Full disclosure: it wasn't just the apps that helped me lose weight, there was some sweat involved. (Actually lots of sweat. There's no pill to make this happen; if there was Oprah would have invented it. She had to lose weight the hard way and so do we.)
The following four apps did help me follow a plan and achieve my goals. Like everything worth doing, it's what you put in that determines what you get out. So here's my list.
- MyFitness Pal-Where my journey started. I just started recording what I ate, and that's a rude awakening. Once you're aware of what you're eating, you stop eating like an idiot. That would be the name of my diet book, "Stop Eating Like an Idiot and Go to the Gym." Actually, that would be the whole book, because that's all it is. Seriously. So I began with just a few simple changes, and the first few pounds started coming off. It's deceiving at first because they're the pounds that are the easiest to lose, the stubborn ones hang on.
- Fitbit-I did get a Fitbit, so I guess that isn't a free app, but there are ones that do it for free, like StepLog and Stepwise. I instantly became conscious of how much I was moving throughout the day, and while it didn't provoke me to run a marathon, it did goad me into taking the stairs more often. Some more pounds left the building. Here's where outside support and motivation came in. I noticed all the people around me wearing Fitbits, so I friended them and now I can compare my steps to theirs. If your friends are too active, buy some of your lazy friends a Fitbit. You need to be better than someone. All's fair in love and weight loss.
- Fitlist-I finally got serious when I joined the gym, but nothing happened. Turns out, anyone can JOIN a gym, the secret is you have to GO to the gym. A lot. Laura the trainer walked me around and showed me what to do and how to do it. That made all the difference in the world. I would have never gone near those scary machines unless she showed me what to do. Here's where the real pounds left town. Fitlist is where I recorded what I did each day, and I can look on the calendar and see how often I went to the gym. This accountability is what I need; you may need some other type of motivation. In a good week I'm there 6 times, a bad week is 3.
July was a good month for me.
It's amazing what having off every day will do for your exercise schedule.
I guess I really got into vacation mode in August, because I clearly was phoning it in.
- LFConnect-This app syncs with the treadmills and other machines at the gym to record the amount of calories I burned off. For me, I need to get credit somewhere for the work or it doesn't count. This app did it for me. I just take a picture of the QR code on the screen after I'm done, and it enters all the information on my phone! I can set a goal of burning 2000 calories in a week, and the app will let me know how close I am to my goal. Little goals and big ones are important to the process, so here's just another way to reward myself with a gold star. I clearly am very needy, but I know that and work with it.
I'm not saying that these are the only apps to use, but these are the apps that worked best for me. Some people need a support team, some need schedules. It really doesn't matter, just find what works best for you and use it.
This is the first year I can remember where I haven't had "lose weight" on my resolution list. I feel better, people tell me I look good, and I got to buy all new clothes that fit. While I'm sorry it took me so long to get here, I'm very happy now and I don't ever plan on going back.