So I guess it’s that time when everyone starts looking into their new year resolutions which usually involve losing weight or just getting healthier overall. Most of you will not succeed past 30 days and the rest will probably not have even started actually trying. Now for the few who don’t fall into either category or for all of you who insist you have what it takes to do this. Here’s five things that I have in mind that will help jumpsuit this journey. None them are in any particular order but are very useful and I’ll explain why.
1. Fitness Tracker
Alright, so when the fitbit first came out I was so adamant about how this was a complete waste of money (although now I think that an Apple Watch is the waste of money, even though it’s kind of cool) because why would I need to spend so much money on a device that tracks my steps and sleep habits or heart rate. Okay so here’s the deal. Some people actually need to keep track of their heart rate so it makes sense for that. BUT! You don’t actually need to buy an expensive fitbit to keep track of anything else. I got a generic fitbit off of ebay for $15 and I totally dig it. It keeps track of everything that I need (Steps, exercise, sleep) it also can wake me up and send me alerts of phone calls or texts.
Now why is this useful for losing weight or staying fit. I use so many apps on my phone for keeping track of my fitness and I think all of them will make this list. This device works directly with your phone, I have an iphone so it syncs with my health app but also my Veryfit app which is the app for the device. It keeps track of how many miles I’ve walked or ran, and what my sleep pattern was like. The sleep pattern is helpful because I don’t sleep very well and if you don’t get enough sleep it can actually slow your metabolism down.
Here’s a couple of suggestions for fitness trackers:
The one I have: Diggro
2. Achievement app
This app, Achievement, is for those who need the extra motivation to get moving. So for every 10,000 points you make you get $10. It is not easy to get 10,000 points. If you work out then it should be fairly easy. Your points are based off of how many steps you make each day. See the picture below.
So for example on a Thursday I had walked over 12,000 steps and earned 34 points. I have been using this app for about a year now and still only have a little over 6,000 points. And I work out. So as long as your okay with having a small goal to work towards then know that you will eventually get some money from keeping yourself moving. And this particular app doesn’t require anything, it counts the steps you walk as long as your phone is on you (unless you’re using your fitness tracker) and it adds the points for you. Pretty simple, you don’t even have to think about it until you meet those 10,000 points.
3. Nike Training
I don’t know about some of you but I am not a celebrity or an affluent person who can afford a personal trainer. Maybe someday but that hasn’t happened yet. So until then I maintain my own training. I go to a gym and I train at home. I have been thinking about picking up kickboxing but I digress. So the Nike Training app is something I am so glad I discovered. It has given me a way to workout on my own terms and at intensity levels that I can handle. And if I want to up the game then I can do that when I am ready.
They offer a variety of workout plans or you can just start one that you like. I love using their challenges. So I started with their 4 week start up challenge. If you haven’t worked out ever or you haven’t done it in a while then I recommend starting with that plan. It asks you how intense you want it to be, how many times a week and for how long as well as if you have any equipment you want to use. I love this app.
4. Nike +Run Club
I’ll be brief about this one only because I know not everyone is a runner, likes to run or can run. Now as for me? I love it. But I am so picky. I would prefer to run on a treadmill, or if I am going outside either on a sunny cloudless day or the complete opposite, a rainy day. Sorry guys, I am weird.
This app connects to your Nike Training app, so in your custom plans it will ask if you want to include running and if you say yes then you have to download the app otherwise it won’t log it. This app does allow you to use your music while you run and it also provides subtle motivation and keeps you updated on how much you’ve run. I really love this app as well.
5. Lose it!
So this was something I had heard about while I was listening to NPR on my way to work. I had never been a fan or interested in Calorie counting because I had always thought it was a waste of time. But a few months ago I had watched a short video on a ballet dancer and how she stays fit. She said despite what most people think they don’t starve themselves. In fact because of how intense they’re training is they actually have to keep of how many calories they’re intaking. Well this woman on NPR was talking about the New Year and resolutions and how most people will try to get healthier at the start of the year. She mentioned she got into keeping track of what she was eating and how many calories she was taking in. She said in one month she lost 6 pounds but that not everyone should expect the same results. Which she is right, everyone is different.
So I just started using this Lose it! app and I have to tell you already it has put a lot into perspective. I ate a cookie just before dinner and I had no idea that it alone was over 400 calories (it was a chocolate chip cookie from Wawa and if you don’t know what a Wawa is…then I’m sorry).
So this is how the app works. It has Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. It will ask your sex, age, and weight. Then it will ask what your goal weight is. You can manually input what you eaten or drunk throughout the day or you can pick it from a list. Or if you’re at home you can scan the barcode of all the foods you’ve been eating and it will ask how much you used or ate. It’s just that simple. When you have finished for the day then just click done and it will log it for you. It will tell you whether you met your calorie budget, if you were under, or over based on your weight goal (since it calculates how much you should take in each day). The thing about it is some features that could be pretty useful are part of premium but f you’re just starting out then don’t worry about anything fancy. Also don’t get discouraged when it calculates how long it will take for you to meet this goal. Remember it is calculating this based off just your diet, so if you’re working out then obviously it might not take as long.
So these are just some of the basics and these are all of the things that I use that I have found to be extremely helpful. Now that doesn’t mean that it will help you because everyone is different. But if you’re serious about being healthier, losing weight (and maybe even getting ready for the summer season) then maybe you’re stubborn like me and really need every tool available. I have tried a lot of different apps and these are the ones that I think are the best and can recommend fully. And no I am not currently sponsored by any of them.