lose weight with wii and nutrisystem

Archive for January, 2011

Zumba Fitness for PS3 on Sale at Amazon

For a limited time, Zumba Fitnesszumba fitness on sale for PS3 is on sale at Amazon for only $29.99! Get it while it’s caliente! πŸ™‚

Nintendo 3DS release date is March 27, 2011 (with built-in Pedometer)

nintendo 3d game is comingI have no idea what improvements Nintendo is making to the Wii to compete with the Kinect and the Move, but it’s clear they’ve been working hard on the handheld gaming front. On March 27, they’ll be releasing a new 3D version of their popular handheld game, the Nintendo 3DS.

This is one I’m really excited about, because it will showcase 3D images–without the use of 3D glasses. As for how they’ll do this, if you’ve ever played with a “magic eye” book, you’ll have an idea. You basically need to focus your eyes at a certain point, and the picture will appear to “pop out” at you. There’s also the option to turn off 3D and play in old fashioned 2D.

So what does this have to do with Wii Fitness? Well, a few things:

1) Nintendo has brilliantly figured out how to make the DS relevant to fitness. Nintendo is including a built-in pedometer which measures how many steps you take through the day and tracks it in the Activity Log application. A feature will let you earn “coins” based on how many steps you take, which can be used to unlock features in games. Tell your kids about this feature, and they’ll be running around and getting great exercise just to earn coins!

2) If you’re doing your Wii workouts and you have kids constantly getting in the way, this is a great way to occupy their time for 20 minutes (although early reports from doctors say it’s best to leave the unit in 2D mode for young kids).

3) If you’re exercising on a boring treadmill or exercise bike, this is going to be one of the great time-wasters in the world to occupy your time (and earn coins yourself!)

4) There are some other cool features which will encourage more “social” gaming. A feature called Street Pass will allow 3DS consoles the option to communicate with each other when you pass another 3DS owner in the street. A feature called Spot Pass will allow the DS to receive information from a stationary display (such as in a store or a trade show).

5) Maybe now that this is out, Nintendo will refocus its energy back to the Wii. There have been rumors since 2008 (completely unsubstantiated) that the Wii 2 is due to be released in 2011, and may feature things like HD and Blu-Ray. I’ll believe it when I see it.

I really like how Nintendo continues to defy the notion that gaming, even portable gaming, must be sedentary. Hopefully there will be more games that make use of the built-in pedometer!

My 2011 diet and fitness regimen has officially begun!

So, in case you’re wondering, I survived the great blizzard of ’11 with plenty of food to spare. I actually still haven’t even started on the Nutrisystem left, as I’m still clearing out all the food in my refrigerator and freezer. I’m down to a piece of chicken, two pieces of beef, and a half bag of dumplings so it’s safe to say the Nutrisystem will definitely start sometime this week. It’s kind of ironic that I probably ended up tripling my caloric intake in recent days trying to clear the fridge out so I can start my diet, but what can you do?

Last Thursday (January 13) I officially started the EA Sports Active 9-week workout plan. So far, I’ve completed three workouts.

Moving forward, I set up the plan to work out on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. I’ll work out nights after I get home from work. The nice thing about the workouts is that they’re as overly intense as the days when I went to the gym every day (and I even have mine set at the “hard” level), but you still do get your heart rate up and some good resistance training in. Anyway, we’ll see in 9 weeks how effective it really is.

I admit, I am really inspired by seeing the members of our online group, NutWiiSys, working out “along side” me too. So for, the group has had 9 of the 12 people invited to the group sign in. We’ve completed 39 workouts, worked out for 15 hours and 31 minutes, burned 5,415 calories, and have run a collective distance of 17.2 miles. One of the coolest things is that you can not only celebrate your milestones, you can also celebrate milestones of fellow group members (congrats to ssneed01 for passing an impressive 1000 calories tonight! :)), as well as milestones of the team as a whole. Hopefully everyone will be on the board this week! πŸ™‚

If you’re interested in joining a group and didn’t make it in time to make the first group, if I get enough interest, I can think about open a second group. May be good to have some friendly competition between the first and second groups πŸ™‚ Let me know!

Emergency Food Supply using…Nutrisystem?

So, as I said, I’ll be embarking on a quest, as I did when I first started this blog, to lose at least 30-40 pounds. Suffice it to say that I’ve regained much of the weight I originally lost two years ago due to a return to bad eating habits and not keeping up with my exercises. So I’ll be clearing out the graph on the home page of this site and starting it all over.

For the exercise piece, I’ll be starting the 9-week workout soon. Our NutWiiSys online workout group is already up to 9 people, so there are only three slots left! holythorn is already out in the lead for number of workouts with 6 completed, while dianska has the lead with a total workout duration of 2 hours and 14 minutes already! I completed one workout so far, but as soon as I start up the 9-week program I’ll be getting with the program, so to speak.

For the food piece, I ordered a new round of Nutrisystem, which has arrived. I got my Nutrisystem non-refrigerated foods a few days ago…

nutrisystem shelf stable

…and today I came home to find my big box of Schwan frozen food (which is a standard part of their diet program now). It was enclosed in a giant silvery insulated bag with two ice packs (which are reusable, so I can use them in my cooler). I guess it had been sitting at my front door for a couple hours, but when I opened the box, the contents were still frozen.

Nutrisystem frozen food

Too lazy to unpack it, I just stuck the box in my freezer, which happily fit it like a glove, so I didn’t even need to unpack the contents.

nutrisystem frozen food in the freezer

I admit, I’m not really jumping up and down about starting on Nutrisystem again. I personally think the food tastes okay (although I have friends who definitely don’t agree), but working in Manhattan, it means I’ll be depriving myself of some of the best lunch food in the world. But I figure I’ll plow ahead.

It worked great for me last time. The low-glycemic food made me noticeably less sleepy after lunches, and more importantly for me, it’ll train me again on two important things: portion control and eating fresh fruits and veggies. The latter is something I didn’t really do last time, but this time I definitely intend to follow the instructions more closely and eat a lot of good healthy fresh produce.

I realized today that there’s another benefit of buying Nutrisystem. As I write this, snow is falling, and supposedly we’ll be getting 15 inches by the end of the night. Around now, people are scrambling, trying to fight over that last can of soup from the supermarket shelf before the store closes. Me? I’ve got breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert to last me for the next month.

You hear a lot about “emergency food supplies” on the radio these days. When I first heard these commercials, I was a bit incredulous. The scenarios they paint are usually so over-the-top with descriptions of a cataclysmic,Β  post-apocalyptic world where Mel Gibson is riding around on his motorcycle and WALL-E is picking up the trash.

Still, there are definitely instances where emergency food supply is more practical. Natural disasters like hurricanes, floods, tornados, earthquakes, and snowstorms can easily disrupt your ability to travel or your local market’s ability to stock food. If you’ve ever been to the market before a big snowstorm or a hurricane warning, you know what I mean.

The cool thing about Nutrisystem is, like those emergency food companies, their food is shelf-stable for months, full of good nutrients, and while the taste is not for everyone, it sure beats eating your shoe leather and houseplants if you’re holed up in the house for a while. In any case, if I end up being holed up in my house for a couple days, I know I’ll be well fed πŸ™‚

Anyway, I’ll let you know when I officially start the diet. We’ll see over the next few weeks if it works again πŸ™‚

Review of Shawn Johnson Gymnastics for the Wii


Shawn Johnson Gymnastics for the Wii

Reviewed by Nutwiisystem on January 8, 2011 .
Summary: Not a workout game per se, but a surprisingly enjoyable and realistic simulation of competitive gymnastics.

The bulk of the market for Wii fitness games are female. Being male, it sometimes gets just a tad awkward for me to review some of these fitness games. Trying to emulate an 11 year old girl dancing to Dance Sensation was an excrutiating experience where I had to make sure the room was clear and all the blinds were closed before I could start. I had a similar experience when I reviewed We Cheer 2 and had to pretend to be a blue-haired tween cheerleader. Oh, the things we do for our art. And no, I didn’t have a ton of fun perfecting the moves to Miley Cyrus’s “Girls Night Out”. No, really, I didn’t…ahem.

Moving on, I decided to review the new game Shawn Johnson Gymnastics for the Wii. There are actually a lot of similarities between this game and the two I mentioned above. All three are obviously designed for little girls, I’d say between ages 7 and 13. In all three games, the on-screen animated characters you control do “authentic” dance steps, cheerleading routines, and gymnastic moves respectively. But in all three of the games, the player is controlling the action just by following on-screen cues with their Wii remote and/or their balance board.The game starts out with a greeting from an animated Shawn Johnson. The animated character really doesn’t look too much like the real thing. She’s not quite real, not quite a cartoon, with a shiny face that looks a bit like a creepy talking egg (as you know, the real Shawn Johnson is a very lovely young lady, so some artist at Zoo Games really needs to be smacked). But it is her real voice welcoming you to the game, which puts a smile on your face and helps your maintain your suspension of disbelief.

The first step, as with most games like this, is to design your player. Your character has to be a girl, and you can choose basic things like hair style, hair color, and clothes.

There are a series of “tutorials” which teach you how to play the game. As in real gymnastics, you have several events to choose from. You can do practice the vault, a floor routine, the balance beam, the uneven bars, or compulsories, which are a combination of all of them.
Throughout the tutorial, Shawn will instruct you on actual terminology and strategies relating to gymnastics, like a real gymnastics coach.

But of course you don’t really do gymnastics moves. The way it works is, every specific “move” done by the on-screen gymnast’s is represented by a specific series of controller moves, whether it’s mashing a series of buttons, moving or flicking the Wii remote, moving the nunchuk joystick, or (if you’ve enabled the balance board) appling pressure using your feet to match on-screen cues. The faster you react to the cues, the better your score is. Miss a cue, and your on-screen character stumbles.

Once you’ve gotten the hang of the moves, you can proceed to the competitions. You compete against seven other virtual gymnasts, and the competition can get intense–just like in the Olympics or the World Championships, you need to keep an eye on your score and everyone else’s score, and both you and your competition will be stronger at some events and weaker in others.


Me rocking the compulsories

Like in real gymnastics, in compulsories your routine is defined for you, while for free exercises you can build your own routines by stringing together a series of moves. . As a real gymnast does, you can create routines of varying degrees of difficulty depending on your skill level and the score you need to win a competition. And as a real gymnast, you can “memorize” the sequences over time, which will help you improve your score.

You move through the competition by designing progressively more complex routines (in terms of both the on-line gymnast as well as your working of the controllers) and winning competitions. Each competition you will unlock other levels as well as rewards like new moves, trophies, new outfits, and photos and videos of Shawn Johnson.


Creating an uneven bars routine

As with Dance Sensation, I wouldn’t say this is a workout game by any stretch of the imagination, even though in some circles it’s being touted as one. As Dance Sensation was a “dance simulation”, I’d say that this is a “gymnastics simulator”. You really don’t get the physical workout you’d get with real gymnastics, but you do learn a lot about what it’s like being a gymnast. The realism of going through competitions and creating routines is phenomenal. You can see that Ms. Johnson really played a big part in creating the game.

Unfortunately, the developers at Zoo Games could have played their part a little better. As I said, the graphics are definitely average-to-subpar for a Wii game. The controller responsiveness was decent for the most part, except for certain moves where you had to move your Wii remote. At times I’d do it right, but the system would completely miss it, making my poor on-screen character fall on her face. The system tries to tell you hints like “if a move is not registering, don’t keep doing it, but try it a little differently” or “don’t make large moves, just make compact moves”, but other games seem to handle motion control without making the user compensate for it. There are also some user interface glitches with the menus and navigation that there’s really no excuse for in this day and age.

To sum up, while I wouldn’t recommend this as an exercise game, if there’s a young girl in your life who loves gymnastics, I would highly recommend it as a fun and engaging way for her to learn about gymnastics and experience what it’s like to be a gymnast, especially as we get closer to London 2012.

I also applaud Shawn Johnson for her business acumen, and I hope this game does well for her. After she achieved so much success in Beijing in 2008, I’m impressed by the way she has continued to be a real role model for young people at a time where there seem to be fewer and fewer of them. Instead of hearing stories about her in getting arrested for DUI or smoking bongs or whatnot, you see her winning Dancing with the Stars and doing a ton of charity work. Here’s wishing her luck for her comeback in 2012!

Rating:
4 of 5

Announcing the Nutwiisystem EA Sports Active 2 Workout Group (CLOSED TO NEW PARTICIPANTS)! Plus, another sale at Amazon.

For those of you who just purchased EA Sports Active 2 for Wii (and there were a lot of us!) and who missed the last post, I’ve set up a new online workout group just for readers of this blog/Facebook group. The group only accommodates 12 people, and 3 slots are taken, leaving 9 more.

If you’re interested in joining, leave a comment here (or in the last post), or e-mail me directly at steve [.at.] nutwiisystem [.dot.] com. I’ll email you the group name and password you can use. This way, as we’re starting our 2011 exercise regimens we can all keep each other on our toes!

amazon exercise games sale In other news, it turns out Amazon has yet another sale on a ton of exercise and fitness games today under a sale they’re calling “New Year, New You”.

A ton of the top 10 fitness games are featured, including EA Sports Active, Walk It Out, and Active Life Explorer. Also on sale are hardware items like a riser for the Balance Board and hand weights for making you more Wii-ry in Wii workouts.

Check out the sale here.

2011 Fitness Plan: Getting Started on Nutrisystem and the Wii

Hi everyone. Just wanted to drop a note to say “Happy New Year!” If you’re visiting this week, chances are you’re looking for a good fitness plan for 2011. If you’re like me, you stuffed yourself during Thanksgiving, and again on Christmas, and again on New Year’s Eve, and everywhere in between.

Now it’s a new year. So the question is, is 2011 the year you finally go from making promises to yourself to actually getting results?

When I started this site a few years ago, I put myself on the “Nutwiisystem” fitness plan. That was going on the Nutrisystem diet plan, and supplementing it with exercise on the Wii. It worked–I lost about 20 points. But I never quite got to my target weight, and in the years since I fell back into bad habits and regained most of that weight back.

And so last night I went online and signed up for the Men’s Basic Nutrisystem package again. That’s right–in a week or two I’ll be starting the diet program all over again.

I also decided which fitness program I’ll be using: EA Sports Active NFL Training Camp. Based on all my reviews and research, this is the program I concluded would be the most useful for myself.

Similarly, for women (who comprise the bulk of this site’s readership), the exact equivalent program would be to purchase the women’s Nutrisystem program, which focuses on a healthy diet for women, and EA Sports Active 2.

By the way, if you’ve recently purchased EA Sports Active 2 for the Wii and would be interested in joining Nutwiisystem’s online EA group, let me know by posting a comment below and I’ll forward you an invite! But hurry–for some reason EA Sports only allows 12 people per group, so space is limited!

Anyway, over the next few months I’ll post my progress as I did a few years ago, complete with thoughts on the food and the exercise. Of course, I’ll continue to post reviews of Wii exercise games as I get them too.

Here’s to a happy, healthy, and fit 2011!

EA Sports Active 2 for Playstation at the Amazon Gold Box

At the lowest price I’ve seen it so far, EA Sports Active 2 is available for $47.99 at the Amazon Gold Box.

http://amzn.to/fP5j1j

It’s available for the Wii, the PS3, and the Xbox. They probably want to clear away some extra Christmas inventory. Anyway, if you don’t have yours yet, I can’t imagine it going much lower than this.

EA Sports Active 2 on January 2, 2011 Amazon Gold Box

At the lowest price I’ve seen it so far, EA Sports Active 2 is available for $47.99 at the Amazon Gold Box.

http://amzn.to/fP5j1j

It’s available for the Wii, the PS3, and the Xbox. They probably want to clear away some extra Christmas inventory. Anyway, if you don’t have yours yet, I can’t imagine it going much lower than this.