I’ll be the first to admit that technology and I aren’t on friendly terms. Sure, I’m able to feel my way around Seamless and Uber, but the idea of using my phone for something important like fitness and nutrition tracking had always seemed so daunting. After getting to a point where I really needed help losing weight and eating healthy, however, I decided to throw caution to the wind—and load up on the very best wellness apps out there.
Finding the “very best wellness apps out there” isn’t as easy as it may sound. There are hundreds of apps designed for weight loss, fitness, sleep, yoga, meditation, and anything else that might need tracking, and I ended up trying dozens of them, for more than a week at a time, in order to narrow it down. Here are the five I stuck with—and that helped me drop 75 pounds.
An app built on the research of Dr. Paul Arciero and his scientifically proven PRISE protocol, the GenioFit app takes the guesswork out of making your next healthy lifestyle decision. Based on the goals you set, Genio develops a customized plan for physical activity and fitness, nutrition, mental well-being, and overall health and vitality. Basically, it does all the thinking for you.
I decided to try this app to improve my overall health and increase my workout performance, and let me tell you: It really works. The PRISE protocol is based on five simple ideas:
P =Protein pacing (4-6 evenly spaced meals/day each containing 20-40 gms. protein)
R =Resistance functional training
I =Interval high intensity training
E = Endurance training
GenioFit helped me get my daily protein in while maximizing my workouts each day.
I love, love, love this app. If I’m short on time and haven’t planned out my next gym session, I can tell it the amount of time I have to exercise and what I might be in the mood for (yoga, weight training, cardio, or stretching), and in a matter of minutes, Sworkit will provide me with a killer workout guaranteed to deliver results.
The app comes with a timer, music options from Spotify, exercise demonstrations, and body area focus options. You can also sync your results directly to several other fitness apps.
As a runner for over 20 years, I added Runkeeper to my app lineup, but with a bit of hesitation. I tend to be one of those “free thinkers” when it comes to running: Put your shoes on, turn on some tunes, and get outside. But when I was struggling to add miles to my weekly runs, I realized it was time to take it up a notch.
Runkeeper allowed me to set goals, follow a plan, and use GPS to track my routes and elevation—all while giving me audio feedback during my workouts (no need to look down at my phone while running).
For me, the best part was being able to see my results after the app tracked, logged, and displayed my progress for each run.
4. Lose It!
This is the brilliant app that helped me lose over 75 pounds in just one year. Its goal is simple: help real people achieve real weight loss without using gimmicks, fad diets, or spending money.
The app’s simplicity and user-friendly approach is one of the main reasons I have kept my weight off, too.
Even after I reached my goal weight, I still tracked my nutrition with Lose It, just to make sure my macros were where I wanted them to be. And with a database of over seven million items (including foods and exercise types), I never get bored of using it.
The strong community of users available to provide support, along with the ability to link with my FitBit device and Runkeeper app, make this one of my favorite all-around apps of all time. Not to mention, I LOVE the barcode scanner and new “Snap It” feature that allows users to snap a picture of their daily meals and snacks, input some data, and then get approximate calorie counts.
A runner-up for tracking? MyFitnessPal. It’s another excellent app to track eating. It is used by millions for weight loss and many claim it connects better to other apps and devices than Lose It!.
5. Nike+Training Club App
Touted as “your ultimate personal trainer,” the Nike+Training Club App will create a personalized training plan based on your needs, then continually adapt as you go. And with instructional audio and video clips featuring Nike trainers, users can workout knowing they are receiving expert information—something I think is super-important.
The app has over 130+ workouts available for all levels, which allows me to vary my intensity each day, pick between bodyweight or equipment, and choose the duration of my workouts.