Technology is finally catching up to what I have instinctively known - dieting doesn’t work. I’ve always been one of those “naturally thin” people who never diets, eats what I want and has a lot of yo-yo dieters scratching their heads in disbelief and irritation. Why? Because since my teenage years and into my forties, I have always known that diets don’t work and deprivation is definitely not for me.
What I do know is that a balanced life filled with lots of nourishing foods and an active lifestyle does work; it works forever, not just for a few weeks or months. I’ve been an amused spectator as more diet fads than I can count have come, and then gone the way of the Macarena (circa 1996 in case you missed it). Sugar Busters, The Zone, Atkins, The Cabbage Soup Diet, the All Fruit Diet, the No Fat Diet… the list is endless.
Finally, there are apps that agree with me. They have been hailed “Next Gen” weight loss apps, because they thumb their nose at traditional dieting. They tout the philosophy that health and fitness are not about food, but are actually about… wait for it… mood, and that a little education and self-awareness goes a long way.
Why do we eat? When do we eat? How do we eat? Here are some great apps that can help you to answer these questions for yourself and get you on the right track towards lasting lifestyle changes.
We eat when we’re hungry; that’s a no brainer. But we also eat when we are stressed, scared, depressed, anxious, celebrating, craving a particular taste… we eat for a lot of reasons. I recently read an article about a new app called goEvo (as in “go Evolve”) that is about to hit the app store this fall. goEvo app claims to track your moods and how each mood correlates with your eating habits. For example: Do you always reach for that bag of potato chips when you get bad news? Do you tend to drink too many glasses of wine when you are feeling celebratory? Does a burger and fries hit the spot during that time of the month (ladies)? Do you have to have your spicy wings and beer when you’re watching a Football game with the guys? We all have emotional cues connected to food. Sometimes they serve us and sometimes they don’t.
According to goEvo, the app enables you to actually connect with experts in different areas of health and wellness, in real time, in order to identify your craving triggers and redirect your emotions and the ensuing behaviors you might live to regret. The concept is based on an artificial intelligence model. You can have a text conversation in real time with a psychologist that answers you back with appropriate replies and offers viable solutions stored in the app that are based on research. goEvo aims to teach users how to identify their moods and their corresponding food cravings, finding healthier solutions and redirecting behavior in the moment. It also introduces users to fun “play-like” fitness routines, balanced meal ideas, delicious recipes and other helpful tips.
They’re even putting their money where their mouth is, offering a free NutriBullet blender and helpful healthy living books as a prize package to one lucky potential user of this upcoming iOS app. To be entered to win, sign up for their mailing list at goevoapp.com.
A friend recently introduced me to the Fooducate Nutrition Scanner app, which is available on both iOS and Android. And Fooducate is exactly what is sounds like. Using their website or mobile app will educate you about the nutritional value, caloric count and composition of just about any food you can think of. Unlike traditional calorie counting, Fooducate shows you the calories versus nutritional value so you can determine the quality of the foods you put into your body throughout the day.
Want to know how much calcium, iron, protein and vitamins are in your favorite foods? Look it up on this app and get the real deal breakdown. Then calculate how to meet your nutritional needs throughout the day. Essentially, the concept is spend less calories and buy more nutrition. Learn how to get more bang for your buck, so-to-speak. The app also tallies how each food rates and gives it a grade, as in A, B, C. Example: I just looked up watermelon, one of my favorite snacks. Bonus for me; it scores an A on the Fooducate scale with a naturally high vitamin C quotient, minimal processing, 240 IUs of vitamin A and 60 mg of iron. Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar, another personal favorite, didn’t score so well at C-. With 8mg of saturated fat, 10 mg of cholesterol and the only real nutritional value being that of 80 mg of calcium and 3 mg of protein, at 210 calories that’s a lot to spend with little nutritional pay off making it a once-in a-while treat.
While some of these findings might seem obvious, it’s important to get the details on what we eat so we can make more educated and empowered choices. Looking to eat healthier but running out of ideas? This app is community-centered with users sharing some of their favorite healthy recipes, so you’ll never again be at a loss for what to prepare. The best part is, they advocate for real food and real meals; no gimmicks or fads need apply.
Billing themselves as an app whose mission is to create products that help people live healthier lives, Noom completely omits the terms “diet” or “weight loss” from its mission statement. Noom offers courses that help you reboot your lifestyle and how you approach health and fitness, along with helping you understand and conquer unproductive habits that have held you back. They denounce yo-yo dieting and deprivation. Noom focuses on building a better version of you through coaching that addresses: cravings, habits, motivation (or lack thereof) and other self-sabotaging behaviors and beliefs that are keeping you from your long term health goals.
We’re all different after all, with unique habits, triggers, inclinations and goals, so it stands to reason that Noom assesses who you are and puts together a personalized course just for you. You will get matched with a personal goal specialist and professional health coach. After analyzing your health pitfalls and your health and weight loss goals and thumbing through its database of resources, your personal plan is put together. Fun fact after taking their assessment quiz: I found out that my BMI is 23.0 but that it can improve with a goal of 21.6. Begin with a free 14 day trial to see how the program works for you and then go from there.
Ever heard the buzz phrase “the world is your gym.”? Me neither until I stumbled upon Human.co. This free app, available on both iOS and Android ups your creativity quotient when it comes to finding opportunities to get active. Can you commit to 30 minutes of movement a day? Then the Human app might be for you. This popular app with more than 1 million downloads doesn’t apply any pressure or encourage unrealistic high impact workouts. Download Human onto your smartphone and the app will track your physical activity level as you go about your regular daily routine, making suggestions for opportunities along the way to move and sweat.
Looking for a friendly reminder to get moving for at least 30 minutes a day? Human app’s got your back. Curious about how people get in their 30 minutes of activity around the globe? Check out Human’s City Stats page to see who’s biking, who’s hiking, running or taking a walk, and be inspired while you’re at it. Example: Parisians are leading the pack today with an average of 20 minutes more physical activity than in most other cities. Oakland, California and Raleigh, North Carolina Human users were in the lead yesterday with the most physical activity tracked with the Human app. How do you stack up? Download Human and find out.
If dieting and daily gym routines are your thing, more power to you. But if you are like most people aka an over scheduled multi-tasker who tends to eat the wrong things when hurried or stressed, and just wants to put your feet up at the end of a hectic day and binge watch your favorite Netflix shows, then fear not. Next Gen health and fitness apps are here to help.