In the ongoing battle to lose weight, many people are turning to technology to give them a helping hand. But it’s easy to be distracted and then disappointed by every new and shiny gadget that claims to be the next-best weight-loss solution. So, you should ask yourself whether a piece of technology can actually aid you in your weight loss journey.
While gadgets can't do the work for you, research shows that gadgets and apps that give real-time feedback and hold the user accountable for their health choices help with weight loss. For example, a study from the University of South Carolina found that people who wore a fitness monitor while participating in a group weight-loss program lost more than three times the weight of those who did not wear the monitor, reports FitDay. Likewise, researchers at the University of Texas found that the most effective apps were those that monitored performance and offered support via social-media sharing and virtual coaches, claims Prevention.
So, with all of the choices out there, how do you find the gadgets and apps that have the right combination of motivation and feedback? Here is a list of some of the most effective weight-loss technology.
Smart scales connect to your smartphone to instantly log your weight. This gives you an accurate gauge of your weight fluctuations and trends. Research shows that the more often you weigh yourself, the more weight you lose. Furthermore, smart scales track other stats, including BMI, body fat and heart rate. Stuff.tv rates the Withings Smart Body Analyzer WS-50 and the Fitbit Aria among the best models.
You probably already own one of the best fitness trackers and weight-loss gadgets available: your smartphone. With a phone like the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, you can track your movement, workouts and other activity, and its water-resistant body keeps it safe from sweat. The Edge’s 12-megapixel camera is perfect for snapping progress pictures that you can share on one of the many fitness apps that are compatible with Android phones.
There are a myriad of accessories that take your smartphone from text machine to workout buddy. Two of the most useful are an armband and Bluetooth headphones. For armbands, look at TuneBand Armbands from Amazon or Belkin brand armbands from Best Buy.
Bluetooth headphones are great for getting you pumped and setting your workout pace. Two good options designed for working out are the JayBird BlueBuds X2 and the Plantronics BackBeat FIT.
The sheer volume of weight-loss apps available is overwhelming. Researchers at the University of Texas tested over 100 apps to determine the most useful for boosting motivation and tracking fitness goals. The study found that Fooducate, Lose It, MyFitnessPal’s Calorie Counter and Noom Coach: Weight Loss are the best for those trying to lose weight. For fitness tracking, they found Fitocracy, MapMyFitness, RunKeeper and Runtastic to be among the top apps.
One of the best ways to control your calories is to weigh your food. The SITU food scale lets you calculate the calories for the food you weigh and enables you to share your data through a smartphone app on Facebook or Twitter.