In a past issue of Real Simple, there was an article on dieting versus exercise. Which one is more important? Do you have to do both? According to the article, it depends on what your end goal is. If you want to lose weight, as I do, then it's more important to watch your diet than exercise. And one of the ways the magazine recommended watching your diet is through the free Lose It! app. This app is available for iOS and Android.
I've been using the app for a few weeks, and it's a lot of fun! To get started, you choose a goal. How much do you want to weigh and how long do you want to take to achieve that goal weight? Based on the data you input (including your height, age, and current weight), the app will then tell you how many calories you can eat per day in order to reach your goal.
And then it helps you keep track of how many calories you're consuming, which is where it really gets interesting. The first few days, you're astounded as to how many calories you're actually consuming without knowing it!!
Through the app, you log in what you eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacktime/dessert. The app has a whole pre-populated list of foods from name brand companies and restaurants. You can also add in your own foods by hand and their calorie counts per serving. Plus, you can use the scanner option to scan the barcode of the food you're going to eat. I LOVE USING THE SCANNER!
The scanner really comes in handy for making dinner. Many of us don't eat pre-packaged dinners, and many of our recipes don't come with nutritional information. Well, as you're making the meal, scan in all the barcodes of the foods you're using. You'll need to tell the app how much of each you're using in the recipe. You'll also need to tell the app how many servings this recipe makes. When you're all done, the app will have calculated how many calories there are per serving in whatever it is you're making. Pretty cool, huh?
You can also log in any exercise that you've done throughout the day. The app has a built-in list of tons of different exercises, so choose the one you did and then choose for how long you did it. The app will tell you how many calories you burned, and then add those calories back onto your allowed calories for the day. (Sometimes I see all the extra calories I have left and take that to mean that I CAN have that frozen yogurt for dessert. And I do. But not every night.)
And every day or whenever you feel like it, you can input your weight to see how you're coming along.
While the app is free, there are features you can access if you upgrade to a paid premium account. I'm totally fine with my free version. It serves its purpose for me.
One thing I have to say, for me, that Real Simple article was a little off. Without exercising, I found that limiting my caloric intake was not making much difference. I see change on the scale when I combine my revised calorie count with a little bit of movement.
And luckily, I've been getting a lot of movement lately. Did you know that spending a little over three hours painting a room burns 519 calories? Good thing I have TONS more rooms to paint in our house.