Monday, January 28, 2013

Apps to Help Lose Weight and Get Fit

Landman = eating out = getting F-A-T!

I came to the realization that it's not just WHAT I'm eating that's making me fat, but it's HOW MUCH I'm eating. I really had no idea how many calories were in the large portions I was putting on my plate, and I had no concept of how quickly they were finding a new home within my waistline.

I found two apps, one for counting calories and one for monitoring exercise, to help me SEE how my food and activities were affecting my body. I've been using these apps (available via iPhone, Android, and the Internet) for months now, and have confidence that they work and help me achieve my goals.

My Fitness Pal
This app keeps track of what you eat, allowing you to reach your desired weight by monitoring caloric intake. Simply input the names of your foods (you can even scan the bar codes on the boxes), and the nutritional values (calories, fats, cholesterol, sodium, potassium, carbs, protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, iron) are added to your daily diary. You can even add your own recipes for repeat use. Most fast food choices are included as well.

Knowing what's in what you eat really helps you to limit your portions of those high-calorie/fat foods. The app also has an exercise monitoring section, but I prefer to track exercise using RunKeeper (see below).

This app allows you to keep track of your fitness programs. It also incorporates GPS, so if you run with your phone, it will automatically track your speed, route, and mileage. And it's not just for running. RunKeeper also tracks biking, skiing, swimming, elliptical, and more. You can start a training plan for running a 5k (my current training plan) through full marathon in a good-for-you way. Other local users can be sought out if you like to work out with a friend. Daily reminders, set to pop up at whatever time you desire, help to keep you on track.

With these two apps, and the tips I'll be sharing throughout this blog, I guarantee you will lose weight and get healthy. I've already lost three pounds since Christmas, and I'm by no means starving myself. I even still enjoy an occasional pizza or Taco Bell volcano burrito. But now, I can see clearly what I need to eat for the rest of my 1200 calorie day in order to achieve my goals.

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