Keeping a food and exercise journal is one of the tools many health gurus say will help you lose weight and stay on track after you lose weight. For me, keeping a food journal of any kind was just another thing I needed to remember and keep up with. It was difficult because I had to look up calorie counts or Weight Watchers points and it was just too much work. I felt like I was spending so much time tracking and not enough time living and focusing on my goals.
Technology has made it infinitely easier to stay motivated and stay on track. This year I decided to build the habit of tracking every thing I put in my mouth and every step I take. It is with the help of technology that I am proud to say I have tracked 81 days as of today. I think the experts say it takes 20 or so to create a habit.
I have used several different apps on my phone to figure out the best way to keep track of myself. The following is a list of apps that I’ve used and some review for them.
A. “Tracking” Apps
1. Weight Watchers: I used this when I was on WW 2 years ago. It was a helpful app that had a pretty large database of food. The only issue I had with the app was its “social media” factors.
2. MyFitnessPal: This is my “go to” app. It is so easy to use. Nearly every food is logged into their database. If it isn’t you can add it yourself or use a barcode lookup, which was a recently added figure. MyFitnessPal also uses the concept of social media to help motivate users. You can invite friends, comment and like their posts, and even have discussion boards. Their website is also easy to use and I haven’t had the opportunity to really explore it yet. Out of all the apps that I’ve tried for weight loss, this is the best one so far. (My username is penquin53 by the way! Look me up!)
B. Exercise Motivators
1. Pedometer: There are so many out there. I have still not found one that works well and am still searching for it.
2. C25K: I love this app. It makes it so easy to train for a 5k and even has built in “break” days. The only problem is my own limitations, but this app doesn’t push you past your comfort zone. It also makes it easy to link your music playlists and enjoy them as your run. I need to work more in this app, but I have to build up my hip muscles first!
1. FitBit: I don’t actually have one but I really want one. From what I understand, they have an easy interface and they even track your sleep patterns. What makes it easier to work with is the fact that it syncs with MyFitnessPal. Unfortunately it is so expensive that I’m saving the money up for it!
2. Food Scale: I will talk about this later when I talk about portions, but for now I don’t use my digital scale nearly as much as I should! It is a really good source especially for portion control and I strongly suggest you get one. They even have a cutting board that has a digital scale in it!
What are some other tools and apps you use to aid in your weight loss?