The Saturday Skinny: Technology has its place in weight loss plan

By: Don Chaddock, Gold Country News Service
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There are a few tools I have found extremely helpful in my quest to lose weight and many of them are free. When I started this journey back in December 2010, I weighed in at 303 pounds. My youngest daughter, Deirdre, was born that month and I found myself struggling to keep up with her and her 2-year-old brother Liam. That's when I decided I had to do something. It took me 10 months to lose 20 pounds as I bounced in and out of diets, usually returning to my old habits once I had lost a few. Finally, something clicked in October 2011. If I wanted to truly lose weight and keep it off, I had to change my entire lifestyle, not hop on the bandwagon for some short-term quick-fix diet. As of today, I weighed in at 191 pounds, having lost 112 pounds total. At a recent birthday gathering for a friend, she asked the same question everyone seems to ask me, "How did you do it?" That's the purpose of this column, to pass along what I've learned. Let's take a look at some handy tools I use to help me along my way. I have an iPhone, but most smart phones have similar available free apps. While I often focus this column on food choices, exercise is crucial to losing weight. My body can't drop pounds with just diet alone. I need to get my body moving. As I've heard, "If you aren't moving, you aren't losing." EXERCISE I find a pedometer extremely helpful. I currently use the Vioden Mobile Free Pedometer. It keeps track of my steps, how long I hiked, the distance and estimated calories burned. I also use the Free Ab Workout app. I can tell it how long I'd like to exercise and it creates a routine. If you don't have a smart phone, look around the Web for free sites to help you on your journey. I also use the Wii Fit Plus and Biggest Loser for the Wii. Both with track weight, offer exercise routines and keep things fun. ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING If my attitude stinks, I am more likely to make poor choices when it comes to eating and exercising. I also find a quick walk or a hike on a trail is a great way to clear my head and adjust my attitude. RECIPE OF THE WEEK Veggie meal I find this to be a quick lunch or dinner that tastes great. 1 veggie patty (I use Trader Joe's brand, but any will work) 1 handful of raw spinach 2 large tomatoes 1 tablespoon yogurt dressing Cook the veggie patty (or substitute with a lean cut of meat such as chicken breast) and place on a bed of spinach, surrounded by fresh tomatoes and drizzle with a tablespoon of low-calorie yogurt dressing. Reach Don Chaddock at or follow us at