Most people make a new years resolution to get into shape or lose a couple extra pounds. Some people give up on that resolution by the middle of February. Now that summer is quickly approaching, you may be looking to get into shape before you have to make a public appearance in your swimsuit. In today's world, there is an app for everything and weight loss is no different. It's convenient and always with you. There are many weight loss apps available, ranging from calorie tracking to a virtual personal trainer. Research shows that keeping track of you calories will double your weight loss!
Today, we will take a look at some of the more popular apps so that you can make an educated guess at which one or combination of apps will work best for you.
If you are motivated by your budget, this app is for you. The premise is that you decide how much money a task is worth. You "Earn cash by staying active, paid for by members who don't." In essence, you make a pact with your app. For example, you state that working out 4 days a week is worth $5. At the end of the week, if you worked out 4 days, Pact will put $5 in your bank. However, if you didn't meet you goal, it will take $5 out of your bank account!
You can make your tasks anything you would like to work on; eating more vegetables, getting more exercise, or logging your food. To make tracking a little easier, the app can connect to your GPS, FitBit, Map My Run, or My Fitness Pal.
My Fitness Pal
My Fitness Pal is a very popular app that makes it easy to track your food intake and exercise. You can also connect with friends to see what they are eating and offer encouragement along the way.
When you download the app, you set your calorie goal. You have the option of taking the standard based on your weight and what you want to lose, or you can set it up manually for special diets such as low-carb diets. Once you have your profile set up, you can search the food database to fill in what you eat throughout the day. You can also enter in recipes for things you make at home, so you can know how many calories you are taking in when you eat Mom's Famous Meatloaf.
In addition to tracking food you can enter in your exercise minutes too. Like the food database, the exercise database includes many options! You will enter the activity you did and the number of minutes completed, and the app will give you a calorie expenditure which increases you daily calories depending on the exercise. The more you exercise, the more calories you can eat. If you have a heart rate monitor or FitBit, you can use the calorie range on those and manually change the numbers given in the app.
This 1st prize winning app makes reading food nutrition labels much easier. It's hard to know how healthy a food is unless you know what you are looking for. Use the camera on your phone to scan the barcode of a product, and the app will grade the nutritional value of the food. "Products are awarded a nutrition grade of A, B, C, or D by an automatic algorithm. Minimally processed, real foods with intrinsic nutrients will score better than processed foods that are poor in built-in nutrients," says the developer. If you don't have the package handy, you can also enter in the name of the product to get the nutritional grade. If you look up an item that has a lower grade, the app will suggest alternatives that have a higher grade rating.
This app is perfect for people who don't have a lot of time to exercise. It's exactly what the name implies: a seven minute workout. It's based on the American College of Sports Medicine Health and Fitness Journal's latest research that shows that short circuit training exercises, even with little time, can provide big results. The developers say that, "12 exercises, 3 required items (yourself, a chair, a wall), and 7 minutes is all you need to start getting in shape again!"
The app includes the original seven minute workout and the new advanced version. It also has detailed, animated instructions on how to perform the exercises.
Couch to 5K
This app is great for someone who is wanting to start running. It is specifically designed for first time runners, who are used to sitting on the couch, thus the name. Basically, you build up alternating walking and running to just running. The amount of running and the distance gradually increase as you progress through the program. Ideally, you will work out three times a week for about 30 minutes each. The app allows you to listen to music and lets you know where you are in the workout as you do it. By the end of eight weeks, you will be off your couch and running a 5K, or about 3 miles.