I've struggled with weight my entire life.
My struggle nearly always occurs in the band of difference between 160 and 190 pounds. For me, it represents the difference between feeling healthy and fit versus sluggish and well-covered.
For the last two years, new technology has kept me balanced in the 160-170 range for the first time, and it's why I swear by my fitness tracking tools.
Personally, I have used a mix, but I actually find the one thing I have been able to keep up for the entire period - 445 days and counting to be exact - is the My Fitness Pal app.
My Fitness Pal is not the most advanced fitness tracking app out there, nor is it even the most accurate, but I swear by it because it does the one thing that matters: it makes me think about what I am eating.
Case in point: this morning, I had my normal favorite breakfast: egg white omelet, well-done, carcinogenic ham, iced coffee black. But I also added, as a treat, French fries. When I added up the breakfast on fitness pal, it said 700.
Is that a bit too high, or a bit too low? Probably; I can't say for sure if it's exactly accurate. But after I added it in, I had a meeting two hours later at Le Pain and, instead of going for the pain au chocolat, I stayed with my black iced coffee and a bowl of organic yogurt and berries because I knew I had already had fries that morning and so would be eating too much junk in short sequence if I had both. For me personally, that's the value: it's not perfectly on point, and it doesn't keep me from eating what I want, but it reminds me to space it out, and be mindful.
Beyond My Fitness Pal, there are several valuable tools on the market for building fitness, measuring capability, and counting calories. To name a few of my favorites:
Apple Watch: Apple has integrated many of the same fitness measurement tools as Fitbit into the Apple Watch. If you are looking for help without picking up any devices or help beyond what you already have, start here.
Fitbit: It has its problems, but the Fitbit One remains the standard in fitness tracking. It's not particularly expensive or hard to use, and it's a great starter product for most people who want some results, but are not hardcore.
Atlas Wristband: Still early to market, Atlas is a more advanced tracker than Fitbit or Apple. It's software focuses on much more advanced analysis, such as how well you are completing reps and optimizing your workout, rather than mostly focusing on quantifying activity.
Technology really can make our lives better. It's up to us where to put it in our lives, and what level of it helps us most.