Sixty-nine percent of Americans are overweight or obese, according to the CDC. Weight-related problems are now the number one cause of death in the U.S. and the weight loss industry took in a reported $60 billion last year.
Shelly Palmer, a tech reporter and author, was told by his doctor that if he didn't lose weight he would end up dead.
"The doctor basically said to me, ‘You’re going to die, you’re 252 pounds. You are on a path that won’t end well for you,’" Palmer tells The Daily Ticker.
What's new is the way that Palmer approached his weight loss journey. Instead of shelling out big bucks on a gym membership and nutrition plan, he turned to tech.
"I thought to myself, I’ve got all of these tools. I can quantify it, I can gamify it, it’s going to work," said Palmer.
Our phones are no longer just devices to check email and the weather -- they're also helping us stay fit. The iTunes Store has an entire section devoted to health and fitness and a large portion of weight loss apps dominate Apple's (AAPL) most downloaded list.
Wristbands by companies like Nike (NKE) now tell us how many calories we're burning, how well we're sleeping and more.
This makes weight loss easier than ever, says Palmer.
So what worked best for Palmer? A combination of the Jawbone Up wristband --“You leave it on all the time and when you go to sleep at night it monitors your sleep, so I have a really good way to understand how many steps I take each day and how well I’m sleeping" -- and the free app MyFitnessPal to track calories.
“I’ve been meticulous," Palmer adds. "Every morsel of food that I’ve put in my mouth since July I’ve typed into this app and it’s super easy. There are a lot of one-click solutions. There’s even a barcode scanner where you scan a package and it knows the nutritional value.”
With the help of technology, Palmer has managed to lose 50 pounds in about 6 months. And while he's adding years to his life and saving hundreds of thousands on future medical bills, there is one unexpected cost.
“I gave away about $50,000 worth of clothes in the last few months,” he says.
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