How to lose weight with an App

Lose It Iphone diet appSo I bet you’re thinking…what do I have to do? Attach a 10 lbs weight to my iphone and use it as a free weight for biceps curls and mini-marathons on my lunch break? Wouldn’t that be a funny site ;0)

Seriously though, I downloaded an app about 6 weeks ago that calculates your daily calorie allowance based on your height, weight, sex, and weight goals. It then tracks your daily calorie intake, as well as exercise.  Guess what…it works miracles. I’ve lost 7lbs. It takes a bit of diligence and commitment, but for all those ladies who a fed up with weight fluctuation this app holds you accountable to what you’re putting into your body everyday and motivates you to exercise.

How it works:

You start off by calculating your daily calorie allowance and setting your weight loss (or maintenance goal). The app then tells you how many calories you can take in each day to meet the goal. For example, if you want to lose 1 lb per week (this is the average recommended rate form what I’ve read on other blogs), it will calculate how many fewer calories you need to ingest per week to meet the goal. FYI…3500 calories equals 1 lb of fat. So to lose 1 lb a week, you’ll have to cut back 500 calories per day. A word of caution…this may feel like a lot to cut back on…I recommend setting a longer term goal to ease yourself into the new healthy eating lifestyle you’re about to embark on. Take your time, you’ll get there eventually and nobody likes to torture themselves! You’re more likely to stick with it if you cut back in moderation.

Once you’ve set you your goal the next step is to begin tracking everything you eat. I mean everything. If I eat a cup of cheerios, it goes into the phone. If I nibble on 3 tostitos chips or a few strawberries, it goes into the phone. If I walk 10 minutes, I enter it.

Finally, I enter my weight daily at the same time every day…I recommend first thing in the morning, you tend to weigh less.

The iphone application has a sizable database of more foods than you can imagine, plus the nutritional information for many restaurants. Did you know for example that a small McDonald’s ice cream cone is about 150 calories while a dairy queen small ice cream is over 250? With the database, I can easily look up the nutritional value of all my foods BEFORE I decide to eat them. So it not only helps me track what I’m eating, but it helps me make better decisions about the foods I choose to eat.

Other features:

  • CHARTS: The app spews out a nifty little chart of my weight fluctuations as well as a bar graph of my daily and/or weekly calorie consumption progress. Note: it’s normal for your weight to go up and down. the important thing is that you in an overall trend downwards…exactly the opposite of how you want your stock portfolio to look :p
  • ADD YOUR OWN FOOD ITEMS: If you can’t find a food in the database you can add your own using the nutritional information on the package.
  • EXERCISE OPTIONS ARE SPECIFIC: You can choose from a variety of exercises and varying degrees of effort on each exercise. For example, you get to say how fast you walked (slow, moderate, fast,etc) or the kind of walking…going to the office, walking the dog…you get the drift.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT…sorry couldn’t help myself :p
While the app is a great way to hold you accountable to a healthy lifestyle, if you’re not used to eating low calorie meals you’ll need to spend some time getting used to the types of foods that will keep you fueled but that are also low in calories. For example, salad may be your new best friend. For me, it meant cutting waaay back on carbs and eating waaay more vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower. But alas, i still get all the treats i love: fries, ice cream chocolate, wine… it’s just all in moderation. TIP: cut juice from your diet. I’ve heard fitness trainers say this before. Juice is usually high in calories and won’t fill you up. Opt for the real deal instead like an orange or an apple.

Finally, you’ll be so motivated to exercise because for every calorie you burn, you’re daily allowance increases. This means that you now have a great incentive to tone those muscles.

If you’re intrigued and want to try it out, the app is called: Lose It! (It’s free – yay!). Don’t get tricked into paying for any apps that are similar to this. I paid $9.99 for one called “Diet”…and it wasn’t nearly as good as “Lose It”.

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