I don't like to say that I'm trying to lose weight -- I'm trying to manage it. That means that the number isn't as important to me as the long term benefits of being healthier. About a year ago, I started using an app called Lose It! If you haven't heard of it before, it is an app that allows you to track what you are eating and what exercise you participate in each day. You can also track your weight and set a weight loss goal.
The app is extremely easy to use. Once you set your current weight and your weight loss goal, the app provides you with the number of calories you should each per day to reach that goal. If you just want to maintain or gain weight, there are options for tracking this as well.
When you want to start adding in your food for the day, you can either search for the food in the app's database, scan the packaging bar code or add in all of the nutrition details yourself. Most foods are easy to find, though for some prepackaged foods, it is much easier to scan the bar code than to search for it.
Exercises can also be searched for through a database to estimate how many calories your activities are burning each day. Once you have completed entering all of the information for the day, you will see the net calories from all of your activity.
Lose It! does a great job with motivation. One of the biggest motivation tools it has are the badges a user can earn. Some of the badges are easy to learn (such as eating vegetables everyday for a week) and some take a little more time and effort to acquire.
The app also provides challenges for free and paid members. These challenges help you compete to charge up your workouts and your weight loss goals.
If you have friends and family members that you want to use the app with, you can also connect with them. Friends can be one of the single greatest motivating factors, so this is a must-have option.
This app has an upgraded version called Lose It! Premium for $39.99 a year. Additional features that come with the paid version include being able to track multiple health, medical and physical data, automatically adding daily fitness routines through a NikeFuel band, track body measurements, sync with wireless scales and participate in more challenges.
The one upgraded option that I wish they would switch to the free version is the meal planning. I don't need to plan my meals for the whole week, but I would certainly like to sit in my bed at 10pm and write down what I expect to have the next day.
The free version of Lose It! is great for getting started on a journey to health. I don't think the features in the paid version are worth it (other than meal planning) because I don't have the devices that will sync, otherwise I may consider buying it.