5 TECH HACKS THAT GET YOU LEAN
Looking to lose weight? Here are the best apps, fitness trackers and other tech gadgets that can help.
Losing weight is not an easy endeavour for most. It often requires significant lifestyle changes, including exercising or altering your diet, to be successful. Those changes might seem daunting, but they can be easier to handle with the help of apps on your phone, wearables and other smart devices.
Before we start, we want to acknowledge that many factors — including stress, hormone levels and genetics — can affect your weight and any efforts to change it. Technology cannot change all of the factors that affect weight, but they can offer support for two main pillars that most people turn to change their weight: Food consumption and exercise.
THE BEST WEIGHT LOSS APP
There’s a seemingly never-ending list of iOS and Android apps that can help you track your food consumption and activity so you can make changes that will affect your weight. Let’s start with food. Lifting weights and cardio are important for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but eating a balanced diet is just as, if not more, beneficial.
One way to do that is by cataloging your meals, which helps you keep track of how many fruits, vegetables, grains and meat you eat. It can also find ways to change the number of calories you eat.
Out of the hundreds of food-tracking apps out there, one of the best is MyFitnessPal. It simplifies the process of tracking your calorie intake, whether you are cutting calories for weight loss or adding more for weight gain. The app is free and available on iOS and Android.
You start by telling the app about your current weight, goal weight, gender, height, birth date and daily activity level. Then the app will calculate how many calories you should eat each day.
Once you’re set up, it’s time to log your meals. Food can be entered in manually, chosen from a user-generated catalog of more than five million items or even scanned with your phone’s camera. You can even set reminders to ensure that you never miss logging a meal. The app can also connect with many popular fitness trackers from Fitbit, Garmin, Withings and others.
MyFitness Pal also shows you a breakdown of your macronutrient intake, such as fat, carbs, and protein. Those are important metrics to track if you’re hoping to build muscle, trying to stick to a low-carb diet or are focused on eating balanced meals.
THE BEST GUIDED WORKOUT APP
You don’t need to sign up for a gym to lose weight. There are dozens of apps that offer guided workouts and coaching, all for free.
The Nike+ Training Club app is one of the best because it offers more than 100 free guided workout videos for beginners all the way up to seasoned vets. The app also offers four-week training programs at a variety of fitness levels for getting lean, more toned, or stronger. Nike Training Club is available for free on Android and iOS.
THE BEST FITNESS TRACKER
There are literally hundreds of wearables out there that help you keep tabs on how much you move. Knowing your daily activity level and how many calories you burn can help you shed pounds.
Activity trackers are becoming smarter, more accurate, easier to use and (at least in some cases) more affordable. Almost all of these trackers can track things like steps taken, distance traveled, calories burned and sleep. A majority of them will even measure heart rate and show you notifications from your phone.
For us, the best is the Apple Watch Series 4. It is one of the most expensive of the bunch, but comes with plenty of health-focused features. It encourages you to move and take deep breaths throughout the day, can track just about any workout and has a built-in EkG.
THE BEST FITNESS SMART SCALES
You’ve heard of smartphones, smartwatches and maybe even smart socks, but did you know there are also smart scales?
These scales, depending on the specific product, can calculate your body mass index (BMI), body fat percentage and weight. You can then view your measurements over time in the company’s mobile app.
If you’re already invested in an ecosystem, such as Fitbit, you should buy that company’s scale, so that all your devices “talk” to each other. If not, the Eufy Smart Scale and Fitbit Aria 2 are the best choices.
•The Eufy scale lets you set a weight goal and helps you track your progress to getting there. It can also measure your body’s percentage of body fat, muscle and water.
•The Fitbit Aria 2 tracks your weight and body fat percentage over time, syncs wirelessly with Fitbit’s mobile apps and integrates with the company’s wearable devices.
THE BEST GENETIC HACK
Arguably the best hacks are those which are the most personalised. Well you don’t get any more personal than genetic profiling. Muhdo is one firm specialising in this. The epigenetics firm offers the most advanced and comprehensive DNA testing and bio-maker analysis for health, fitness and performance of any other genetics health company in the world, helping you discover and take advantage your genetic gifts to achieve your goals.
Simply spit in a tube, stick a stamp on it and send it through the post. After running a bunch of tests, the Muhdo team will build up a fitness and nutrition plan made especially for you based on your genetic markers. They can tell you the nutrients your body needs more and less of to complement your workouts, and what types of exercise you benefit from the most.