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Review – Lose It

Review – Lose It

In the new year, my focus has been the bulging waistline that’s burdened me since high school. While I have made a huge number of very small changes over the past two years, I never had a focused plan to lose weight.

I changed my eating habits. No longer is my freezer filled with frozen food. The number of times I eat out in a month is much smaller and when I do, I pay attention to what I eat. I no longer drink non-diet soda and cut back the amount of all soda significantly.

    I drink more water. I drink less juice. My wife and I make a meal plan for the week ahead. When we shop for groceries, we have a list and a plan in mind. This doesn’t make up everything we buy but it makes up the majority. As a result we’re less likely to wander into junk food aisles.

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    Recently everything changed. I found the Lose It website and mobile app. The idea is simple: Eat fewer calories than I need everyday. Cutting back on the calories I eat results in weight loss. There is no secret, no gimmick and no crazy food restrictions. Just eat less food.

    The mobile app is where Lose It really shines. The application is free. The web site is free. It has a huge database of food. It has options broken down by restaurant or grocery store if I’m looking for a specific item and I can enter in an item that’s not already there.

      Bar Code Scanning

      First, it can scan bar codes and return the nutritional information. The Weight Watchers app *needs* to have this. It makes eating anything from a container so easy to enter you won’t think twice about it.

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      For example, if I’m making spaghetti I can scan the box. *Beep!* Scan the sauce. *Beep!* Scan the sausage. *Beep!* I have my ingredients in the application. I now know exactly how many calories are in the total meal. The division to figure out how much I eat from there is easy and I didn’t have to type a single number.

      Recipes

        Once I have my ingredients added, I can make a recipe. The recipe is exactly what it sounds like. I add a collection of ingredients into a single item. Set the number of servings I’ve made and I’ll have the caloric content of each plate I dish up. The recipes are wonderful because I can reuse them when we make the same meal or tweak the ingredients when we do something similar.

        Sharing

        Once I have the recipe made, I can share it with my wife who is my friends on the application. This is as simple as selecting recipes, share, choose a person. Click.

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          She will then be notified by email there is a new recipe waiting or she can open the app, open Shared Items and add the new recipe to her list of foods. Now we’ve made dinner and don’t have to duplicate efforts entering numbers and scanning containers all over again.

          Reminders

            Lose It will allow you to set reminders, which the app calls Motivators, to log your meals and snacks. I currently have four. One for each meal and an end of day reminder at 11pm to hopefully catch any missed snacks or meals I did not document.

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            Syncing

            The app now syncs up with Fitbit to allow syncing of your steps to Lose It. This will allow Lose It to react to the level of exercise for a given day. This is nice because you’re not left with the same number of calories at the end of the day whether you sit on the couch all day or go for a walk.

            Lose It also syncs to the Withings Scale and offers a coupon for 7% off. The scale also syncs wirelessly and automatically to Lose It. Between tracking exercise and weight automatically, the application is even more useful because it allows you to focus less on the mundane and more on your goal of losing weight.

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              Last Updated on December 2, 2018

              How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

              How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

              Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

              The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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              The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

              Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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              Review Your Past Flow

              Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

              Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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              Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

              Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

              Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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              Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

              Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

              We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

              Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

                Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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