You read that right. Your phone can be a powerful tool in your weight loss journey. What we can now use our phones for is nothing short of amazing. Sure, you can use it to troll Facebook countless times per day. You can also use it to keep you on track and make sure your environment is setting you up for success. We like to incorporate the thing that is on our clients all the time (the phone) to help them be successful. It can remind you to take your vitamins, track your calories, record your steps, and let you know to get up and move around. For now, let's take a look at three ways you can use it to lose weight.
Track Your Habits
Habits are what shape our lives. We are defined by our habits. These things we do everyday without thinking can largely determine what our life is like. If you master good habits that are conducive to positive change, then you'll be well on your way toward success. On the other hand, negative habits that pull you away from your goals are going to have the opposite effect.
We talk about habits all the time with our clients because they're that important. Our nutritional coaching clients are given new habits when they've mastered other ones to keep them on the right track. Your phone can also keep you on track by reminding you to complete habits like drinking water, exercising in the morning, or eating breakfast.
We like the applications Habit List, Coach.me, and Momentum. These applications allow you to enter whatever habits you would like to begin implementing or even habits you would like to stop doing. Sometimes, removing a destructive habit is the best course of action.
They'll remind you to complete a habit and keep track of how many times you were successful in doing it. The little reports that you can see are a great way to determine if perhaps a habit that you chose was too difficult, and choosing something else may work better.
One key tip in implementing habits is to only go after one at a time. Any more than that and you decrease your chance of success. Start with one, do it consistently for about two weeks, and only then should you add another one.
Improve Your Sleep
We have talked about it a bit before, but sleep is absolutely crucial to your health and wellbeing long-term. This includes weight loss. It's very challenging to drop weight when your hormone levels are off and you're exhausted all the time. It makes having the willpower to eat healthy and exercise that much more challenging. Lack of sleep can lead to sugar cravings too. Not a good thing.
So, one of the tools we recommend to improve our clients sleep is the Bedtime feature within the Apple iOS Clock application. It's very easy to use. Just set your bed time, your wake time, and which days of the week you'd like it to remind you to go to sleep. The other great part of this app is that the sounds it wakes you up with are not only much more pleasant than a regular alarm clock, it gradually gets louder. You won't be startled as with many other alarm clocks.
Log Your Food
While we consider food logging a higher level activity, in very small doses, it can be beneficial for almost anyone. At any given point, you may wonder why you're still not losing weight even though you've changed your diet for the better. You can recall eating all the good stuff like lean chicken breasts, salads, raw nuts, and fruit, but the scale doesn't reflect this.
Typically, when a client says something like the above statement, one of the things we usually ask is "show me." Now, it's not that we don't trust people. It's that recalling food from memory, especially if you're really focusing on eating well, will typically result in you remembering all of the good food you ate that was consistent with our advice without the other food that wasn't. That's great to hear that you were really focused on eating well, and it shows you've been working hard. What's challenging is figuring out why you may not have lost weight. When we can take a look at your food, or when you can see it laid out, it's much easier to pinpoint the weak spots. On the other hand, when you're very successful, it helps to review those times to see what you did right.
Enter the food log. Often, just using it for one week can make a large enough difference to kickstart your weight loss. We have found that most of our clients find the task of recording their food either on paper or with apps like My Fitness Pal to be tedious. In order to make the process easier, we like photo food journals. They tend to have the highest adherence and the lowest barriers to entry. We like MealLogger the most, which you can get HERE.
As smart phones continue to get better and better, there will be many more opportunities to use it to your advantage in your health and fitness journey. Everything you can do to hold yourself more accountable or keep you on track will increase your odds of success. It's about making things easier, and your phone is just another tool to help you along.