I think everyone can agree that losing weight is a difficult task. It’s hard enough as it is to keep up with a specific diet and exercise plan in order to achieve your goals. But we also face a ton of pressure from the media and our peers to stay in shape. We all have to find our motivations our there to achieve our goals. But just as important we need to monitor our progress to stay motivated.
Thanks to smart phones we now have apps that can aid us in the weight loss process. From tracking calories to providing an abundance of nutritional information to daily reminders, these 11 apps will help you achieve those weight loss goals!
Be sure to click “next” for each app.
Thin-cam is the food diary with no excuses. As any nutritionist can tell you, people are terribly unreliable at reporting the portion sizes of the meals they’ve eaten. So Thin-cam has you take a photo of your meal before you dig in. The photo is uploaded to Thin-site, the app’s paid membership website, and analyzed by nutritionists.
The app also has fitness, diet and weight loss related news and tips to keep users engaged and informed.
This fitness app allows about as many excuses as a boot camp instructor would: none. Just plug in the amount of time you have available to work out and the equipment you have available and GAIN will generate a custom workout for you based on those constraints and your overall fitness goals.
You can pre-schedule workout times and the app will remind you when it’s time to head over to the gym. And if you’ve been stuck at work and you miss a session, the app will offer a quick “Plan B” regimen to be completed anywhere.
Which all boils down to one thing: it’s effective, but it won’t let you off the hook.
Fitbit lets you track food, water consumption and exercise, but it recently revealed a new feature that will be released in May: the Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale, which provides BMI, body fat percentage and overall body weight data to a user’s profile on Fitbit’s website. Knowing how a user is progressing — not just in terms of their overall weight, but on more sensitive measures like body fat — can help the program remain dynamic, tailoring eating and exercising plans to a changing body.
Before the food even makes it to your pantry, it’s best to know if it will be a diet buster. Fooducate lets you scan bar codes of grocery items to get a full nutritional rundown, as well as a letter grade for the food’s overall quality. Rather than just focusing on calories alone (although it does that too), the scan will provide information on potential hidden ingredients — like added sugars, trans fats and even controversial food additives.
Lose It! uses the simple approach of “calories in, calories out” to create a food and exercise log that is straightforward and easy to use. Once you’ve added your current and goal weights, along with some other personal information, you are given a daily calorie allowance — add foods and watch the calories add up, then subtract workouts and watch the calorie count go back down.
There is a social component as well, where users can sign up to swap struggles and triumphs with fellow users.
Weight Watchers Mobile
The portable outreach of the popular weight loss method, most recently distinguished as the “easiest to follow” diet in a U.S. News ranking. The app tracks points as part of a food journal and even provides a map that shows meetings happening in your area. Of course, you have to be a member of Weight Watchers before you can enjoy the benefits of the app.
This is a bit of a cheat, as Striiv isn’t technically a smartphone app. Instead, it’s a small, handheld console all its own. Still, mobile technology is used to great effect here: the device tracks its user’s activity levels and awards points based on real world effort. Those points — referred to as “energy” — correspond to credits in a series of fantastical video games on the console. In other words, it brings all of the interactivity and gratification of video games to the outside world. What’s more, users can aggregate their total activity into a virtual “walkathon,” raising funds for the charity of their choice from friends on the network. Or they can challenge one another to a competition — seeing who can walk a certain number of steps first.
Dieting doesn’t need to be a house arrest sentence. Those with a soft spot for fast food will love the Restaurant Nutrition app by Foundation HealthCare Network, which offers nutritional information—calories, fat, sodium, carbohydrates, etc.—for restaurant menus, and a running profile to keep track of what users eat. With 250 restaurant options, the free app still may be a little limiting for weight-conscious diners who like to eat out but not necessarily at national chains.
How often do we actually follow the dieting guidelines laid out by the food pyramid? Several diets recommend narrowing down the five food groups to three macronutrient categories: carbohydrates, protein, and fat—and consuming 40 percent, 30 percent and 30 percent of each. The 40:30:30 app allows you to track these percentages for every meal to make sure you’re consuming the correct percentage of each. It’s handy and free.
Yoga is great exercise but, unless you’re a trained yogi, almost impossible to do correctly on your own. Instead of paying for pricey yoga classes and being limited to instructors’ schedules, why not get the Pret-a-Yoga app for 99 cents and do yoga at home whenever you want? Follow along with instructor Kathleen Kastner, as she guides you through the poses, breathing sequences and the meditation of yoga.
My Fitness Pal
From start-up, My Fitness Pal takes your weight, height, goal weight and lifestyle into account before giving its recommendations. Right away it breaks up your big goal into a smaller goal 1 month away form now, which is a fantastic motivator. You can also access calorie counts and nutritional information from local restaurants, taking the guesswork out of eating out. You can also access your calorie count online from any computer, and get some extra encouragement by sharing your progress with friends. Free: Apple, Android