Hack 12. Lose Weight the Palm Way
The best way to lose weight is to count calories and exercise regularly, while tracking your progress. Your Palm device can make this easier.
If you simply eat less food, your body will adjust by slowing your metabolism. The best way to counteract this slowing is to increase your exercise at the same time you are decreasing your calories.
Tracking all of this information is complex. How many calories were in that donut you had for a snack? How many calories do you burn while walking a mile? And if you successfully lose weight, how does that affect the calories you burn during exercise?
2.3.1. Calorie and Exercise Counters
There are applications such as BalanceLog (http://www.healthetech.com) that can manage this information for you. BalanceLog contains lists of foods and exercises and the related calorie amounts. You can see a summary in Figure 2-7. For exercise, the calories burned per hour is adjusted by your weight. As you lose weight, you burn fewer calories. Having a program on your Palm device to track this is nice because you usually have your Palm device with you. Thus, you can enter meals and exercise in a timely fashion, instead of entering them when you get home and having to remember back over the day.
Figure 2-7. Daily summary in BalanceLog
Sustained weight loss only comes with regular attention to the detailsfood and exercise. As always, check with a doctor before starting an exercise program or altering your diet.
Another program for tracking calories and exercise is EatWatch (http://www.fourmilab.ch/hackdiet/palm/). EatWatch (Figure 2-8) is designed to help you follow the Hacker's Diet. The Hacker's Diet is a combination of reducing your calories and doing some calisthenics. EatWatch helps you on both these counts. It tracks your food intake and the number of exercises that you do. The exercises include sit-ups, push-ups, jumping jacks, running in place, and a few more. You can find more about the Hacker's Diet at the EatWatch web page.
2.3.2. Info on the Go
You can carry nutrition information with you on your Palm device. Memoware (http://www.memoware.com) has a number of documents in its Food and Nutrition area. You need a document reader [Hack #23] to view these documents. The information includes general nutrition information as well as specific types of information such as low-carb foods or the glycemic indices of different foods. The glycemic index indicates how quickly your body converts the food to glucose, which is important for people with diabetes. A low glycemic number means that it takes the body longer to convert the food to glucose.
Figure 2-8. EatWatch, monthly view
2.3.3. Entertainment on the Go
You can also use your Palm device to listen to music [Hack #25] while you exercise. Portability makes a Palm device that much more useful for exercising. Pick out some good music, a decent music player, and some headphones that will work while you are exercising, and you are set. If you are going to be fairly stationary while you exercise, you could get some Bluetooth wireless headphones and leave your Palm device in your bag playing music. Otherwise, you will need to get a good sports case for your Palm device so that it can go with you without getting in the way of your exercise. You can find cases at Palm (http://www.palm.com) and most major electronics stores. Also, the Gadgeteer (http://www.the-gadgeteer.com) has reviews of just about every case ever produced for Palm devices.
2.3.4. Use the Built-in Applications
You can use the built-in applications to help with your weight-loss plans. Use the Date Book to schedule time for exercise. Or if you want to be a little less structured (maybe you want to go for a hike sometime during the weekend), then you can create a To Do item instead. For the hike, you could set a due date at the end of the weekend and check off the item in the To Do List when you finally head out, as you can see in Figure 2-9.
Eating right is a big part of losing weight. The built-in applications can help with cooking. You can use the To Do List to set up shopping lists, as in Figure 2-10. MemoPad makes a simple alternative to a full-fledged cooking program for organizing recipes, as you can see in Figure 2-11.
Figure 2-9. Date Book showing scheduled exercises
Figure 2-10. Using the To Do List for grocery shopping
If you don't want to buy an extra program to track your weight, then just create an untimed entry in the Date Book [Hack #1] each day that you weigh yourself and record your weight there. If you like pretty pictures, you can record your weight in a spreadsheetdate in one column, weight in anotherand then graph the results to see your weight loss over time.
Losing weight takes patience and self-discipline. Your Palm device can make the process easier, but ultimately it's up to you to see it through.
Figure 2-11. MemoPad showing a recipe