Anytime you plan on making a significant lifestyle change, it helps if you have a social support structure around you to help you make that change. It’s very difficult to quit smoking when everyone in your house smokes. You can’t lose weight if the rest of your family keeps eating unhealthy food. One way to incorprate weightloss and a social support structure is through social applications. Smartphones are great becasue they have great apps! And some of them can help you lose weight.
One of the best apps for this is Calorie Conter by MyFitnessPal.com. You can search for it on your phone and download it. It is completely free.
You enter your sex, age, height, and weight, Then you give it a goal weight. It calculates your daily caloric intake allowance. For example, it may say, you may eat 1500 calories per day, and in 5 weeks, you will weigh 160 (assuming that’s your goal).
Then you can log your food. Add corn flakes and cereal in the morning, you have 1200 calories to go. A cheese stick? 1120 calories to go. It makes you very conscious of what you are eating.
You can also scan the barcode of food items to enter them. Very easy with the smartphone’s camera. You can also do a search of it’s extensive database for more items to add. You can even create your own food items. You can add Hommus and Stuffed Grape Leaves.
You can also enter physical activities that you perform, and it adds to your caloric allowance. Bench press, jogging, swimming, and many other options all increase your left over calories for the day. Very handy app!
So how does it socialize?
You can add your friends through the app and it has a news feed that updates your progress automatically. And you can add to the newsfeed at anytime. I can post “I only ate 400 calories today. Beat that!” and your friends will see it.
You friends can not see the actual items you eat, but they see a more general automatic update like “Mohammed completed his daily log and was under his caloric intake for today.” People can comment and like your updates and news feed.
This adds social support network to your weight loss efforts and encourages people to do better and work together. It’s much easier to lose weight if all of your friends are trying to do it, and you are accountable to one another. It can also be very fun and or embarassing.
If you want to socialize even more, you can use another app called GroupMe, which allows instant group text messaging between a circle of friends. You send a text to one number, and it sends it out to everyone in that group. It’s group SMS. Or you can use it through the app, if you don’t want the constant text messages.
The idea is to get a bunch of friends together and commit to doing this. Maybe even throw in a cash prize. Everyone can contribute $25 dollars, and if you have 10 people, that’s $250 dollars for the person who loses the most percentage of weight. It can be a lot of fun!
Add me as a friend on myfitnesspal Calorie Counter (mohammedalo) and I can be a part of your support group!
To get the Calorie Counter by MyFitnessPal
to get the GroupMe app!