How your iPhone can help you lose weight

Zoe Wilson
Monday, May 9, 2011

iDieting: the new technology of weight loss

Need a bit of extra help with your weight loss now winter is almost upon us? Forget the pricey personal trainer or home gym, the latest weight loss aid might just be in the palm of your hand — if you're one of the million or so Australians with an iPhone.

With hundreds of free diet and fitness applications available to smartphone users, losing weight has never been easier. But how do you find the best one for you?

Choosing the right support system can be half the challenge. From kilojoule counters to work-out tutorials, BMI readers to yoga guides, there's a huge amount of choice in apps to bewilder even the most tech-savvy dieter.

To offer a helping hand, here is our guide to some of the best weight-loss apps, all created for the iPhone and most of them are free!

Your snacking companion

Before you purchase your regular packet of Maltesers at the cinema, a quick glance at Rebel Sports's Time To Burn It app will tell you that in order to burn off that little indulgence, you will need to slog it out for 25 minutes on a treadmill. Still want that snack?

The food diary

ShapeUp Club is one of the best food diary apps on the market with easy-to-use features and a fun interface. The best bits are "My Things" where you can customize your meals, create new food categories and exercise activities, and the bodyfat and waistline curve charts. You can set specific goals with end dates, and view a range of basic graphs to monitor your progress and boost your motivation.

Is it for you? Food diary apps are great for people who snack or are prone to a splurge, providing insight into bad dietary habits and serving as that all-important wake-up call. If you haven't been seeing weight-loss results, you'll soon know why.

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iPump Fat Burn is perfect if you only need a few sample exercises to get you on your way. Offering two full-body work-outs, iPump's free subsidiary app allows you to listen to music, view demos by video and keep a work-out log as you go.

Is it for you? This is ideal for those who want to shape up through regular exercise regimes in the comfort of their own living room. If you're good at sticking to daily routines, even better.

3. The running companion

iMapMyRun is a fantastic fitness app that uses your iPhone's GPS to provide pace, time, distance, and speed tracking while you're active. You can save your runs, walks, or bike rides to a training log with accompanying maps. It's great for reminding you of all your favourite routes and helping you mix up your training circuits.

Is it for you? If you hate gyms but love exercise then this one's for you. Enjoy the open air and early sunrises safe in the knowledge that you'll at least find your way home if you venture too far.

The basic kilojoule counter

Calorie Tracker is a handy app linked to Lance Armstrong's health and fitness website, which allows users to look up nutritional info quickly and easily. Kilojoule, carbohydrate, fat and protein content of foods are pulled from a broad database that features popular brands and an extensive list of restaurant items. Very useful!

Is it for you? If you're vague on your kilojoule intake and the nutrients of your favourite foods, this might be the perfect means of education. Understand where to cut back and don't be afraid to turn your diet on its head.

The inspiration

Custom Hypnosis helps focus users on their weight-loss goals, through inspirational hypnosis sessions that could instil determination in even the laziest exerciser. Customise the length of your session, the volume of the hypnotic voice and the background music for all the sounds you want to hear.

Is it for you? If weak willpower is the real reason you're not losing weight, all it may take for you to shed those kilos is a well-timed kick up the derrière via your iPhone. Set up quick morning sessions for a week and you'll be leaping out of your bed to get to the gym.

Don't have an iPhone? No problem! Check out our fabulous Online tools, including fitness calendar and Navigator.

Your say: Do you have any success stories with weight-loss apps, or reviews to share?

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What's your BMI?


Body Mass Index (BMI)The BMI is an indirect measure of body composition, based on your height and weight. Find out yours. MEASURE YOUR BMI Burn BarometerHow many kilojoules do you burn? Calorie CounterHow many do you consume? Energy EstimatorJust how much food should you be eating just to make you through each day? Due Date CalculatorFind out when your baby is due.