Sunday, July 22, 2012

Using Technology to Lose Weight

I've been trying to keep a handle on my caloric intake lately.  After all, weight loss is simple math:

Calories in < Calories out

To do that, I've been using MyFitnessPal.  It's a free online calorie counter that I can use on my Android phone.  It syncs with my FitBit and adjusts how many calories I can take in that day using the data on how active I've been.  MyFitnessPal lets you log everything you've eaten, track exercise,

My wife, Claire, uses LoseIt! and really likes it.  

The most valuable thing counting calories brings to the table is the awareness of how many calories are in anything.  Even on days I don't track, I still read labels.  I understand that a cookie from Panera Bread is 450 calories (one quarter of my allotted daily intake) and a serving of carrots is 35 calories.  When you realize how much your favorite foods are really costing you as far as your daily calories are concerned, it puts them in perspective.

I've been noticing lately that sweets tend to make me go off the rails.  Sweets beget more sweets.  It's a dangerous cycle, but that's the topic for another post.

So if you haven't yet, give apps like LoseIt! or MyFitnessPal a chance.

If you're ready to step into the future to lose weight, here is a large list of apps I use or know about to help me be fit.  All of them are free for download, but some of them have paid versions.  Audible is the only one that requires a subscription.  Which apps do you use?  Does anyone know of any really cool apps I didn't list?

Logging Calories 
MyFitnessPal - Calorie counter
Android      iTunes

LoseIt - Calorie counter
Android      iTunes

FatSecret Calorie Counter - Yup, another calorie counter
Android      iTunes

Endomondo - A great GPS-based exercise tracking app
Android      iTunes

Strava - A bicycle specific exercise app
Android      iTunes

Workout Trainer - Workouts led by expert trainers
Android    iTunes

Couch to 5k - If you're new to running, this website and app are for you.  Over the course of 9 weeks they take you from not running at all to running a 5k.
Android    iTunes  (the iTunes app is different from the Android one, if you don't like it, there are a bunch of other Couch to 5k trainers in the app store).

Pandora - Personalized internet radio
Android      iTunes

Audible - For days I'd rather listen to an audiobook (the app is free but the service costs money)
Android      iTunes

Beyondpod - Great for listening to podcasts during a workout

Songza - Like Pandora, but lets you select songs based on your mood
Android      iTunes

Google Play Music - With this app, I have access to my entire music library


  1. Hey Andrew,

    I originally started with Loseit over a year ago and loved it... Then stumped across MFP, and I love that their app has a scanner for the iphone that has Canadian food indexed... It completely rocks!

  2. Great blog. Great goal...Don't give up and keep it up man! Greeting from a Colombian sister.