Automated Health and Weight Loss

Technology wants to help you on your quest to be healthier and/or lose weight.

I am a member of at least 5 sites devoted to calorie counting, point tracking, healthy recipe sharing, exercise tracking, and motivational weight loss tips.

I also have iPhone apps for these sites…AND MORE!

But is it all noise? At what point do all of these aids become crippling? You have to pick one thing and use it consistently to truly track and monitor your results.

My favorites are the following:

  1. Weight Watchers Online – they continue to listen to their members and improve features and performance. The site and the tracker was pretty clunky and slow, but continues to improve. The app for iPhone is great and loaded with usable features. You can track what you eat and your activity with this site and app. They boast a forum, recipes, and “cheat sheets” to help you quickly calculate your point values. (For more on Weight Watchers, check out my post on Tremendous Blondette called “10 Reasons Why Weight Watchers Works.”)
  2. SparkPeople.com – What I love about SparkPeople is the focus on balance and health. You track what you eat and it breaks it down for you into real information about your nutrition. I think the site is a little cluttered and needs some revamping, but they’ve got a huge user-base and a big community of people to help support you. You can also track your exercise here as well. The site offers you an eating and exercise plan based on your goals and you can follow it or just use the site to track. I also love that you can export your nutrition log.
  3. MapMyRun.com – I love that I can walk or run around my ‘hood or anywhere and then log in and figure out how far I actually moved. It’s good for planning runs and walks too. I have the iPhone app, but I’ve been unsuccessful so far at getting it to work for me as I’m going.
  4. Period Tracker (Lite) – This may seem like an odd one to include, but in terms of overall health and well-being, and in knowing when you are going to be most susceptible to temptation and indulgent behaviors, this gets my vote for truly useful app. I was able to whip this out at the doctor’s office this year and give accurate information. I noticed that as my weight has increased, I’ve had changes in my cycle. My body is pissed at me.
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