I’m not a particularly big person, but I do recall the days of old when I wrestled 152 and hovered around 160 pounds in the off season. When I hit my 30s my metabolism slowed and my weight increased. By then I was running less, working a sit down job, and maintaining the same high-calorie diet I did when I ran 50+ miles per week.
Needless to say, I got fat. It didn’t really hit me until I stepped on the scale and saw 2-0-0. Enough! I set goals. Got back into running. Dropped habits. And utilized an iPhone app named Lose It! to keep my eating habits in check and shed 18 pounds.
Setting goals didn’t require an app, just a mindset and my existing support network of friends and family (thanks guys!) Running was a major part of my goal set, but didn’t require an app (or even shoes). The habit dropping sucked, but I was able to do it more easily because I was a father, not because of an app. What gave me the hardest time was the eating.
When I ran 50+ miles I was burning, on average, 1,000 calories a day. The average male eats 2,500 calories a day. To keep up with my exercise and maintain my weight I had to eat at least 3,500 calories. Unfortunately, as my running declined, my eating habits did not. I tried to control them, but I had no idea what foods had what calories and didn’t have a way to keep track of how many calories I was taking in. Enter the Lose It! app.
So How’s it Work?
Download the app (iPhone | Android) open it up and create a loseit.com account. Next, set up your program. Enter your weight, your target weight, your gender, height, birthday, and select how many pounds you want to lose per week (up to 2/week). Once entered, Lose It! will give you a target date and daily calorie budget (BTW, if you burn 1,000 calories and eat 1,500 your daily total is 500.)
Log Your Diet and Exercise
The rest is up to you. Each day you need to record what you eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack. Record your workouts. If you’re moving Lose It! probably has the activity (yes, including that). If you’re inputing your meals and Lose It! doesn’t have that Chez Food restaurant item on the list, you can add it to the app. If you’re cooking, you can add the ingredients as a recipe. Both will be saved for later usage. To make things even easier, if you tend to always eat coffee and rice krispies for breakfast the app let’s you choose a previous meal instead of forcing you to enter it all over again.
Earlier in the year Lose It! started gamifying their app. Basically you get badges for accomplishments like exercising 3 times a week, logging in every day for a week, or losing weight. Honestly, these didn’t do anything for me, but I know many people who thrive on badges as a motivator.
Speaking of, Lose It! has a Motivators feature that may give you the extra motivation you need to achieve your weight loss goal. From sharing your progress with others via Facebook and Twitter to e-mailing you diet reports to sending you reminders so you don’t forget to log your program details.
Could I have lost 18 pounds without the Lose It app? Yes. But the app made it much easier to stay on task and on target. No matter where I went I always had my food and exercise log with me, and a bug in my ear telling me that I should probably put that sleeve of fig newtons down. Do I recommend the app? Absolutely. Not only because it has solid app and web interfaces, but because it is F-R-E-E! Will you absolutely lose weight? No. This app is just a resource. The real work is up to you. You make the decisions on what foods to eat and whether or not you’re going to exercise. Use the app to keep you focused and on task, use your body and mind to do the rest.