if you’ve ever tried to lose or maintain your weight, then you know that having a support network of friends who are doing the same is invaluable. Through the app, you can add friends who will cheer you on as you check in and lose; you can (and should) do the same for them. This sense of community is wonderful.
The Withings’ app shows you invaluable information including your daily ups and downs as well as your fat mass (ugh — I’m working on mine, but it is taking time).
You can see past data — all the way back to when you started using the app — for your weight, fat mass, and BMI.
The beauty of what’s shown is that not only do you see the individual spots which represent your entries, you also see a solid line which shows your trend — whether it is up (as mine used to be) or down (as mine is now). =)
The Withings’ app also gives you near daily health tips — everything from the best way to use the scale, how to understand your body fat percentage, to how best to track your pulse, to tips on good fats vs bad, good sources of calcium, and more. I even get tips on better sleep habits, along with congratulations announcements when I’ve hit a new low or completed a walking goal — right now I have the Cuba badge, which means I’ve measured 800 miles — the length of Cuba.
In other words, using the Withings’ products with the Withings’ app equals having my very own health coach that is always ready with constant tips and encouragement.
Look, I’m not going to say that it’s absolutely necessary that I know the air quality in my home or what the weather will be like when I step outside, but having a scale that can tell me those things is pretty awesome.
The Withings Smart Body Analyzer is an important part of why my weight loss has been so successful; back when I was weighing myself every other week or even once a month, it was far too easy to get on my scale and see something devastating. I thought it was a smart thing to not check my weight daily, but now I realize that checking it daily is not an obsession — it’s a tool for keeping me on track. I no longer freak out over the daily ups and downs, instead, I pay attention to the overall trend and I can adjust my eating and activity accordingly. The support that I get from the Withings’ app in conjunction with the MyFitnessPal app and community has been invaluable. And yes, when I travel the scale goes in my suitcase.
Will getting a Withings Smart Body Analyzer help you reach your weight loss goals? Based on my experience, the answer would have to be a resounding yes. Even better, the scale can work for your entire family; it is smart enough to know who is using it, and it will enter their information in their own proper place on the app. Perhaps best of all, my weight loss strategy has inspired Kev to do the same: he is now down 33 pounds!
The Withings Smart Body Analyzer retails for $149.99, and it is available directly from the manufacturer and other retailers including Amazon, where it can be purchased for $129.99 with free Prime shipping [affiliate link].
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I Like: Weight entries that are tracked for upward or downward trends in the Withings’ app; Reports weight, BMI, fat percentage, heart rate, the daily forecast, and the temperature and CO2 quality of the room in which the scale is placed; Excellent tool for sustained weight loss
What Needs Improvement: Nothing — the scale and app are easy to use, and if you take advantage of the available tools they will help you on your weight loss and fitness journey