Lifestyle

4 Ways Your Phone Can Help You Lose Weight

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Our bodies are with us 24/7– so are our phones. It makes sense, then, to use our phones to create sustainable habits that benefit our bodies.

There are four principles guaranteed to help you lose weight and feel better. There is an app to support each. Download and start using the four free apps discussed below to change bad habits into good and sustainable habits for healthy living. I promise this will change your life. Your improvements will be sustainable and enjoyable.

Download these apps: MyFitnessPal, Anylist, Bodyspace and Headspace

Why these apps will change your life: You’ll track what you’re eating, make informed food choices, buy the right foods, find easy do-anywhere workout ideas for targeted muscles and enjoy a few moments of relaxation.

 

Principle #1: Track what you eat and eat a balanced diet

App to Download: MyFitnessPal

Benefits of Using this App:

  • This app makes it easy to track what you eat and drink. You can even make it social by sharing your information with friends if you choose.
  • You can scan barcodes on packages, copy meals from previous days and easily select items from your favorites list. Restaurant food is also listed.
  • This app shows you the macronutrients (proteins, fats and carbs) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) of EVERYTHING you eat and drink. It also tracks calories. This allows you to intelligibly eat to achieve the right amount of proteins, fats and carbs to help you lose weight.
  • If you track what you eat, you eat better. This is well established. This app takes the stress out of eating and educates you along the way about the nutritional value of the food you are eating.
  • This app can be used to make food selections at restaurants BEFORE you order. You will be amazed what different choices you make when you have more information about what you are putting in your mouth.
  • You can track your workouts and see the calories expended from physical activity. It also connects with your FitBit and helps you track your water intake.

“If you track what you eat, you eat better.”

How to Use this App: This app is easy to begin using

  • Once you download the app, sign-in and start entering your food and drink.
  • Set your calorie goal at a realistic number. I would recommend 2,000 for everyone as a start as this is the ADA recommended amount.
  • Pay attention to the Nutrition facts (scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Nutrition”). You should aim for the following balance of macronutrients everyday:
  • 45% to 65% of calories from whole-grain carbohydrates
  • 20% to 35% of calories from unsaturated fats
  • 10% to 35% of calories from lean proteins
  • Note: This is NOT a diet. This is a healthy eating plan for the rest of your life.
  • Enter your food and drink real-time during the day. Pay attention to your nutrition information and make food and drink choices that help you to achieve the amount of carbohydrates, fats and proteins listed above.
  • Record EVERYTHING. Even those small candy bars or handful of nuts. Remember, being honest with the app only benefits you!

Goal: Your goal should be to eat a balanced diet of all three macronutrients (in the proportions listed above) and get the recommended amount of micronutrients.

Principle #2: Use a list when you go to the grocery store

App to download: AnyList

Benefits of Using this App:

  • You can create lists for each store.
  • When you shop with a list you make less impulse purchases and buy the food that supports your goals.
  • You can share the list with other users (e.g. your spouse) so no more “forgotten items’. The list is on your phone so anywhere you are you can add to the list.
  • You can create a list of favorite items to easily choose from.

How to Use this App:

  • Download, create your profile and invite other users (e.g. spouse)
  • Create a “new list” for each store you frequent and begin adding items. It’s as simple as that.
  • When you go to the store, open the app and start shopping. It will group items by commonality. You can also choose alphabetical sorting if you prefer.
  • You can even create categories by the aisles at the store to make your shopping trip more efficient.
  • Find foods that you want to buy that are good sources of lean proteins, whole-grain carbohydrates and unsaturated fats. Follow this list and your shopping and eating will both support your weight management goals.

Goal: Your goal should be to create a list of nutrient-dense foods. Stick to your list to surround yourself with food that supports your weight management goals.

Principle 3: Increased Physical Activity Helps You Lose Weight and Gain Strength

App to download: BodySpace

Benefits of Using this App:

  • This app puts all the information you need at your fingertips for finding easy, do-anywhere exercises to target specific muscles.
  • The app connects you with a huge community of individuals working toward similar goals of weight loss and improved strength. There are incredible stories of transformation and workout plans.
  • You can track your workouts and see which muscle groups you trained.

How to Use this App:

  • Download and create a user profile. Provide as much or as little information as you like.
  • Click on “exercise database”. There are almost 900 exercises to choose from. Select the muscle group you wish to target. You can also filter by equipment (dumbell, kettlebells, exercise ball, body weight, etc).
  • If you want to record your activity, click on “track a workout”. You can search by the name of the exercise of find an exercise to do using the same search criteria described above.
  • If you track your workout, the app will send you a summary email each week showing which muscles you trained and giving you positive reinforcement.

Goal: Your goal should be at least 30 to 60 minutes of exercise five days a week.

Principle 4: Guided Meditation is a Proven Way to Reduce Stress

App to download: Headspace

Benefits of Using this App:

  • This app offers 10-minute guided meditation sessions. This is not very much time and can be done anywhere.
  • It tracks your sessions so you can see your meditation progress and it also offers you the ability to invite others to support you.
  • You can set reminders to be “buzzed” periodically throughout the day to be reminded have a “mindful moment” or to remember to meditate at specific times (e.g. first thing in the morning).
  • Eating mindfully reduces calorie consumption by 20%; Practicing meditation is an anti-depressant; Meditation four days a week for 20 minutes per day improves working memory and the ability to sustain attention.

How to Use this App:

  • Download the app, enter your name and email and get started.
  • Find a location that is peaceful and dedicate 10 minutes to being mindful. Begin using the app.
  • Explore the options for reminders for “mindful moments” or a daily meditation session.

Goal: Set aside 10 minutes at least a few times a week. It can be anytime you want. First thing in the morning, right before bed, or over the lunch hour.

 

These four apps changed my life and they can change yours too. Use your phone to transform your life and your body and you will never be the same again! You will be a stronger, healthier and better version of yourself because you will develop and adopt permanent healthy lifestyle choices.

 

This article was originally published on medium.

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