Like many Singaporeans, I found it hard to control my weight. I am 1.76m tall and in my youth, weighed only 65kg. But things changed as I advanced in age. And before I knew it, I had ballooned to 78kg.
Sounds familiar? That’s because like many Singaporeans, I appreciate good food and dislike exercising. Not exactly the right combination for a healthy lifestyle but I didn’t care. After all, I could wear clothes that are a little baggy and hide my excess fats and no one would even noticed. Or at least, that’s what I thought. Then, sometime in 2019, I begin noticing that I had too much fats to hide and that it was showing, in all the photographs I took. I tried jogging, going to the gym etc but none of that worked. Why? Because by then, I was out of shape and exercising was like a torture. I couldn’t do enough exercises to burn the calories needed to slim down and get back in shape. Eventually, I gave up all hopes of ever slimming and instead focused my energy to maintaining my current body weight; just don’t let it increase, became my motto.
Me and My Fitbit
Then in December 2019, I decided to get myself a Fitbit Versa 2. I am a web design cum SEO trainer and thought wearing a Fitbit will be consistent with my overall image. So when I bought my Fitbit, it was for vanity reasons rather than pure thoughts of weight lost.
Today, just 10 months into using my Fitbit, I weigh a healthy 71kg. That’s 7 kg of weight loss achieved without dieting, doing vigorous exercises, taking weight loss pills or going for expensive weight lost programs! If this sounds like a weight loss advertisement, believe me, it’s not. I am not paid by Fitbit to pen this article and I do not own any Fitbit shares. I’m just sharing because I am so happy with my own outcome and hope I can motivate those wanting to slim down to achieve their own desired weight goals as well. So without further ado, here’s what I did to successfully slim down.
5 Simple Daily Goals
Upon downloading and setting up my Fitbit app, I was given 5 simple daily goals, namely:
- Cover a distance of at least 8.05 km per day
- Walk at least 10,000 steps a day
- Burn at Least 2651 calories per day
- Climb at least 10 flights of stairs per day
- And exercise (ie walk) for at least 30 mins per day (Subsequent updates of the Fitbit app chawed this goal to 22 active zone minutes but I kept with the original goal)
All these stats are tracked by my Fitbit itself and I can easily monitor my progress throughout the day.
The goals seemed simple enough and since I already bought my Fitbit, I simply decided to give them a try or at least all the goals except for climbing. The 10 flights of stairs goal was difficult for me because there are not many stairways I can climb around my place of residence. This was therefore the only goal I ignored.
And how strictly did I pursue these goals? Truth is, I gave myself 2 cheat days a week. So in all, my target was to achieve 4 of the 5 goals, 5 times a week.
My Daily Routine
Once I had my goals settled, I began my daily walks. It didn’t take long for me to realise that 10,000 steps was simply not enough for my to achieve my distance and calorie goal each day. Perhaps it could be that I was walking at a more leisurely pace than Fitbit predicted or I was not taking long enough strides? Whatever the reasons, I simply told myself that 2651 calories will be my ultimate target each day. To achieve that, I ended up taking around 13,800 steps on average each day. On days when I feel more motivated, I took as much as 23,000 steps, burning in excess of 3,150 calories. Throughout this period, I did not control my diet, take weigh loss supplements or do any strenuous exercises. I simply walked! On average, I walked about 90 mins a day. Yes I do perspire a lot but I don’t pant or exert myself to the point where I feel breathless. In all, these walks are very relaxing.
How Do I Accumulate My Steps?
In busy Singapore, some us may not have the time for 90 mins of walking everyday. So here’s what I did…
I live at Flora Road. I used to drive to nearby amenities for grocery shopping and food etc. These days I don’t; I simply walk. From my home, I’ve walked to places like Loyang Point and even as far as My Tampines Hub, just for dinner. From the to and fro walk to My Tampines Hub, I’ll easily clock 9,500 steps and to me, it’s the perfect way to burn off a heavy meal after dinner.
When teaching my web design course at Awesome Sites, I would walk around the 5th floor of Singapore Shopping Centre each time the class had a toilet break. In short, I took every opportunity to walk.
Why the Fitbit Way Worked For Me?
Prior to having my Fitbit, I did not have a goal. Fitbit provided me that daily goal. With a goal, I had a target to achieve every day. The target is challenging but achievable. Challenging in that it requires time commitment on my part, but achievable in that no strenuous exercise is involved. Best of all, within the first 10 days, I already started losing weight. Not a lot initially, but enough to keep me motivated. And it’s this combination of aiming for my daily target and seeing visible results that kept me motivated to keep up my daily routine to this very day. And before knew it, I was down to the weight goal I set for myself – 71kg.
What If You Don’t Own a Fitbit?
The way I see it, you don’t need a Fitbit to go on the same fitness regime as I did. These days, there are free apps that you can download that turns your smart phone into a pedometer. You will just have to make sure your phone is with you when you are accumulating your steps or your step count will not be accurate.
There are also cheaper alternatives to Fitbit, like the Mi Band my daughter wears. Costing a mere $39, it tracks almost the same things Fitbit tracks.
More importantly, all I did was ensure that I burned 2651 calories at least 5 times a week and I did it by merely walking. So any watch or phone with pedometer functions will be able to help you keep track of your progress and burn the calories you need. Fitbit is good to have but not necessary.
Will Fitbit (or any other pedometer watch) work for you? I won’t know. I’m not a health or weight loss expert. I’m just someone who bought a Fitbit, tried it out without much expectations and unexpectedly, achieved my desired weight goal. I could have kept this experience to myself but wanted to share. Why? So that my experience can, hopefully, benefit you as well.
Lastly, if you have already given Fitbit or any other pedometer watch a try, why not comment below to let others know of your experience. We would love to hear from you too.