High-tech Help for Weight Loss
Want to get ripped like Daniel Craig? We’ve got some cutting-edge solutions to get your body shaken and stirred. Take a look at the gadgets you need to make 2011 the year your get-fit resolution becomes a reality.
Got an iPhone or an Android smartphone? Then you’ve already got access to hundreds of fitness and weight-loss apps. They’ll keep you on track -- plus, most won’t require a workout for your wallet:
This great weight-loss app helps you set and stay within your personalized calorie budget by recording your daily exercise efforts and food intake. Plus, it tracks your progress online.
Platforms: iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad
Free | LoseIt.com
My Fitness Pal
This Web-based food diary is a community-oriented app (a feature not offered by Lose It!) that also provides a fast and simple calorie-counter with a huge database of more than 607,000 foods. It lets you input what you’re eating and what you’re going to do to work it off. Then, it tracks your progress against your goals while you receive motivational messages from other dieters.
Platforms: iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad.
Free | MyFitnessPal.com
This baby works as your training partner, using your phone’s GPS to keep track of your running, cycling or other workouts. It also counts how many calories you burn while doing those exercises. It can upload your progress reports to the Web, and for only $2.99, you can buy a premium feature that allows you to race against yourself. That’s a tough one to get odds on!
Free, $2.99 for premium feature І WorkSmartLabs.com
Endomondo Sports Tracker
This multitasker utilizes your phone’s GPS to track all of your outdoor sporting activities. Plot your route on a map and get live pep talks from your friends or your personal trainer during your workout. (They can send you a text-to-speech message from any computer.) Then, track your progress on the Web. Do you do anything for yourself anymore? No wonder you’re out of shape!
Platforms: iPhone, iPad and Android
Free | Endomondo.com
If you’re not keeping track of your body’s fitness progress, then these babies will!
This tight little gizmo can be clipped onto your clothes or slipped into your pocket. It uses motion sensors like the ones found in the Nintendo Wii to gather data, which is then converted into information about your daily activities that you can monitor online. It measures and displays calories burned, steps taken and distance traveled -- it even measures the amount of time it took you to fall asleep. Why? Because recent studies have shown that getting a good night’s sleep has been shown to affect hormones that regulate appetite. The more you sleep, the more your appetite will be suppressed. You snooze, you lose … in a good way!
$99.00 (+$49.99 per year for optional premium subscription) | Fitbit.com
Meet the most comprehensive body monitor on the market. The whole system -- which straps onto your arm -- is about the size of a large wristwatch. It’s loaded with sophisticated sensors that capture more than 5,000 readings, 24 hours a day. It tracks everything from your sleep patterns to your perspiration levels. The unit then uploads data via your computer’s USB port and allows you to update your food log using your computer, iPhone or Android.
$199.95 to $259.90 ($6.95 to $12.95 per month required subscription after first 3 months) І BodyMedia.com
Scaling Your Progress
Nothing can cut through the crap you’ve been selling yourself like a reliable scale. If you need an unforgiving taskmaster, then climb aboard one of these scales.
Withings Wi-Fi Body Scale
Every time you step onto this device, it instantly sends your weight and Body Mass Index (BMI) to your computer, allowing you to virtually bring your baggage with you anywhere. You can check on your weight loss via the scale’s Web dashboard that you can access through your desktop, iPhone or Android smartphone. The scale also allows you to share information with your friends on Facebook or Twitter. A medical professional or your personal coach can also chart your progress on their computers and update your medical records online. So if you’re gonna put your diet on the Web, this should motivate you to make it good news.
$159.00 | Withings.com
Tanita BC-568 InnerScan Segmental Body Composition Monitor
If you don’t want to hear the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about the condition of your body, then don’t go anywhere near this machine. It displays a complete body composition profile that includes your total weight, body fat, muscle and bone mass and metabolic age. It also zeros in on the specific segments of your body that you choose to focus on.
$299.99 | Tanita.com
Tim Jarvis is a freelance health, technology and entertainment writer who contributes to O, The Oprah Magazine and the men's grooming and lifestyle site Men's Life Today. He is also currently working on a book about the mysteries of quantum mechanics.
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