The process of losing weight if you’re choosing healthy foods is actually quite simple if you don’t have any medical conditions that hamper your progress. Lowering your calories (while making sure the calories you do consume come from healthy foods) and ramping up your cardiovascular exercise will generally do the trick. Finding the time, the motivation, and the energy to do it might be difficult, but the process in and of itself is simple.

I’ve found in my weight loss journey that journaling is one way to keep me on track and accountable. It’s not fun weighing foods, figuring out calories and writing down everything I eat, but it’s not fun being unhealthy either. I’ve learned to choose the journaling as the definite lesser of the two un-fun things. I use the My Fitness Pal app to keep track of my calories. When I’m vigilant with tracking my foods and adding exercise that ups my heart rate every day, I’ve found I slowly, but steadily lose weight.

I’m in a weight loss study at a university, and tracking or journaling is the thing that’s emphasized the most for long term success. The major part of the study where our group meets together is coming to an end in two months, and the other night the members of the group were talking about getting fitness bands so we can stay connected to each other and have some accountability for our exercise to each other by staying connected through the fitness band’s app.

So today, when I read that Jawbone UP, one of the options in fitness bands, has added calorie and nutrition tracking to its features, I thought, “what perfect timing.” The accuracy of fitness bands as far as how many steps someone takes or how many calories those steps have burned isn't always accurate, but the bands do serve a purpose. The bands and their coordinating apps serve as reminders to get active. If you’re wearing something that tracks your movement during the day, you certainly don’t want to see it register no movement at the end of the day.

Calorie and nutrition tracking added to the band and app can be helpful for those who chose to use them because calories and nutrition are half of the equation when trying to lose weight. Having one device and app that will track both your movement and your calories could be very useful, if you take the time to use it correctly.

Will I be buying one to keep up with my group? I’m not sure. The Jawbone UP24, the wireless version of the fitness band that automatically syncs your information with the app on your smartphone, costs $149. That’s a bit pricy for me, and unless everyone in my group agreed to buy the same one, it wouldn’t be as helpful as we want it to be.

Still, I think it could be a good tool, and a little more streamlined than the methods I use to track my movements and calories as well as keep in touch with my weight loss group members when we’re apart. If I do decide to purchase one, I’ll let you know and give a review.

Also on MNN

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Jawbone UP fitness band adds calorie and nutrition counting
If you want to journal every step, every calorie and every gram of fat, Jawbone UP fitness band and app will do it for you.