Friday, May 27, 2011

Lose it! | Weight Loss Tool

my account
At the beginning of the year, I decided that I would try the weight loss app.  I downloaded it onto my phone and began using it.  You all get the gist, right?

1. You give basic information about you - weight, height, age, sex, etc.
2. You set a weight loss goal
3. The app sets a daily caloric allotment goal
4. You track what you eat daily

Simple concept, yet not so simple in implementation and practice.  I was pretty diligent for about a month and a half, and during that time I lost about 10 lbs.  It wasn't easy to remember, and sometimes not easy to figure out portions and such.  It got easier over time, and it was neat for me to see and understand what I was putting into my body, how my exercise had effect and related (loosely) to my diet.  It was cool to track and understand my progress.  I'm a fan of visibility.

I stopped being faithful with the app (for various reasons) and I haven't really lost much weight since.  There are a lot of factors that have played into that (one of which is that a change in workout routines has allowed me to put on muscle and cut some fat without changing weight).  However I realize that I am not as diligent and conscious about my diet as I was then.  To me, simply being conscious of your diet is what's key.  I think that consciousness yields personal accountability.  To me, that personal accountability helps you regulate yourself without needing to be fanatic or make drastic changes.

I decided yesterday that I'm going to start being diligent with the app again.  Hopefully it will help my begin trimming down more.  There are many tools like Loseit out there.  I've only used a couple, so I don't claim to be an expert on them.  However, here are some of the things that I like about this weight loss tool:

Mobile Interface - I'm on my phone A LOT.  That is where I do most of my Facebooking, Tweeting, personal email checking and game playing.  A useful and easy mobile interface is important to me.

My Meals and Foods - The app does a great job at tracking foods that I commonly eat.  It also allows me to quickly pull up previous meals and add them to my current day.  I didn't realize that I had that usability at first.  Finding that out was like finding the hidden stash of candy in the pantry (ironic comparison, no?)

Goal Tracking - Less is more for me in this one.  Instead of tracking BMI, body fat %, waist size, etc. the goal tracking is simple, "what weight by when."  I like that simplicity.  It's easy for me to chew on.

Desktop Usability - The desktop interface is extremely intuitive and makes for quick logging while I'm at work.

Social Aspect - I'm a friend fiend.  There is a social aspect to this where you can add friends and share progress.  I feel more accountable knowing that others can check up on my progress.

Quick and Useful Database - The app itself has a database of common foods, popular restaurants, and common exercises to choose from.  It's not flawless and perfect by any means, however it does make logging food and activity a bit easier.

Some screenshots:

I think that we're spoiled by technology, but am grateful for the usability and ease that it sometimes provides.  I'll update you in a few weeks on my progress.  Are there tools that you use?  I'm always up for a good recommendation.

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