Writer who lost 30 pounds in a year reveals 3 keys to success

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He found a way to Excel in his weight loss journey.

Michael Hicks, a senior editor at Android Central, is sharing the tech tools that have helped him go from 225 to 192 pounds in the last year.

“I lost 30 pounds by walking an extra couple of miles per day, using tech like smart scales and smartwatches to track my activities and weight trends, focusing on common-sense portion control with food and drinks, and logging my progress in a Google Doc where I prioritize monthly goals over daily activity rings,” Hicks wrote this week on androidcentral.com.


Michael Hicks, a senior editor at Android Central, is sharing the tech tools that kept him on track as he lost 30 pounds — a smart scale, a smartwatch and a Google doc.
Michael Hicks, a senior editor at Android Central, is sharing the tech tools that kept him on track as he lost 30 pounds — a smart scale, a smartwatch and a Google doc. Rostislav Sedlacek – stock.adobe.com

A scale with body composition data

Hicks tipped the scales in his favor by weighing himself twice a week — on Wednesday or Thursday and Saturday or Sunday.

He said the semiweekly frequency allowed him to track his body fat, muscle and hydration without getting too discouraged by natural fluctuations.

“Weighing daily puts too much obsessive emphasis on everything you do in a given day,” Hicks explained. “But weighing once a week leaves you without context for whether that data is accurate or just a fluke.”

Hicks said he uses Withings Body Smart ($99.95 on Amazon), a scale that has an “eyes-closed” feature that allows you to hide your measurements as you weigh in.

Three Withings products — including the Body Smart one — made The Post’s list of the eight best smart scales.


Hicks said his first month of weight loss was last August, when he walked over 10,000 steps a day on average.
Hicks said his first month of weight loss was last August, when he walked over 10,000 steps a day on average. lashkhidzetim – stock.adobe.com

A smartwatch to log steps

Hicks said he packed on pounds despite running 674 miles in 2023. His first month of weight loss was last August, when he walked over 10,000 steps a day on average.

“Daily walks carved out about 1.5–2 hours of my day for walking, showering, and filling up on water that might normally have been spent sitting and snacking,” Hicks wrote for Android Central.

“For people with a sedentary lifestyle and a lot of weight to carry, long walks are both a mental distraction from cravings and a low-impact physical activity, one that won’t leave you too tired to exercise the next day,” he added.

Hicks noted that he’s only been averaging 7,829 daily steps since his weight loss journey began in July 2023.

Research is mixed on how many steps you need for optimal health. 10,000 steps — about 5 miles — a day has long been the gold standard, but studies have shown that far fewer steps can suffice.

No matter how far you walk, Hicks recommends wearing a Fitbit Charge 6 ($159.95 on Amazon), which connects to YouTube Music, Google Maps and Google Wallet and gives you a stress management and sleep score.

A Google doc to track progress

Hicks says he tracks the miles he runs, walks or hikes, the exercises he’s done and his progress on his other goals in a “2024 Resolutions” Google document.

He finds the doc preferable to an app, which may languish if the user doesn’t want to be admonished for playing hooky from workouts.

“When I fell off my walking goals in February because of the cold, I consigned that lazy month to a single orange ‘fail’ box and then rebounded, surpassing my goals in March,” Hicks detailed. “I never let a setback demoralize me enough to give up entirely because the Google Doc shows how many more chances I have to hit my goals this year.”

Hicks said he also saw the pounds melt away by switching from high-calorie treats like crackers or chips to dense snacks like bagels or protein bars to feel fuller, cutting back on the number of days he drank alcohol and ordering less takeout.

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