Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Using the Pedometer and the Mandometer for Lifestyle Modification

Lifestyle modification is a significant element in most weight loss or weight management programs. Lifestyle changes can lead to new habits that enable a person to lose and control weight. The use of two instruments -- one old and one, relatively new -- might be key instruments that can prompt an individual to modify the two most important weight loss and weight management activities. The two instruments are the pedometer and the mandometer. The activities are eating and exercise.

The pedometer is a tool that can be used by an individual to give the individual an accounting of the distance traveled based on the number of steps taken. The pedometer is said to have been around for well over two hundred years. Although older pedometers were mechanical, today's pedometers are usually electronic. The instrument is usually attached to the belt of a walker, jogger, or runner, giving step-count information to the wearer.

Since most people engage in walking, jogging, or running to lose or control weight, the pedometer can encourage a person to add steps to his or her daily activities.

The mandometer is a tool that can help a person change the way he or she eats. The mandometer was developed by two researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. The instrument is a portable electronic scale that is connected to a small computer. The scale weighs the food, in a plate for example, before any food is eaten, and continues to calculate the rate of change in the weight of the food as a person eats from the plate. The rate of change is correlated with eating rate. And the device shows a graph of eating rate, giving off an alarm when the rate is too high, indicating that a person is eating too fast.

This alarm is an attention-getter that encourages the patient, with a too-high eating rate, to lower his or her rate. Lowering the eating rate can be important in weight management and weight control. Changing the way we eat food is an important lifestyle modification. And using the mandometer to monitor eating rates appears to be an effective way to motivate better eating habits.

So the pedometer and the mandometer are possibly two important tools for lifestyle modification for weight loss and weight control. Indeed, these tools might enable a person to increase exercise activity and decrease eating rate.

Therefore, weight loss centers should view these tools as important weapons in the overweight and obesity fight. Along with their existing inhouse services, a center could recommend these tools as methods for weight loss and weight control.

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