Sat 21 Feb 2009
Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/swagnutboss/gymratsnews.com/wp-includes/formatting.php on line 82
I have a new toy. Oh, boy, do I have a new toy! It’s not a boy toy, but it is a toy my boy turned me on to. It’s actually a new app for my iphone called Lose It! This thing is AWESOME! In a nutshell, it’s a glorified food journal and calorie counter. Now before you cry “UGH!” and click over to read the latest depressing headlines from some news web site, hear me out.
Lose It! has made eating healthy and losing weight FUN for me and my husband. Now, you have to understand, my husband has never counted a calorie in his life! And diets? Forget about it! Weight loss for him is more of a pleasant accident than a calculated event. But in the 5 days he has been using this little tool, he has lost 8 pounds!! Ha! I bet I have your attention now! And I have lost 2.5 pounds in 4 days.
Here’s how it works. After you download the app, you input your starting weight, your goal weight, and how many pounds a week you want to loose. The app calculates your daily caloric allotment and how long it will take you to reach your goal. Then you input everything you eat or drink throughout the day. The app has hundreds of food items already programmed in that you can browse, including supermarket brand foods, restaurant foods, and regular foods. All of these include caloric and nutrient information. You can also create foods that are not on the list and you can enter favorite recipes. It has a “My Foods” list of foods you have already entered so that you can quickly re-enter foods you eat often. In addition to calories, you can also track fat, cholesterol, carbs, dietary fiber, and protein. It has bar charts to track your daily and weekly calorie consumption and a line graph to track your weight loss progress (or regress).
BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!! It also tracks your exercise and automatically deducts calories burned during exercise from your total calories consumed during the day to give you your net remaining calories. There are lots of pre-programmed exercises, and even includes things like house cleaning, yard work, and “sexual activity”! (That’s right. Now you can multi-task THAT, too!) You can adjust for duration and intensity on most exercises. The more you work out, the more calories you get to eat.
I really like this app for several reasons:
- It’s easy. The pre-programmed foods and exercises save a lot of time. The interface is very user friendly and only takes minutes to figure out. The fact that it is on your phone and, therefore, always with you is so convenient.
- It’s fun. Keeping that bar from crossing the line into the red zone can make it feel like a video game. And it’s fun to turn it into a competition with a friend.
- It’s flexible. It’s not just for dieters. You can use it to help you maintain your weight, keep your cholesterol in check, gain weight (for you body builder types), or just make sure you are eating healthy.
So here’s the deal. People who keep food journals are way more likely to lose weight, eat healthier, and achieve nutritional goals than those who don’t. That’s just a fact. It’s all about accountability. And after using this app for several days, I can tell you it has impacted my decision making. I went to a mexican food restaurant for lunch today and ordered a plate full of steamed veggies, grilled shrimp, and rice because I did not want to eat a ton of chips, some enchiladas, sour cream and guacamole and then end up with 12 calories left over for dinner! This thing is AWESOME!
The obvious downside to this is that it is an iphone app. So if you don’t own an iphone, you can’t use it. You can search the internet for a similar product. Unfortunately, I don’t know any personally to recommend and you lose the portability factor if it is on your computer. But if you can find something that you like, then it’s worth it. If you DO own an iphone, you absolutely should give this app a try. It’s free, so even better! (One caveat: according to a couple of reviewers, the developer sells your activity information, not your personal information, which is probably why they can offer it for free. Decide for yourself if that matters to you.) Believe me, it makes a difference if you see in black and white what those 3 slices of Pizza Hut supreme pan crust pizza will do to you! Click here to check it out on the itunes store.
Live Healthy. Live Well.