One in five smartphone owners have at least one fitness app on their phone. Recently, I joined the crowd and started using a tracker myself — but I didn’t anticipate the results. Within about 4 months, I lost almost 30 pounds. In retrospect, I didn’t see that much of a change in my habits, other than tracking my input and output. However, it was the accountability and awareness that helped me meet my goals.
I had tried tracking in a journal a few years ago, but I wasn’t very successful. By the end of the day when I wrote everything down, most of the time, I either was already over my limitations for the day, or I had forgotten something I had snacked on. However, since my phone never leaves my hand, I’ve been able to track in real-time by switching to a fitness app. Not only does it make me accountable for my decisions retrospectively, but it allows me to measure my progress for the day in real time, so I’m forced to be aware of what I’ve already eaten before I eat anymore.
With the ever solidifying marriage of health and technology, living a healthy lifestyle hasn’t gotten any easier, but it certainly has become more manageable. It still stinks to get on the treadmill for an hour, or to eat an apple instead of a cookie. But by using technology to track the effects that each action has, I can make a more savvy decision about what’s in my best interest.
These tools are improving every day. In fact, just last month, Google announced that nutrition information for over 1,000 foods will be available in searches. Moreover, there are countless fitness apps available on just about any budget – many are free. And as technology is evolving, using these tools has never been easier. There are even scales available that will send your weight information directly to the app of your choosing – you don’t even have to enter data yourself anymore.
I’ve had success using MyFitnessPal. It tracks both food consumption and activity. One of the best features is the extensive database of food available to track. Both generic options and hyper-specific options come up in a simple search, so I can be as precise as possible tracking my calories.
What fitness apps have you found to be effective?