HomeBlogREVIEWHealth 2.0: Wholesome weight reduction through health trackers and apps

Health 2.0: Wholesome weight reduction through health trackers and apps

The final two years have put all good habits to the check, particularly by way of health. My membership at City Sports activities Membership has been cancelled, and I have never seen the insides of a gymnasium in what’s now a yr and a half. And as issues occur, it’s a sluggish however absolutely slippery slope downwards.

As a substitute of repeatedly squeezing into an EMS swimsuit, I discovered the right way to make actually good pizza at residence (thanks for the recipe kilos, Vito Iacopelli) and even purchased myself a pizza oven with the Ooni Koda 16. Properly, as a consequence of an absence of choices, three pizza evenings every week come up shortly as it’s important to observe to acquire the proper dough!

On the very least, the massive munchies have one other opponent originally of 2021. As a part of our NextFit problem, I have been exercising repeatedly as soon as once more, and am now fairly match once more because the yr attracts to an in depth. However what does “health” really contain and the way do devices assist us get more healthy and fitter?

Soar to

  1. Hiya evolution: How can I shed some pounds (quick)?
  2. The calorie stability: Calorie consumption and calorie consumption
    1. Counting energy is necessary: The way it works
    2. Estimating calorie consumption: Health Tracker and different gadgets
  3. Sports activities as a calorie driver
  4. Sports activities for well being

There are books that comprise nearly each side of health, and there’s solely sufficient house right here to the touch on all features. I might subsequently like to point out you in a holistic method so far as doable, my learnings from a decade of health enthusiasm together with a health coach B license, even when I admittedly nonetheless lack the glory of acing the ultimate examination.

1. Shed some pounds quick? Evolution is an blockhead

Blame evolution for the truth that we won’t simply slouch on the sofa all day lengthy and shovel quick meals into our mouths with no care on this planet, as a result of the physique is a machine that has perfected over the course of evolution. The urge for food is simply surpassed by the truth that profitable copy is vital to our survival and our nice purpose, the place till the age of supermarkets, lack of meals was the best risk for 1000’s of years.

Subsequently, any extra vitality is meticulously saved as fats throughout occasions of disaster. Due to their genetic heritage, each human being has completely different predispositions as to the place and, above all, how a lot fats is saved within the physique. Your ancestors needed to combat onerous for survival? Too dangerous for you, as a result of your physique might be now much more efficient at hoarding flab.

Aerial view of Nauru
Not-so-fun truth: Centuries of meals shortages and the sudden rise of wealth from hen poop gave 
Nauru the world’s highest charge of diabetes. / © Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program

Along with genetic predisposition, metabolic coaching additionally performs a job. For instance, those that starve themselves of meals on crash diets prepare their metabolism to hoard much more energy within the type of fats. What this has to do with the yoyo impact, you may learn additional beneath.

2. Your physique weight: consumption and consumption

No matter your genetic make-up, the essential concept behind weight reduction and weight acquire is easy: for those who eat extra energy than burn them, you acquire weight. The identical logic applies the opposite means round, permitting you to shed some pounds. Sure, there are numerous traits like: “no extra carbs after 6 p.m.”, interval fasting, low carb high-fat diets, or some insane stuff from Gwyneth Paltrow. A few of it’s simply ineffective at finest, different measures really push your metabolism in a special route in the long term or make it easier to develop more healthy consuming habits basically which helps you shed some pounds.

In my expertise, nevertheless, the prospect of success is way greater for those who view your physique as a self-contained bodily system, and that is the place the input-output precept applies. The very first step is to get to know your calorie consumption (enter) and your consumption (output).

2.1 Enter: Counting energy is a birdbrain

Sure, writing down all of your meals and drinks rivals sorting screws or watching paint dry by way of recognition. Nevertheless, doing so is important. As well as, there are quite a few apps that make the endeavor a complete lot simpler.

As a substitute of typing out the calorie content material, fats, and so on. of your sandwich, you may merely scan the barcode on the packaging with the likes of Fatsecret, for example, and have your lunch famous. Additionally, for those who sustain with the diet monitoring for the subsequent few weeks, you’ll shortly develop an excellent feeling about your diet and study to hearken to your physique on the similar time.

MG 9291
You should use smartwatches and health trackers to file your calorie consumption. This can assist obtain your targets! / © NextPit

Along with pure vitality consumption by way of kilocalories, most apps additionally file the macronutrients that make up the quantity of vitality you devour. The macronutrients comprise of fats, protein, and the typically referred to as “carbs.” Unhealthy information for many who love their drinks. Alcohol, by the best way, can also be a macronutrient and has hefty energy. Two shot glasses of absinthe are roughly equal to 1 shot glass of olive oil. Yum!

Macronutrients compared

4 kcal/g4 kcal/g9 kcal/g7 kcal/g

Whether or not it’s low-carb or high-carb, there are numerous philosophies on how the equipped vitality ought to ideally be composed of macronutrients. Whereas the composition has no or solely a secondary affect on weight acquire or loss (relying on the supply of knowledge), it nonetheless performs a job for the physique. For instance, I really feel drained on a regular basis on low-carb diets as a result of my physique is lacking this simply obtainable vitality supply in carbohydrates. Add that to having fallacious meals on the fallacious time, you simply are likely to eat an excessive amount of.

apple scan fatsecret
With Fatsecret you can even take pictures of meals as a way to file the calorie content material / © NextPit

I’ve all the time finished finest with a macronutrient ratio between 60:20:20 and 80:10:10, respectively, primarily based on carbs to proteins to fat as proportional vitality sources. Should you monitor your weight-reduction plan for some time, you will see the distribution of macronutrients within the apps and study for your self what works finest for you.

For my part, the very best app for calorie counting is Cronometer. Right here you may monitor not solely the macronutrients talked about above, but additionally the micronutrients, i.e. nutritional vitamins, hint components, and so on. Within the following article, you may learn a extra detailed comparability of standard calorie counter apps:

Calorie counting apps: Our favorites

AppQuick descriptionHyperlink
CronometerCronometer tracks not solely macro- but additionally micronutrients. Even when the database didn’t acknowledge Nutella in our check, it nonetheless acknowledges many of the meals. What’s additionally nice is how Cronometer has a browser model, letting you comfortably verify your diet historical past on a big show. The Professional features resembling meal pictures and detailed analyses price an excellent $29.99 yearly.



FDDB ExtenderThe Meals Database is the dinosaur amongst databases for meals, vitamins & others, and with FDDB Extender, it arrives as an app in your smartphone. The vary of features is similar to Cronometer. A couple of extra features resembling targets for macronutrients comes at a small month-to-month charge. Optionally, the app may also be linked to Google Match, Samsung Well being, Fitbit, or Garmin Join.



For the dearth of house on this digital journal, here’s a facet be aware: Away from macronutrients, there’s nonetheless an unlimited quantity of knowledge to contemplate nutritionally. “Quick carbs” are (often) worse than “sluggish carbs” (key phrase: glycemic index), there are good and dangerous fat (key phrase: saturated/unsaturated), and there are additionally big variations in protein (key phrase: worth).

Oatmeal (sluggish carbs), for instance, makes you’re feeling full for much longer than white toast (quick carbs), and this merely makes it simpler to eat much less. There’s a whole lot of literature on this topic, and I’m certain you’ll shortly discover what you might be searching for at your native bookstore or within the related boards.

2.2 Output: Find out how to estimate calorie consumption

After you have got decided the enter, it is time for output. That is made up of two components: the so-called basal metabolic charge and the energy metabolic charge. The basal metabolic charge quantifies how a lot vitality you devour whereas oxidizing in on a regular basis life with out involving sports activities or buying journeys, that are fairly onerous to come back by due to the pandemic anyway. There are easy guidelines of thumb and calculators for the basal metabolic charge.

The ability metabolic charge lastly quantifies your complete “on high” consumption from countless pizza dough kneading to the HIIT sports activities unit. Health trackers are an incredible assist in figuring out energy metabolic charge. They file your each day actions and coronary heart charge and might thus estimate your lively calorie consumption fairly effectively. You may learn extra about calorie consumption right here:

Health trackers and smartwatches: Three suggestions

SystemQuick descriptionValue/Hyperlink

Honor Band 6 (evaluation)

The Honor Band collection is unbeatably low cost. For just below $50, this health tracker that’s launched yearly information your sleep, coronary heart charge, and even the oxygen saturation within the blood. And within the Honor Band 6, the show has lastly turn into actually large. The smartphone app Huawei Well being sees motion right here because it presents properly ready information and even a number of profitable coaching plans. The worth-performance ratio is wonderful as effectively!

Honor Band 6

Apple Watch Sequence 7

After all, this query hardly arises for iPhone customers. We’ll nonetheless wish to reply it: The Apple Watch Sequence 7 is a good health smartwatch that not solely connects to the iPhone, but additionally with Bluetooth chest straps and others. Together with Apple Health+ it’s a nice alternative if you wish to work in your health within the coming yr.

Apple Watch Sequence 7

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
On the alternative finish of the Apple Watch Sequence 7 spectrum is the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 for Android customers. Hardly every other smartwatch presents so many sensors and options which may typically even appear overwhelming. In order for you a full-featured smartwatch with detailed monitoring options, then it is best to take a more in-depth have a look at this mannequin.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

For extra health trackers and smartwatches to observe your calorie consumption, try the articles linked beneath. Should you do not wish to purchase extra {hardware}, pedometer apps will assist – they allow you to estimate your vitality expenditure utilizing your smartphone. Sports activities items, nevertheless, cannot be recorded as precisely as a result of lack of pulse measurement.

3. Sport as a calorie driver: Consumption versus enter

Should you now know the enter and the consumption, then weight acquire or loss ought to consequence from this. In actuality, that is sadly not fairly as easy, because the physique is an especially complicated system with values for calorie consumption being all the time mere estimates. However you may enhance the diploma of accuracy: Log your weight for a number of weeks; both with analog scales and pen or in a extra handy method, use good scales which can be linked to your smartphone app. If there are inconsistencies, you may then regulate your basal metabolic charge as decided by rule of thumb.

Or you may lastly cease sneaking all these chocolate bars previous the calorie counter.

MG 9139
Muscle mass that you don’t use repeatedly are thought-about ineffective by your physique / © NextPit

Now, for those who’re placing on or dropping pounds, there’s one other variable: How a lot train are you doing and the way a lot stress is your physique experiencing? That is the place the aforementioned evolution comes into play, as a result of muscle groups are a luxurious on your physique from an evolutionary viewpoint. When at relaxation, they devour a whole lot of precious vitality and are subsequently damaged down if they don’t seem to be completely obligatory for survival – i.e. continuously getting used.

That is very true for the calorie deficit: Should you do not train when you have got a unfavorable calorie stability, your physique will then panic and never solely turns to your fats shops for vitality reserves, however even prefers to make use of your muscle groups as an vitality supply. In spite of everything, they want vitality themselves and make survival much more tough throughout an extended interval of hunger. Evolutionarily talking, it is higher on your physique to carry on to the fats.

google fit
Google is attempting to unify information from a number of sources with its Match app. Sadly, as a consequence of an absence of help from all suppliers, this does not all the time work out so effectively / © NextPit

Should you had been to eat once more after a sportless crash weight-reduction plan as earlier than, the physique that’s relieved of many muscle groups has a decrease basal metabolic charge than earlier than. With the same old vitality consumption and nonetheless with out train, you then acquire weight once more by leaps and bounds. It will likely be primarily fats this time round, as the subsequent famine might be simply across the nook! This dangerous weight fluctuation is named the yo-yo impact.

If, then again, you train vigorously in a calorie deficit, your physique considers muscle groups necessary for survival – and tends to attract extra in your fats reserves for vitality. Equally, you probably have a calorie surplus plus train, you’ll construct extra muscle than fats. In conventional bodybuilding, for instance, many athletes alternate between so-called “bulk” and “reduce phases”, by which muscle groups are constructed up first in extra after which the fats added throughout the course of that is skilled off once more in a calorie deficit.

Physique fats scales: Three suggestions

SystemTransient descriptionHyperlink
Huawei AH100Absolutely the primary mannequin among the many physique fats scales is the Huawei AH100. The dimensions is repeatedly obtainable for lower than $50 and information a very powerful physique information together with physique fats proportion and muscle mass. Handy for many who use a health tracker from Huawei or Honor as the information results in the identical app.

Huawei AH100

Withings Physique+The Withings Physique+ connects to the house WLAN. To file your values for physique fats, muscle mass, bone density, water proportion, and so on., you solely have to face on the size and watch the remainder of the magic occur mechanically. Afterward, you may lookup related information within the app. The Withings Physique+ prices round $80.

Withings Physique+

Tanita BC-545N

Extra refined physique fats scales just like the Tanita BC-545N additionally provide the chance to measure the tissue composition of the higher physique due to a detachable handpiece. This enables for extra correct statements about precise physique fats proportion(s), muscle mass, and so on. Nevertheless, it comes at a value: the Tanita scale prices just below $200.

Tanita BC-545N

4. The appropriate sport is greater than only a calorie driver!

After all, it is nice to make use of sport to spice up calorie consumption, construct muscle groups up and shrink fats reserves. In spite of everything, it contributes enormously to the general diploma of satisfaction whenever you be ok with your look. Nevertheless, train has way more advantages than simply decreasing your physique fats.

MG 9268
Train is not nearly dropping pounds. Flexibility performs additionally an necessary function / © NextPit

All endurance sports activities, for instance, not solely drive up calorie consumption, but additionally strengthen the cardiovascular system, decrease your resting coronary heart charge, and reduces your blood stress. Plus, endurance sports activities often pressure you to place your smartphone down and clear your head for a change. Talking of which, listed here are some tricks to detox digitally:

Nevertheless, most endurance sports activities solely have interaction the decrease half of the physique. For many who have a tendency to sit down in entrance of screens for a very long time, it is massively necessary to train the shoulders and again. Whether or not you’re feeling extra comfy on a yoga mat or performing full-body HIIT classes does not matter. What’s necessary is a holistic exercise that features correct stretching. After going by shoulder surgical procedure and a herniated disc, I can relate to this.

puma fitness app
Health apps like this one from Puma present how you are able to do these workout routines with well-produced movies / © NextPit

And crucial: Should you start to train after an extended abstinence, do observe your self at the least a number of occasions to make sure right execution of the workout routines as a way to keep away from harm. For instance, by sports-loving mates or a private coach (additionally obtainable through video name) may be capable of assist. In case you have any accidents or sicknesses, it is also higher to speak to your physician beforehand, as a result of you may undergo from severe accidents just by executing the workout routines wrongly. 

Coaching apps: two examples

AppQuick descriptionHyperlink
FreeleticsFreeletics might be THE app for impartial health coaching. Right here, you get numerous coaching plans and exercises, that are defined through video with nice movies. However the very best factor about Freeletics is the group, which meets in lots of locations across the globe to coach collectively. Should you had been to pay (from round $10 per thirty days), you may have entry to the entire coaching program and a web based coach that will help you.



Body weight HealthBody weight Health does not look as polished as Freeletics, Pumatrac, and others, however in return, the Android app is totally free and likewise dispenses with the subscription mannequin which is widespread right now within the iOS model. There are detailed exercise plans and explanatory movies, however the diet side is omitted, and the interface takes a little bit of getting used to.



No matter you do, a very powerful side of train stays: discover one thing that additionally, you will take pleasure in or an exercise that you just wish to do regularly. Usually, it takes a month or two to internalize a brand new exercise routine. You’ll have to stick it out that lengthy on the very least earlier than it turns into second nature. 

5. And now, over to you!

One factor may be very clear: health isn’t a closing vacation spot, however a lifelong journey with many stops alongside the best way. For instance, I used to be all the time too heavy till about 2012. My most weight hovered round 95 kilograms at 184 cm tall. And no, these weren’t mountains of muscle. It could be removed from morbid weight problems, however I did not really feel comfy. Not within the pool, and never when a number of flooring of strolling stuffed my lungs with what felt like two kilos of thumbtacks.

In the meantime, it is 2021 and I am fairly a tad lighter at round 80 kilograms, and most significantly, I really feel match. I ran within the Berlin half marathon in 2019 with none important further coaching and the day after a twelve-hour flight, can do a dozen pull-ups relying on my coaching stage, and extra importantly, my physique feels actually good more often than not. When the satisfaction wanes, I understand, “Ciao pizza, hey train. It is time to tweak the stability a bit once more.”

Berlin half-marathon in 2019 – an image like from one other period. / © NextPit

And you may just about really feel the identical means. Health is a lifelong journey that is filled with trial & error. I’ve tried lots in terms of weight-reduction plan and train; from vegan to high-protein, yoga to plyo and pump, obtained myself into three main accidents together with two surgical procedures within the course of. Perhaps this text can shorten among the trials and tribulations and make it easier to to only really feel good bodily.

Should you’ve made it to the top of this text, one factor needs to be clear: You do not want apps or devices to shed some pounds. However these little helpers will be big motivators. Personally, with the ability to monitor my progress over the months or years has been a key to success. And although I’ve analog coaching plans piled up in my basement with years of coaching historical past, it is simpler and clearer to do it through app.

My purpose for 2022 is to additional enhance my health, particularly by way of endurance. I additionally hope to get my calorie consumption cranked up by doing so, and thus decrease my physique fats proportion additional. Even with 600kcal exercises on the residence gymnasium, I simply cannot get that top sufficient to completely offset my pizza consumption.

Keep tuned, and have an incredible begin to the brand new yr!



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