Using Fitness Record

Your PalmPilot is designed to be taken with you everywhere you go, and Fitness Record is intended to come along for the ride. Whenever you step on a scale, write down your weight in Fitness Record. Each time you eat something, write it down in Fitness Record. Each time you exercise, write it down. Fitness Record will keep track of your calories in and out. By looking at Fitness Record's "Totals" page, you can see at a glance, how many calories you have eaten, how many you have burned, and the difference.

Of course, in order to write down the number of calories in a food, you have to know how many calories are in that food. This can be a very tricky problem sometimes, but the current version of Fitness Record is not designed to help you solve it. Some software programs store an extensive food database, but the PalmPilot does not have enough memory to store something so large. You can buy calorie books which contains thousands of listings for foods. However, carrying such a book around is tedious, and somewhat contrary to the convenience of your PalmPilot. Your best bet is to learn how to estimate calories accurately. The weight management class teaches the students how to estimate calories. The process requires you to memorize a few guidelines, from which the calories of most foods and drinks can be estimated quite easily. To be certain, it's a skill to be learned, but once you've learned it, it's a lot easier to carry around than a calorie book.

Program features

Totals Page

The Totals page is the most important screen in Fitness Record. It tells you the status of your calorie balance, based on the information you've entered. Each time you start the Fitness Record application, this screen is the one you see first.

The Totals page shows you data for any range of dates you prefer. By default, it shows the totals for Today. However, using the pull-down menu, you may select other predefined date ranges, such as Yesterday, This Week, or This Month. You may also specify that you want to see All Data. Or, you may click directly on the dates at the left and right sides of the screen, to give a specific date range. This allows you to answer questions like, "What was my behavioral weight for last week?". Most of the time, you'll want to leave the pull-down menu set to "Today", since Fitness Record's primary purpose is to provide constant, up-to-the-minute status of your weight management efforts.

The Totals Page shows you a variety of numbers, each of which is explained below:

Heading Explanation
Calories In This shows you the total number of calories you have consumed. Each time you enter a food (see the section below on entering Food Records), it is added to this total.
PA Calories This shows you the total number of calories of exercise you have done. Each time you enter an exercise activity (see the section below on entering PA Records), it is added to this total.
Metabolism This shows you the number of calories your body is burning due to metabolism. This is is dependent on the weight records which you enter (see the section below on entering Weight records). Fitness Record calculates your current weight for a given time period. If you have not specified a weight for a given day, Fitness Record uses the previous weight record available. For example, if you entered a weight record of 150 pounds on May 5th, and then specified that you wanted to see Totals for May 6th, Fitness Record will assume that you still weigh 150 pounds. The Metabolism value given in the Totals line is your current weight multiplied by your metabolism value (see the Principles section above for more information). You may enter your metabolism value in the Options dialog (see the Options Dialog section below for more information).
Net Calories This shows you the net calories; the total number of calories consumed minus the total number of calories burned. If this value is negative, than you are losing weight.
Behavioral Weight This shows your Behavioral Weight. See the Principles section above for more information.
Days in Range This shows the number of days in the current range being viewed.
Calories Left to Eat This value only works if you have specified a Goal Weight in the Options dialog. See the section on the Options dialog for more information. This shows the number of calories you have left to eat today if you want your behavioral weight for the day to be equal to your goal weight. For example, if your goal weight is 200, and you are male, you can eat 2200 calories in a day (with no exercise) if you want your behavioral weight to be 200.

Food Records

Generally, the most-used feature of Fitness Record is the Food Records. You may access this part of the program by clicking the Food button at the bottom of the Totals page.

Ideally, you should enter everything you eat into Fitness Record. Each time you make an entry, the program will store it within one "record". The Food Records screen shows a scrolling list of all the food records, with the most recent entries at the top.

  • To edit an existing entry, simply tap on the corresponding record. You will see the Food Editor page (below).
  • To add a new entry, tap on the New button, at the bottom of the Food Records page.
  • To return to the Totals page, tap on the Totals button, at the bottom of the Food Records page.



When you are editing a food record (whether it is a new record or an existing one), you will see the following screen:

  • For newly created records, the default date is Today. Click on the date to bring up a date dialog which allows you to change it. The dialog you see will be the standard PalmPilot date picker.
  • Enter a description of the food eaten. As you enter text, the program may automatically fill in the rest of the record if you appear to be entering something which is already present in your records. This "autofill" feature makes data entry very convenient, since most people tend to eat the same kinds of things over and over.
  • Enter the quantity eaten and the units of that quantity. The dropdown list for Unit allows you to specify how much of something you ate. For example, if you ate an apple, you might select "Item", setting the quantity to "1". Entering the unit is simply a way of helping you remember how much you ate, and how you calculated the calories. It is stored with your food record, but the actual unit you choose does not affect the calculations of the program.
  • Enter the calories per unit. The program will multiple the quantity times the calories per unit to arrive at the total number of calories for the record.
  • If you don't know how many calories are in the food, enter a zero or leave it blank. The program will keep track of the fact that this data is missing, and will display ???? for that record in the Totals page. Later, when you can look up the proper calorie value, you can enter the missing number.
  • Even if you don't know how many calories are in the food you're eating, you should go ahead and enter the quantity of food at the time that you eat it. Estimating the size of a food is much harder to do accurately when you're trying to remember it a day later.
  • Click the OK button when you have completed the entry.
  • If you want to delete the record, click the Menu button (in the silkscreened portion at the bottom of the Pilot's screen), and select Delete Record, under the Record menu.

Fitness Record requires you to enter quantity, calories and unit separately in order to reinforce a good way of remembering how many calories are in the foods you eat. For example, on Tuesday, John eats 2 slices of bread. He enters "2" as the quantity, chooses "Slice" as the unit, and enters "80" (or whatever it really is) for the calories per slice. On Wednesday, he eats 1 slice of bread. When he enters the food record for this bread, he begins to enter "bread" in the description. As he does so, the program will "autofill", and the rest of the form will be filled in with the data from the last time he had bread. It will remind him that he had 2 slices, at 80 calories per slice. So, all he has to do for this food record is change the quantity from 1 to 2.

Physical Activity Records

In Fitness Record, exercise is referred to as "physical activity", or simply "PA". To enter or modify your PA records, tap on the PA button at the bottom of the Totals page.

The process of entering and modifying PA records is nearly identical to that of Food records. The PA Records screen shows a scrolling list of all the PA records, with the most recent entries at the top.

Operation of the PA records screen is identical to that of the Food Records, explained above.

Just as with the Food Records, there is also a PA record editing screen, which is used when you are adding a new PA record, or when you are editing an existing record.

Again, this screen operates identically to its Food Records counterpart, including the "autofill" feature.


Weight Records

Fitness Record also allows you to keep track of your weight. Each time you step on a scale, enter the date and the corresponding weight into Fitness Record. You may access the Weight Records section of the program by tapping on the Weight button at the bottom of the Totals Page. Upon doing so, you will see the Weight Records screen, which should look very familiar. It operates the same as the Records screen for Food and PA.

Just as with the Food records and the PA records, you may add a new Record by tapping the New button, and edit an existing record by tapping on it.

When you add a new Weight record, or edit an existing record, you will see the following screen:

Editing Weight records is very straightforward. Simply enter whatever the scale says. Like most of the numeric fields in Fitness Record, the Weight record will accomodate one decimal place of precision.


Options Dialog

From the Totals page, pressing the Menu button will bring up the Application menu:

Selecting the menu item for Options... will bring up the Options dialog, offering two important settings.

The Goal Weight setting specifies the weight you are currently trying to achieve. Another way to say this is that your Goal Weight tells Fitness Record what you want your Behavioral Weight to be each day. Fitness Record uses this information to tell you how many "Cals Left to Eat", on the Totals page.

The Metabolism setting allows you to specify the metabolism value which is right for you. As explained in the principles section of this documentation, the average male should use 11.0, and the average female should use 10.0.