Do you self-quantify? How measuring and recording can help your weight loss/improved health journey

Tracking our health has become extremely important as various technologies are becoming increasingly accessible. Remember those big cell phones way back when? Now you have pocket size smartphones with gps, camera, various sensors, and over 500,000 apps that allow you to do so many different things. We are now able to observe our health and bodies, and determine causality using various technologies that help measure our sleeping patterns, track our diets, mood, etc. An interesting article in The Economist details the “Quantify Self” culture, and gives examples of how people are tracking various things to improve health and fitness.

An example of a popular tracker, also mentioned in the article, is the Zeo. It’s a sleep monitor that enables you to monitor the effect of various habits like exercise on your sleep quality. This can be helpful for obese people who may have sleep apnea and may not know it. As mentioned many times in this blog, sleep apnea is common in obese people, and sleep has a tremendous effect on health and dieting.

Measuring and recording enabled me to observe how some of my habits influenced weight fluctuations during my weight loss journey. I now track what I eat by taking pictures of my food on my cell phone (I used to keep a food diary), weigh myself everyday, and use heart rate monitors when exercising and record on Google calendar. Even something as simple as wearing a belt is a good way to track your progress. I guess I am part of the “Quantify Self ” culture.

Consider tracking your health and diet in an effort to become healthier and live longer!

Dr John Ellis MD

Board-certified anesthesiologist, with expertise in cardiovascular anesthesia and the implications of obesity and sleep apnea in anesthesia. See vascularanesthesia.com for professional information. Dr. Ellis has used the strategies in here to: (1) lose 120 lbs over 18 months, (2) stop all antihypertensive medicines, and (3) no longer need CPAP treatment for sleep apnea.

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