There’s an app for that! That is one of my husbands favourite sayings and for ages I just didn’t get it. I have got apps on my phone, but I wasn’t that excited by them. I didn’t think I needed any more apps that than the most basic ones. I couldn’t see them changing my life.
Things have changed. I’ve started to see the light when it comes to apps, especially free weight loss and exercise apps.
Regular readers of my blog will know that a few years ago I gave up sugar and I was sure I would never touch the stuff again. Well I fell off the wagon a bit, and then a lot and then before you knew it I was eating magnums for lunch on holiday (plastic, chocolate, sugar – basically a LOT of reasons to tell myself off!). The weight gradually piled back on and my attempts at going sugar free again didn’t seem to be resulting in the weight loss of before…
What was going wrong? Firstly I wasn’t doing much exercise, I was spending an hour a week chatting, I mean playing badminton with my friends. One of my friends suggested running, so I thought why not, I’ll give it a go.
To start off with I could only run for a few minutes at a time, but fast forward a few months and now I can run 10 miles and am aiming for a half marathon next! Running has taken over my life a bit and there have been a lot of factors helping me with it. I am lucky to have lots of friends to go running with and to have the beautiful Downs pictured above close by to go running in!
Another one of the things that has kept me motivated is using the app Strava. It was my Mr ‘there’s an app for that’ who got me into it. Strava is great. Whenever I go running, I track my run on it. It shows me how far I ran, the pace I ran at and how long it took me. It also breaks down parts of the route / distances you run and tells you how you compared against yourself on previous runs.
You can see really clearly if you are improving. It is also possible to compare yourself to other people on the app, but so far I haven’t wanted to and have just been happy to see my progress against myself. You can also track other activities like cycling on there. I have been blown away by how quickly my running abilities have improved and knowing what my times are on Strava has motivated me to do better every time.
Another free app, which has been really helpful is Lose It. I have never counted calories before. I thought avoiding sugar was enough. When I got Lose It, I realised that nuts and cheese are ridiculously calorific and eating them were a big reason I was finding it hard to lose weight. On Lose It, when you first sign up you put in your current weight and the weight you would like to be. It then calculates how many calories a day you can have to get to the weight you want to be by the date you would like to get there.
Each day, you log your weight, the exercise you have done and the food you eat. You can scan foods in and the app remembers your favourite foods and your meals, so you can copy previous meals and foods which makes it quick and easy. It calculates how many calories you have burned from the exercise you have done and then minuses your exercise calories from your food calories. This means you can eat more if you want on the days you exercise.
Strava is useful here because you will know how far you ran and how long it took you, which is the information you need to count the running calories burned in Lose It. Lose It also has a range of exercises to chose from including less obvious ones like house cleaning and gardening.
Weight loss success
Between Lose It and Strava, I have felt like I have a lot more control over my weight as I know now exactly which savoury foods and meals are way more calorific than others. It means that I can choose to avoid them, or to only eat them on the days I do enough exercise to counteract them or to have them in a smaller portion size or to do it anyway, but know what I am doing and what the result will be. I’ve been using Lose It for around 2 and a half months now and have lost just under a stone since I started using it.
Both apps are free and they have really helped motivate me to become a runner and to lose weight! I think they are both brilliant!
Note – this post contains entirely my own opinions, is not sponsored and is for entertainment purposes only. It does not constitute advice and you need to make up your own mind before using these apps.