We know that it can be really difficult to stick to a healthy and balanced diet, as well as fitting in your exercise regime somewhere in the week. Now that we’re in the 21st Century it is even more trying to do this with our busy lifestyles, making it hard to stop and think about what we’re doing and putting into our bodies. Luckily for us there is help on the horizon.
Nearly all of us have smartphones that allow you to download apps and numerous people have come up with apps to help us stay on track with our diets. You don’t need to buy extra books that are expensive about calorie counting and we don’t have to rely on our memory to remember what we’ve eaten.
Here we are going to investigate some of the best dieting apps out there that are available to you and give you all the pros and cons so you know which will help you the most.
Why you need to lose weight?
Lots of people have different goals when it comes to getting fit and losing weight. Some people just want to lose the extra pounds gained from being on holiday, some want to get toned and shed body fat, and some just want to eat healthy to lose weight minus the exercise.
Not only that, but there are lots of health benefits to losing weight and getting healthy. Health problems that are linked to being overweight are:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Some types of cancer
- Back pain
Losing weight reduces the risk greatly and will leave you feeling like a new person. Not only this but you will:
- Have more energy
- Sleep better and wake up feeling rested
- Have fewer pains
- Have improved mobility
- Find it easier to breathe
- Have an improved immune system
These are the kind of changes we want to make, normally within a short amount of time.
The best way to go about it
The best way to lose weight is not by taking a little pill that will magically help you drop the weight. It is achieved through hard work and dedication by sticking to a strict plan and showing will power.
If you burn 500 more calories than you eat, every day for a week, you will lose a healthy 1-2 pounds. Of course, the more weight you have to lose the bigger the weight loss in the week. If you weigh more than 250 pounds you could lose 3-5 pounds a week by eating 1050-1200 calories and exercising for 1 hour a day.
Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, author of The Flexitarian Diet, gave the following tips:
- Eat vegetables to help you feel full
- Drink plenty of water
- Get rid of tempting food from the cupboards
- Stay busy so you don’t eat when you get bored
- Eat from a plate, while seated at a table. Not standing in front of the fridge
- Don’t skip meals
When it comes to exercising you don’t need to just stick to cardio to lose weight, add in some strength training to burn fat at a faster rate and become strong and lean. To lose weight you need to do an hour of moderate exercise a day. A good tip is to not push yourself too hard to begin with as it could lead to injuries. If you do want to step up the pace try incorporating interval training into your regime to burn more calories.
Always make sure that you eat enough to keep energised and that you are always hydrated.
So do the apps work?
Of course, these apps will only help you to lose weight if you put in the effort. There was a study conducted at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine where they found that people lost an average of 15 pounds and kept it off for at least a year by using the apps.
Bonnie Spring, the lead investigator of the study and professor of preventative medicine at the University said:
The app is important because it helps people regulate their behavior, which is really hard to do…Most of us have no idea how many calories we consume and how much physical activity we get. The app gives you feedback on this and helps you make smart decisions in the moment.
Source: Daily Mail
The study included 69 overweight and obese adults who had an average age of 58 and were primarily men. They were given health education classes on nutrition, exercise and behavior change two times a month for the first six months and then once a month for the remainder.
Everyone was given weekly calorie goals based on their current weight and activity goals based on their current level. One group recorded their eating and activity on paper, whilst the other used a mobile app to input the data to a behavioral coach, who monitored everything and gave 15 minute phone calls twice a month for feedback.
The average weight loss for the group who used the app and attended the classes was 8.6 pounds; the group who didn’t use the app and only attended the classes lost no weight.
It isn’t really a surprising outcome when you think about it. Recording something digitally means it is always there for you to look back and reflect on to see where you made mistakes and where you can improve.
The apps you need to know about
Available for free for both android and iOS, this app allows you to shop and eat healthy. It does this by pulling up nutritional information about the food products from scanning barcodes in shops. It can discover if the product contains:
- Added sugars
- Tricky trans fats
- High fructose corn syrup
- Controversial food colourings
- GMO (genetically modified organisms)
- Additives and preservatives
- Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame
If something isn’t as healthy as it could be the app will offer healthier alternatives. You can personalize the app to fit you and what you want to achieve. It is rated 4 stars on average by users making it one of the best available to smart phone users.
Free on iOS, it helps you to decide what to eat and plan ahead by taking into account how many calories you should be eating each day and what your goal is, as well as what foods you like to eat.
It is that clever enough to even plan your meals for you by making sure it is all healthy and good for you. As well as this it will create a shopping list full of suggestions for what you could have.
My Diet Coach:
This one is aimed at women only to keep you motivated and committed to losing the amount of weight that you think is ideal. It does this through:
- Helpful and necessary reminders
- Notifications with your goal, motivational pictures and weight chart
- Diet tips and quotes
- A food cravings panic button
- Motivational guidelines
It is one of the best apps to keep you on track and remind you why you are eating healthy and exercising. It will remind you to drink water, eat slowly, weigh yourself and log it in. Everything a girl could want!
One of the best apps out there to help you make the most of your run, walk or bike ride. It tracks your workouts with GPS, checking your stats as you go along and to help reach any personalised goals.
Not only does it focus on running, walking, cycling, it also includes 40 more sports and looks at your speed, duration, distance and calories burned in the workout summary.
You can connect with friends to offer motivation, share result and compare best times, maybe even try and see if you can beat them!
This app has a workout for everyone of any level. You can choose to do cardio, HIIT, yoga, strength training, dance and beginners workouts. At $12.99 a month you get a whole host of workout videos right on your doorstep for you to use. You can access DailyBurn on iOS devices, mobile devices, TV devices such as Xbox, Samsung TV and Playstation, and the apps official website.
It can be used by Android, iOS and Windows phone users and it one of the most well known and popular dieting apps out there. It has one of the largest food databases with over 5,000,000 different products and easy to use food and exercise entry. The best thing about it is that it is free.
You can add your friends to help them with their progress and keep them motivated. By setting personalized goals it can keep you on target and help you with tips.
Not only that, but you can also connect with over 50 devices and apps including Fitbit, MapMyFitness, Runkeeper, Healthkit and many more. Another little handy feature is the step tracker to monitor how far you are walking doing your daily activities.
It seems that this has the best of both, no wonder why so many people are using it.
It would seem that there is a wide variety of apps out there that range from helping you make the right decisions about what food you’re eating, exercise tutorials, heart monitoring and so much more. The ones we included are just some of the ones that have been touted as the best.
At the end of the day they are only as good as the effort you put in.
Disclaimer: Our reviews and investigations are based on extensive research from the information publicly available to us and consumers at the time of first publishing the post. Information is based on our personal opinion and whilst we endeavour to ensure information is up-to-date, manufacturers do from time to time change their products and future research may disagree with our findings. If you feel any of the information is inaccurate, please contact us and we will review the information provided.