It’s been a great summer and after two weeks in the Turks and Caicos Islands, with everything inclusive, it’s time to lose a little weight.  I’ve been thinking about how to approach things, as in the past I’ve been less than successful at anything other than the 5:2 diet.  It strikes me that as a technologist, technology could provide the answer at getting good results.  That to me means, measuring and monitoring and understanding the physics of how the weight loss process works.  So, here’s the first stage; monitoring.


For weight monitoring I use Withings scales, now sold as Nokia Body+ since the acquisition.  These scales provide high accuracy, multiple user tracking and uploading of data automatically to their web application, Health Mate, which has also been Nokia branded.  Data is also available online, through the Nokia website.  The upgraded (version 3) release of Health Mate also claims to be able to track pulse, but it’s done through the rear iPhone camera, which really doesn’t work and certainly isn’t practical for during workouts.  Compared to the Withings version, the Nokia rewrite of Heath Mate is pretty awful.  I don’t understand why they couldn’t have simply taken the previous version and refactored the UI, but there you go.

Blood Pressure

I monitor blood pressure weekly using an Omron device.  I’ve thought about upgrading to a Withings for the automated recording, but I couldn’t see the point of paying just for the automation when I have a perfectly serviceable device.  Recordings are intermittent, but around 1-2 weekly.  Data is kept in a spreadsheet and graphed up in Excel.

Apple Watch

I previously recorded pulse and sleep through a Jawbone UP3, however the rubber wristbands kept breaking so I eventually abandoned them and moved to an Apple Watch 2.  The watch is great for keeping track of pulse, both at rest and during exercise.  It also records specific exercise details, including exercise time and calories burned.  All of the data gets uploaded to the iPhone App.

Bringing it Together

With Apple introducing the health app, most data is starting to get centralised.  As yet I’ve not seen this working fully, because weight data is not being moved over from Withings/Nokia.  Obviously BP details have to be entered manually, but that’s not too much of an issue.

With all the data to hand, the next stage is monitoring and looking at progression.  A subject for another post.