Now that I’ve become acclimated to my iPhone, I’ve started discovering the power of Apps. Since my whole philosophy is centered around using what you have to get the results you want – why not use what’s right in your pocket? Best of all, these apps are all free downloads and available on most popular Smart Phone platforms . Here are the 8 best apps for exercise, eating and healthy living that are only a few taps away.
1. Lose It!
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This free app lets you look up food to track calories AND track your exercise in the same app. Just input your current weight and your goal weight, and Lose it! will give you a fairly accurate estimate of how many calories to eat per day, and how long it should take to reach that goal. There’s even an online support community you can join where people like you can encourage and hold each other accountable (love that!) You can also scan the barcodes of almost any item and automatically pull calorie and nutritional info from a huge online database, which really helps when you’re grabbing a pre-packed lunch on the go and still want to stay within your daily budgets. A must-have app! Free: Apple, Android
Remember my 14 Healthy Foods that are Actually Bad For You? Fooducate helps you spot those tricky non-health foods quickly by cutting your research time in half. Simply scan the barcode and Fooducate will give you a rating for the food scanned based on calorie counts per serving, processing techniques and amount of excess sugar. If you want to save time and choose health, go grocery shopping with Fooducate. Free: Apple, Androi
To get the maximum amount of nutrients from food I always recommend eating fresh foods over packaged or processed. Timing is important as well; one study even showed that spinach harvested in-season had three times the Vitamin C as when it was harvested out of season! The basic rule is the farther it is from the vine, the less nutrients it has. Locavore tells you what’s in season and how many days you have left to enjoy it at its full flavor. It can also use your phone’s GPS to find the closest places to buy locally grown, in-season produce. This is a huge help for people who have claimed to hate vegetables, only to discover they never had a fresh one in their life. Buy in season, fresh and local whenever you can. Free: Apple, Android
4. CSPI Chemical CuisineNike Training Club
>Nike lives up to their “Just Do It” mantra- this app is a free personal trainer in your pocket. It has 30-45 minute timed workouts for cardio, toning and strength, videos for each move and a voiceover talking you though the workout, AND it pulls music from your own playlists to keep you motivated. Just choose a workout based on the time you have and the results you want, and press play. You can also turn on autoshare, holding yourself accountable to all of your Facebook friends. One of the most unique parts of this app is the reward features, which make working out into a game where you can unlock new workouts curated by celebrities, trainers and athletes. The step-by-step videos and integration with your own music library make this a fantastic workout app. Free: Apple
Who couldn’t use a little extra motivation? If you’re a runner, biker or walker, this app will track your route via Google Maps, tracking your workout history to compare later. You can also create an account and get motivated by your friends every time you break a mile. You can even upgrade the app to work with special Polar heart rate monitors (my favorite!) Free: Apple, Android, Blackberry
7. My Fitness Pal
From start-up, My Fitness Pal takes your weight, height, goal weight and lifestyle into account before giving its recommendations. Right away it breaks up your big goal into a smaller goal 1 month away form now, which is a fantastic motivator. You can also access calorie counts and nutritional information from local restaurants, taking the guesswork out of eating out. You can also access your calorie count online from any computer, and get some extra encouragement by sharing your progress with friends. Free: Apple, Android
8. Eat This, Not That! The Game
While I can’t condone picking one less-bad fast food over another (chili dogs over cheeseburgers? Really?), the knowledge you get from this little game may help you in your next “hot zone” situation, where there are no good choices. If you’re going to play a game on your commute or while you’re on hold on a conference call you can pick up a few quick facts. Free: Apple, Android