Three weeks ago, I issued a challenge to myself: lose thirty pounds by the first day of baseball season. Considering I do part-time work at the local minor league stadium, I figured being thirty pounds lighter would put me in much better shape for the incredibly hard work I do while I’m there. Therefore, the goal was to go from 285 to 255 by April 7th. I weighed in today, and I am at 269 pounds. That’s 16 pounds down in 3 weeks.
When I saw the weight starting to fall, my first question was “How am I actually succeeding?” I had tried dieting before and exercising, but with disappointing results. So what’s changed now? The answer turned out to be something I’ve kept in front of my face for years.
Studies on the subject have proven to be very inconsistent, to say the least. Some studies have proven that dieters who use their phones to log their progress are more likely to adhere to their diets. Others have shown that using a smartphone doesn’t make any difference. Others still show that people who use their phones are less likely to keep their diets.
Now, I’m just speaking from personal experience here. I don’t claim to be an expert dietician. In fact, I would say I am very far from that. But 16 pounds in three weeks? Obviously something is working. I am not going to say it’s just the app I’m using. I’ve greatly reduced my food intake (from probably around 3000 calories/day to 1500-1700) and I’m in the gym 5 to 6 times a week. That’s what is doing the brunt of the work, and I admit that. But in the past, I’d just eat less or try to work out more without any form of organization. I was dooming myself to fail when I had just begun.
This time has been different because fitness apps, when done properly, are an amazing tool to maintain order. MyFitnessPal has been my weapon of choice in this particular battle of the bulge. With MFP, I have been able to properly record every single bite I’ve consumed. Meals get tracked, calories get counted, macros get measured, and it’s even able to predict what I will weigh in 5 weeks if I continue that day’s trend.
It’s a great tool, but it is far from perfect. The biggest issue I have with the app is its subscription model. If I want to use every feature the app has, I have to be a paid subscriber, which costs either $9.99/month or $49.99/year. In the world of smartphone apps, this is simply asking too much. Fifty dollars a year to fully use an app is astronomical, especially when I can think of all the better ways out there to spend it. People out there trying to lose weight are already shoveling out money on gym memberships, healthier food, and nutritional supplements. Why should they have to add another expense?
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Image Credit: N i c o l a