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THE FITBIT BLOG

Success Story: Kodi S.

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When we hear about Fitbit users who’ve reached their goals, we love to share the news! Today’s success story comes from Kodi S., who surpassed his goals beyond what he even thought possible! You can read previous success stories here

Kodi S

Growing up, I would have never been considered a “natural” athlete, nor an active person. By the age of 26, I had ballooned to over 350 pounds and was at risk for several medical issues, including diabetes and high blood pressure. I knew I had to make a dramatic change to save my life.

Upon moving to a walkable city, I ditched my car and began daily walks, which over time grew in distance and intensity. At my heaviest weight, vigorous activity was not an option. I started with reasonable goals, using a basic pedometer, attempting to reach 10,000 steps (or 5 miles daily).

I began walking 3 miles to work daily, and before I knew it, I was approaching 7,000 steps by 9am, motivating me to push harder. Not only was I reducing my carbon footprint, but walking was something I could faithfully commit to.

 The weight began to fall off, but it wasn’t until I discovered my first Fitbit (Ultra) that I truly found lasting success.

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Heart Healthy Shopping Cart

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Today’s guest post comes from Lauren Slayton, the author of The Little Book of Thin and creator of the Foodtrainers blog.

heart healthy food

February is American Heart Month. Practically daily headlines tell us “a study has found” ________ (insert food) is heart healthy. The most recent example I was asked about was a study on beet juice. While I am not disputing that beet juice can lower blood pressure (in this study with 64 people), no single food is the answer. When clients come in to lower their blood pressure, or have a family history of heart disease, or they simply want their hearts to be healthy, we will discuss multiple foods. Because I only have your attention for a couple of minutes (hopefully) below is my top 10 list for heart healthy foods.

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Rocco DiSpirito Recipe: Chicken with Glazed Eggplant and Cauliflower Rice

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We’re excited to feature a few recipes from award-winning chef and best-selling author Rocco DiSpirito‘s new book, Cook Your Butt Off!, which includes bar codes for each recipe which can be scanned and automatically added to your Fitbit food log! You can order Rocco DiSpirito’s new book now.

Rocco DiSpirito's chicken with glazed eggplant recipe

Skinless chicken has become sort of like cottage cheese, the ubiquitous base upon which many weight-loss diets are built. But it doesn’t register well on the ol’ excitement meter. I mean, how many times have you found yourself craving a naked, unseasoned piece of chicken?

Not me—I’d throw up the white flag and order pizza if the road to lasting weight loss looked like an endless parade of plain chicken breasts.

Take the advice of a guy who has gobbled up his fair share of chicken: Don’t abandon it altogether, but do what you can to break up the monotony. Especially during dieting, it’s important not to get lazy in your chicken prep, and it’s just as important to add some perk to your poultry. That’s why I prefer to use chicken thighs over breasts, like I do in this recipe. Thighs are meatier and more flavorful, but still low in calories.

Yield: 1 main course
Prep time: approximately 15 minutes
Processing time: approximately 15 minutes
Calorie Burn: 156
Calories: 190
Net-Calories: 33

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 3 tablespoons grated cauliflower (grated on the large side of a box grater)
  • Kosher salt and red pepper flakes
  • 1 (4-ounce) boneless skinless chicken thigh (or breast if you insist), scored crosswise 1/4 inch deep
  • 1 1/2 cups eggplant, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 large clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon gluten-free reduced-sodium tamari (such as San-J)
  • 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Method:

  1. Spray a large nonstick pan with cooking spray and place it over medium-high heat. Add the grated cauliflower and cook, stirring, until it is softened and just tender, about 1 minute. Season with salt and red pepper flakes, spoon onto a plate, and set aside.
  2. Wipe the pan dry then spray again with cooking spray and place it over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and cook until browned and cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate and
    set aside. Add the eggplant to the pan and cook until browned and soft, about 5 minutes, then move the eggplant to the side of the pan, add the garlic, and cook until browned, about 30 seconds. Add the ginger and cook until aromatic, about 15 seconds more.
  3. Add the tamari, and vinegar to the pan along with a splash of water and return the chicken to the pan. Cook until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce sticks to everything, about 30 seconds. Place the chicken over the cauliflower rice and spoon the eggplant alongside. Serve with red pepper flakes.

Tips:

  • Serve with a wedge of fresh lime and 1/4 cup of fresh cilantro leaves for a burst of freshness for an additional 4 calories.
  • If you like a sweeter sauce, try adding 1/2 tablespoon raw agave nectar for an additional 30 calories.

Per serving: 190 calories, 2g fat (1g sat), 70mg cholesterol, 823mg sodium, 16.06g carbohydrate, 5.4g fiber, 30.15g protein

We did it — 1 Billion Calories and 1.5 Million Meals with FitForFood!

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1 billion active calories burned

On February 3rd, we asked you to help feed people in need with FitForFood. The idea was simple enough: burn calories, give calories.

More than 106,000 people stepped up to the challenge and crushed it. Thanks to you, we were able to reach our goal of burning 1,000,000,000 active calories in less than 16 days! Fitbit will now make a donation to Feeding America resulting in 1.5 million meals for people in need.

We couldn’t be more proud.

How Runway Titan Hilary Rhoda Uses Her Fitbit

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Fitbit Celebrity Challenges: Hilary Rhoda vs Erin Heatherton

This week, we’re watching runway titans Hilary Rhoda and Erin Heatherton face off in an epic Celebrity Challenge – our first in a series of challenges to come! Both models are competing to see who take the most steps in five days, and right now #TeamRhoda is in the lead.

In between her busy schedule, we got to sit down and ask Hilary some questions about how she stays fit and uses her Fitbit. Below is part one of three.

How does your Fitbit help you stay in shape?

I love being able to see my heart rate when I’m working out. Normally if I feel tired I will stop for a minute, but now if I see my heart rate isn’t high I will say, “Ok, you’re not that tired!” and keep going, and that pushes me to get a better workout.

What do you do throughout the day to get in extra exercise?

I love walking in New York City. I don’t take the subway – I either walk or ride my bike. In the winter it’s too cold to bike, so I get a lot of walking in throughout the day just by running errands or walking to work or the gym. I also definitely take the stairs instead of elevator, and if it’s an escalator, I will walk up those too! Paying attention to posture while you’re walking is also important; I make sure I am keeping my core tight, walking briskly, with my back upright and shoulders back, and I think that helps.

How do you fit in extra exercise throughout the day? Let us know! And don’t forget to follow along with these week’s challenge.

How Stress Affects the Heart

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Since February is American Heart Month, we’ve teamed up with the American Heart Association to bring you heart-healthy tips all month long! Our last post in this series featured Activities to Keep Your Heart Healthy.

How stress affects the heart

Getting – and staying – healthy takes a combination of good habits, like exercising, eating well, and getting enough sleep. But what part does stress play in overall health?

We asked board-certified cardiologist Tara Narula, M.D. to share how stress affects the heart:

Stress does a lot of things in the body. It will increase inflammation by increasing cortisol, which does damage over the long term. It releases other hormones like epinephrine and norepinephrine, which raise blood pressure. That’s good if you are trying to escape a wild animal, but if you are constantly being fed these hormones through everyday stress (for example, trying to meet deadlines, rushing to make meetings, etc.), it’s causing damage over time to all your blood vessels. That damage increases the risk of plaque buildup or can even cause a rupture of plaque. In some cases, intense stress can cause a heart attack.

Stress is not something we often talk a ton about, but it’s important to maintaining your health. There are ways to turn off a stress response. You can help moderate stress with exercise, yoga, meditation or other relaxation exercises.

If you feel that you should cut down on the stress in your life, try reducing it by getting active outside, going for a run, meditating, even getting more sleep.

Tara Narula, M.D.Board-certified cardiologist Tara Narula, M.D., is a volunteer spokesperson for the American Heart Association, Assistant Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at Hofstra University NSLIJ School of Medicine and Associate Director of the Cardiac Care Unit at Lenox Hill Hospital/NSLIJ in Manhattan. She also serves as a medical contributor for “CBS This Morning.”

 

Rocco DiSpirito: Why did I integrate Fitbit into my book?

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Rocco DiSpirito integrates Fitbit into his new cookbook

We’re really excited to be integrated into award-winning chef and best-selling author Rocco DiSpirito’s new book, Cook Your Butt Off! Every recipe in the book includes a barcode you can scan with the Fitbit app to automatically add it to your food log. The book is out today, and you can order it now!

Here’s how Rocco describes the integration in his book:

I love activity trackers, and I wear my Fitbit every day. So do my clients.

Fitbit’s devices track everything from steps taken, distance traveled, calories burned, active minutes to floors climbed, and sleep quality! And the app just adds to the experience, by letting you record workouts, log calories, see your progress, and more.

For my clients, I use that information to tailor their menus to their individual weight loss goals. For myself, I use it to moderate my steps and calorie burn.

You don’t need an activity tracker to use this book, but since Fitbit has been a great way for my clients and I to stay on track and meet our weight loss goals, I wanted to work with them to get all of the Cook Your Butt Off! recipes in their database of 350,000+ foods.

On each recipe page you’ll find a Fitbit barcode. Simply scan it with the Fitbit app, and the calories and nutritional data will be automatically logged to your private Fitbit account.

And, if you’re using a Fitbit tracker while you cook, you’ll see how many calories you burn as you create each recipe – proving that you’re really cooking your butt off!

We’re so excited to share this book with you that we’re giving away 25 copies! Just tweet @fitbit using the hashtag #CookYourButtOff, letting us know how you keep healthy in your kitchen, to enter. We’ll be choosing winners after March 4th. You can view the contest rules here.

What Gets Your Heart Pumping?

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Since Fitbit trackers are a part of so many people’s daily lives, it can be amazing what type of data you can capture. So we were thrilled to hear from Fitbit user Ben*, who was excited to see that his Charge HR did such a great job tracking his heart rate, it even showed the peak when he proposed to his girlfriend!

Ben had taken his girlfriend to wine country – you can see the idle periods while they drove, then settled down to do some tasting –  and they were walking along the vineyards when he decided to pop the question. You can see how nervous he was reflected as his heart rate peaks at over 100 beats per minute, and his excitement right after – as she said yes!

Heart rate during a proposal

All Fitbit trackers can track your everyday steps, but it’s exciting when your other big life steps are also captured. If you’d like to share a story of when your Fitbit has tracked a big moment, let us know!

 

*Ben sent us his story and gave his permission for us to feature it here on our blog. Click here to view our privacy policy.

Move More & Make a Difference with Celebrity Challenges

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Fitbit Celebrity Challenges: Hilary Rhoda vs Erin Heatherton

We’re officially six weeks into the New Year, and we’re here with yet more motivation to keep you going all year long! This time, we’re inviting you to step along with the stars in something we’re calling Celebrity Challenges.

What are Celebrity Challenges, you ask? It’s simple: two celebrities will face off for some friendly competition in a week-long Fitbit Challenge to see who can get the most steps in five days. Everyone can follow along both here and on social media with #FitbitCelebChallenges. On top of that, you can help your favorite contenders along with a $1 charitable donation that will add 10 steps to their overall count. For every challenge, Fitbit will donate an additional $10,000 to the American Heart Association in the name of the celebrity winner.

We’re kicking things off this week with two fashion icons: Victoria’s Secret and Sports Illustrated models Erin Heatherton and Hilary Rhoda! They’ll also be contributing here on our blog with more information on how they manage to work fitness into their busy routines. You can cheer them along throughout the five days.

And the fitness fun doesn’t stop there. Next week we’ll have baseball’s best: San Francisco outfielder and world champion Hunter Pence, and Miami infielder Dee Gordon step up to the plate and competing for the title of Ultimate Stepper!

So who will you be cheering for on the battlefield of steps? Let us know on Twitter using #FitbitCelebChallenges.

How Dean Karnazes Uses Heart Rate Data While Training

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Ultramarathon Man Dean Karnazes explains how heart rate tech helps him train

PurePulse Heart Rate is a new technology at Fitbit that we’re really proud of. Included in both the ChargeHR and Surge, it offers continuous, automatic, wrist-based heart rate and simplified heart rate zones. Tracking your heart rate allows you to accurately track your calorie burn, maintain workout intensity, maximize training, and optimize your results. But how do you use it?

We turned to Fitbit ambassador and ultramarathon man Dean Karnazes to learn how he uses the heart rate tracking in his Fitbit Surge while training for his races.

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