If you’ve been following my blog for a while now, you would notice a couple of things: I used to write really cringe-worthy stuff, because I was under the delusion that edginess is comedy. Also, for years, I struggled with a losing battle against the weight gain that seems to be standard fare for a guy who does no exercise the moment he got out of college.

I wish I could say I went through a massive epiphany that led me to shedding close to 50 pounds in a little over a year. But that’s not what happened. I’ve tried weight loss technique after another until I found the one that worked for me. In fact, even with all the pounds that I shed, I’m still not happy and I’m still working hard to be healthier.

Even though I wouldn’t recommend what I’ve done for everyone, here are the steps I took for my weight loss.

Take note that what I’ve done won’t necessarily work for you, and it may not be necessarily healthy as well. Nothing here is instant, and it will also take an amount of dedication, willpower, and discipline to lose weight. I won’t pretend to have nutritional and medical expertise, so take everything here with a grain of salt.

But if you want a way to get started for the new year, here are a few steps you can take to utilize technology the way I did for weight loss:

Set a Goal

This is the all-important step that most people overlook. Everyone just says “I want to lose weight” without thinking of a weight goal. A vague destination won’t get you moving. Figure out the ideal weight for your height and age, set a weight goal, and from that point on figure out the different milestones and steps needed to get there. Sure, there are more important factors than weight, but it’s easily the one indicator that you can see moving on a weekly basis, and once you get started you can easily learn about other stats like your muscle mass, body fat percentage, and the like.

Track Your Steps

Some people will recommend getting an activity tracker, while others will insist that an app installed on your phone is enough. I started with a Jawbone UP Move and switched to a Fitbit Charge HR six months later. It honestly doesn’t matter what you use, as long as you can track your steps and are able to get a handle on how many calories you burn in a day.

And that 10,000 step goal/day that you have to hit, according to your tracker? That’s an arbitrary number. You are in no way required to hit it, and you can adjust it to a higher or lower number. The point is that fitness wearables should let you know your current activity level, and if the data is showing you that you’re sedentary, get your ass off the couch and walk. It doesn’t matter if you walk 10,000 steps or just an hour everyday. Increasing your activity level will do wonders.

Watch What You Eat

Now this is where it gets tricky. I’ve counted my calories for over a year using My Fitness Pal. I hate being reminded that the bagnet I had for lunch has a shitload of calories, but I have to make sure I watch what I eat. Sure, you can argue that counting calories don’t work, but at the end of the day, if you eat less than what you burn, you are going to lose weight.

And yes, counting calories isn’t some sort of magic cure. You may cut your intake from 3,000 to 1,200 calories a day, but if all you eat are cupcakes, you’re guaranteed to have a terrible time. Make small adjustments to what you eat, and slowly steer yourself to a healthier diet.

Take it Easy

This is the most important part. When people get started on a weight-loss regime, they tend to begin with an overabundance of motivation. They start way too many changes, all requiring habits to be formed, all requiring discipline. They end up failing on one or two aspects, leading to being disheartened and just giving up on the entire thing.

Start with one or two things you can control. Start with walking an extra hour everyday, or cutting down from five cups of rice to a cup every meal. Start with small changes that do not take massive amounts of willpower to maintain. Once you have those habits down, start another one, and so on and so on. This is why apps like MyFitnessPal are important – they can help you track everything you do so you can be accountable, and you’d know what to adjust.

Also, did you notice that Fitbit, Jawbone, and My Fitness Pal have social components? Utilize that! Most likely you’ll have a couple of friends working to lose a few pounds as well, and knowing that you’re not alone helps a lot.

Okay, so I managed to write an entire post that doesn’t have a single dick joke. I’m sorry. Let me make up for it: Schlongy McDongle-Dick.

What steps have you taken to lose weight with technology? Leave ’em in the comments, and let’s talk!

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