Friday, February 24, 2017

Losing Weight with Google Forms

Peter Drucker is credited with saying "What Gets Measured, Gets Managed". If you have a Gmail account, you have access to Google Sheets and Google Forms two free cloud based applications that you can use to manage anything, including your weight or your blood glucose and ketone measurements.

Creating a Google Form

If you are logged into Chrome, creating a Google Form is as simple as visiting from your PC or mobile device. You have slightly more control over the format from the PC interface, but the features you need are available on the mobile version. Give your form a name and start adding questions. Your responses can be in the form of Short Answer, Paragraph, Multiple Choice, Checkbox, Drop Down, Linear Scale or Multiple Choice Grid. You can even choose if the response is required or not.

Using a Google Form

My morning routine includes filling out two Google Forms: blood glucose and ketone measurement and body weight measurement. Even though the Abbott Precision Xtra does have a data cable, my in vitro acetoacetate strips are analog so that data needs to be recorded manually. Even though Fitbit tracks my weight automatically through my Aria WiFi scale, Fitbit is missing one thing that I wanted to see: am I trending?

Am I Trending?

As I posted in my Thanksgiving and Water Weight post, body weight can fluctuate wildly just based on how much glycogen you have stored and how hydrated you are, not to mention fluctuations is GI motility. I think that this discourages so many people when they set out to lose weight and they do not see consistent progress on the scale. So, I wanted to plot a trend line to ensure that my weight loss was trending in the right way.

Trending with Google Sheets

The data you collect with Google Forms is easily accessed through Google Sheets. From Google Sheets you can use your data to make calculations and display charts. I use an equation in Google Sheets to calculate my daily weight loss goal based on a two pound per week goal and plot this line against my daily weight data to help me see if I am trending. 

Converting Units with Google Sheets

I also use an equation in Google Sheets to convert the beta hydroxybutyrate (g*mol^-1) to (mg/dL) so that my ketones and glucose can be plotted on the same scale. This way I can also verify that my glucose is trending downward and my ketones are trending upward. With Google Sheets and Google Forms the possibilities are endless. 

Stay well engineered,

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These statements or products referenced are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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