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148 Pounds: Episode 1 - Lose It!

Posted by Ryan Wood on June 22nd, 2011
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Welcome to installment 1 of my 26 week journey to lose weight using the App Store and all its glory. If you missed the introduction article, check it out here. As of today I can say that the start has been… SLOW. I’ve lost a pound or two, but it fluctuates so significantly that I can’t say I’ve really committed quite yet. I’ve got a meeting set up with the weight watchers people soon, so I’ll hopefully use that as a motivator, as well.

Even though I don’t have a good update on progress for you, I thought it was important to introduce you to the first and most likely the main foundation app I’ll be using throughout the process. As the title of the article might suggest, it is indeed our 5-Star recipient, “Lose It!” First and foremost, Lose It! is free. Both Lose It!’s app and website provide free services to those looking to shed a few pounds.

When Lose It! is fired up for the first time, there are some simplistic set up requirements including current weight, goals, and other general information. Once established these serve as the framework for daily calorie intake, exercise requirements, etc. For myself, I put my goal as 2 pounds a week going down to 180 pounds by the end.

The app itself consists of 5 tabs along the bottom of the screen that divide the program up into useful tools. The first tab is the most important in my opinion; the calorie counter entitled My Day. It’s here that food and exercise for the day are recorded and compiled to see daily and weekly results. Additionally, nutrient information can be tracked by activating the feature within the options menu.

The nice thing about the calorie counter is that thousands of foods come pre-programmed from store brand foods to items on the menu at your favorite chain restaurant. There are obvious limitations in that the app isn’t able to categorize anything and everything ever made cooked prepared etc, but inputting custom foods is as easy as reading the label on the product. I’m finding that in regards to my store brand foods, the app has TONS of items I regularly eat.

The next tab in the app, Log, provides an itemized view of all the food consumed for the day, calorie counts for each item, and a running total versus the budgeted amount. Items can be added or removed, edited, and viewed in more detail all from this screen.

The final three tabs include a friends tab that allows the app to interface with loseit.com’s web enabled content, a goal tab that allows for updates to the goal itself and a place to record weight as it changes, and a comprehensive options tab including the ability to produce reports that show progress.

The issue I have with Lose It! is more or a critique of all calorie counting apps. I have a habit of cooking from scratch and throwing ingredients in without really accounting for their existence. It’s an uphill battle to fix, and I’m doing a lot of guesstimations on calorie levels. Hopefully I can break these habits and use it more precisely.

As of now, Lose It! has become my foundation app. Over the next 25 weeks I’ll be looking at different apps that might work better, replace certain features of Lose It!, or that can be used in combination with Lose It! I plan to do the research on available apps but if the fine readership at www.148apps.com have suggestions, send them to me through the comment section or to me email at [email protected] I look forward to hearing from you.

148 Pounds: Weight Loss in the App Store

Posted by Ryan Wood on May 31st, 2011

Welcome to 148 Pounds, charting my personal journey to pull myself out of obesity and jump into a more healthy lifestyle. Over the next 26 weeks, I’ll be testing apps that will assist me in the journey from overweight to healthy.

As a quick introduction to my story, I’ve battled weight problems since elementary school, being an overweight child and having it transfer into adulthood. I had a brief period of time where I was able to lose 80 pounds during my senior year of high school and into my freshman year of college, but unfortunately as many who battle with weight issues will attest to, keeping the weight off is hard work.

With the recent birth of my son, I have been continuously attempting weight loss plans that I have been unable to commit to, either from lack of true dedication, time required, or a whole slew of other issues. The reality is that I have to motivate myself in order for any plan to truly work. So here I am, opening myself up to the 148apps world.

I’ll be using 4 main types of apps during this process. The 4 categories of apps include: Calorie Counter/Food Journal Apps, Exercise/Fitness Apps, Healthy Eating Home/Out Apps, and Weight Loss Progress Apps.

Depending on the scope of the apps reviewed, one app may occupy several categories at a time.
During this process, I’ll be trying to review one app a week. Based on the performance of the app, it may replace a “core” app in my weight loss plan, become an addition to current apps I am using, or not fit anywhere that would truly benefit my plan.

In the spirit of full disclosure, it’s my intention to also be actively utilizing other resources to further my weight loss goals. My first resource will be weight watchers, and it’s my intention to take a look at the weight watchers app once I get started there.

So now for the uncomfortable part, the disclosure of current weight and goals. As of today I weigh 328 pounds. Given my height of 5 feet 11.5 inches and my larger frame, my ideal goal is around 180 pounds. As fate would have it, that’s exactly 148 pounds. I wish I could say that was manipulated in some way, but it is not.

Goals are subject to change based on the direction of professionals and my overall health. I’ll be visiting a doctor once this really starts moving to ensure that my weight loss plan isn’t putting myself at risk, and given my lack of experience with weight watchers, I can’t say what they are going to try and put my end number at.

At the end of the 26 week program, the 148apps editorial team will review the progress of this article and the availability of weight loss apps, and the scope of this article may change. I look forward to the journey with the readership at 148Apps, and welcome suggestions for apps or just general tips and advice.

I encourage anyone who has benefited from the app store’s health and fitness apps to share their story as well, in the comments section below!