Fitness 2.0: Lose weight healthily with fitness trackers and apps

Fitness 2.0: Lose weight healthily with fitness trackers and apps

For my part, all these merchandise occur to be simply particular person items of the puzzle that type a bigger image. And on this article, we try at serving to you clear up this puzzle as we check out how all of the completely different segments interlock and how one can enhance your health with the assistance of apps and devices.

2020 was a yr that turned our life-style the other way up fully. For many people, that features our health regime.

Earlier than you already know it, there it’s; a small fold of fats right here, a tightening of your garments. Then there may be the lethargy. My motivation to run, for instance, has diminished over the previous yr, after which sooner or later in time, my food regimen crumbled, too.

As an alternative of suiting up in my train gear regularly, I realized learn how to make actually good pizza at dwelling (thanks for the kilos, Vito Iacopelli). Within the absence of going out choices, three pizza evenings per week are likely to pile on the kilos rapidly!

The large eats: In 2020, I cooked/baked/grilled greater than I did sport. That ought to change in 2021 / © NextPit

As vital nearly as good meals is for the soul: For 2021, I’ve determined to whip my physique again into higher form. You possibly can learn extra about my private challenge on the finish of the article. Within the following segments, I want to undergo crucial health facets first.

There are many books that might shed extra detailed details about every sub-section, so the restricted quantity of house right here can be rigorously used to stipulate the entire related facets.

Hello Evolution: How can I lose weight (quickly)?

  1. The calorie balance: calorie intake and calorie consumption
    1. Calorie counting is important: How it works
    2. Estimated calories burned: Fitness tracker & others
  2. Sporting activities as the main calorie burner
  3. Sports for better health
  4. NextFit: Come along for the journey!

1. Quick weight reduction? Maintain on, buddy, evolution is a ache

Evolution is guilty for the truth that we won’t simply oxidize our extra fats whereas reclining on a settee and shovelling quick meals down our throats all day lengthy. It is because our physique is a machine that has been perfected by way of evolution. Survival is our secondary purpose that’s solely outweighed by profitable copy, and till the age of the grocery store, meals shortages have been the best menace to humanity for 1000’s of years.

Due to this fact, any extra vitality is meticulously saved as fats for occasions of disaster. Attributable to their genetic heritage, every individual has completely different tendencies as to the place and, above all, how a lot fats is saved within the physique. Your ancestors needed to combat onerous to outlive? Too dangerous for you, as a result of your physique will most likely be more practical at hoarding fats. 

Aerial view of Nauru
Not-so-fun-fact: Centuries of meals scarcity met with the sudden wealth from hen droppings resulted in Nauru having the world’s highest diabetes price / © Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program

Along with genetic predisposition, your metabolic coaching additionally performs an vital position. For instance, those that purposely starve themselves in crash diets prepare their metabolism to hoard much more energy within the type of fats. You possibly can learn what this has to do with the yo-yo impact under.

Your physique weight: Consumption and consumption

No matter your genetic make-up, the essential concept for weight reduction and achieve is definitely quite simple: in the event you eat greater than you burn, you’ll achieve weight – and it additionally works the opposite approach spherical the place logically, you’ll shed extra pounds. Sure, there are tons of tendencies like “run out of carbs after 6pm”, intermittent fasting, low-carb, high-fat diets, or some insane Gwyneth Paltrow fad. A few of these are ineffective at finest, whereas different measures really push your metabolism in a special course in the long run or may provide help to develop typically more healthy consuming habits that may subsequently provide help to shed extra pounds.

From my expertise, nevertheless, the leverage is way better in case your physique regards itself as a closed bodily system, and the input-output precept applies right here. The very first step is to get to know your calorie consumption (enter) and your consumption (output).

Enter: Counting energy is admittedly annoying

Sure, holding a report of all of your meals and drinks is as attention-grabbing as watching paint dry. Nonetheless, doing so regularly would give you a particularly useful place to start with. There are additionally quite a few apps that simplify this endeavor by a mile. As an alternative of typing within the calorie content material, fats, and different particulars out of your sandwich, you’ll be able to, for instance, merely use Fatsecret to scan the barcode on the packaging and have your lunch famous. What’s higher is that this: in the event you sustain with the vitamin monitoring for a couple of weeks, you’ll rapidly develop an excellent feeling about your personal food regimen – and to be taught to hearken to your physique on the identical time.

apple scan fatsecret
Fatsecret can be used to take images of meals to find out the calorie content material. / © NextPit

Along with noting down the pure vitality provide consumed in kilocalories, most apps additionally report the macronutrients that make up the quantity of vitality provided. The macronutrients comprise fats, protein, and carbohydrates which are typically generally known as “carbs”. That is dangerous information for many who love their drinks and take a nightcap each single day: alcohol can also be one of many macronutrients that include lots of energy. Two shot glasses of absinthe are roughly equal to a single shot glass of olive oil. Scrumptious.

Macronutrients compared

Protein Fats Alcohol
four kcal/g four kcal/g 9 kcal/g 7 kcal/g

Whether or not you’re of the low-carb or high-carb persuasion: There are innumerable philosophies on the market as to how the provided vitality ought to be ideally constructed up from macronutrients. Though the composition has no affect in any respect, or a secondary affect at finest, on weight achieve or loss, relying on the supply of knowledge, it nonetheless performs a task for the physique. For instance, I really feel drained on a regular basis with low-carb diets as a result of my physique lacks the available supply of vitality within the type of carbohydrates. Having the mistaken meals on the mistaken time can also be disastrous as one would enhance the probability of overeating. 

I at all times lived by the code of a macronutrient ratio between 60:20:20 and 80:10:10, primarily based on carbohydrates to proteins to fat as a proportion of vitality sources. For those who monitor your food regimen for some time, you’ll be able to see the distribution of macronutrients within the app and be taught what works finest for you. 

For my part, the very best app for counting energy is Cronometer. With this app, other than the macronutrients talked about above, it’s also possible to monitor micronutrients, i.e. nutritional vitamins and others. Within the following article you’ll learn a extra detailed comparability between well-liked calorie counter apps:

Our favorite calorie counting apps

App Transient description Hyperlink
Cronometer Cronometer not solely tracks macronutrients however micronutrients as properly. Even when the database didn’t acknowledge Nutella in our evaluate, it nonetheless has the overwhelming majority of meals saved in its database. What additionally works nice: Cronometer additionally comes with a browser model to be able to conveniently examine in your food regimen historical past on the massive show. The professional features comparable to meal images and detailed analyzes value a superb €30 yearly.



FDDB Extender The Meals Database is a big among the many databases for meals, vitamin, and others, and with the FDDB Extender it comes within the type of an app in your smartphone. The vary of features is similar to that of Cronometer. A couple of extra features comparable to targets for macronutrients will set you again by €1.67 every month. The app can be linked to Google Match, Samsung Well being, Fitbit, or Garmin Join.



Because of the lack of house on this article, here’s a facet word: other than macronutrients, there are nonetheless lots of issues to think about by way of vitamin. “Quick carbohydrates” are (principally) worse than “sluggish carbs” (key phrase: glycemic index), there are good and dangerous fat (key phrase: saturated/unsaturated), and there are additionally huge variations in protein (key phrase: worth). For instance, oatmeal (sluggish carbs) is filling for much longer than white toast (quick carbs), which makes it simpler to devour a lesser quantity. There’s a particularly great amount of literature on this, and I’m positive you’ll rapidly discover what you’re in search of at a trusted bookstore or in related boards. 

Output: That is the way you estimate calorie consumption

After you will have decided the enter, it’s time to take a look at the output. That is made up of two elements: the so-called basal metabolic price and the efficiency metabolic price. The basal metabolic price quantifies how a lot vitality you utilize in on a regular basis actions to oxidize – with out sports activities or the vacation excursions which were cancelled as a result of coronavirus. There are easy guidelines of thumb and calculators for the basal metabolic price, the place lots of these are from health consultants. 

Lastly, the vitality turnover quantifies all the vary of calorie use from kneading pizza dough endlessly to HIIT sports activities. Health trackers are of nice assist in figuring out efficiency expenditure. They report your every day actions and coronary heart price and might thus estimate your energetic calorie consumption fairly properly. You possibly can learn extra about calorie consumption right here:

Health tracker: A few examples

System Transient Description Worth/Hyperlink

Honor Band 5 (Overview)

The Honor Band collection is extraordinarily inexpensive. For simply €35 euros, this collection of health trackers that see an up to date launch annually will report your sleep sample, coronary heart price, and even oxygen saturation within the blood. The battery life is great, lasting for round per week per full cost. Utilized in tandem with Huawei Well being (a smartphone app), there are detailed studies to consult with and a bunch of coaching plans that can assist you get began. Approx. €35
Garmin Venu (Overview) A big shade show, built-in GPS, and the flexibility to hyperlink cadence sensors for the bike, coronary heart price belts for the chest and plenty of different units to the watch make the Garmin Venu (and many of the present Garmin watches) actually appropriate for formidable athletes. The app is properly executed with a beneficiant vary of coaching plans to select from. Approx. €330

Yow will discover out extra concerning the numerous health trackers and smartwatches obtainable for monitoring your calorie consumption within the linked articles under. For those who do not wish to purchase any extra {hardware}, step counter apps may assist – permitting you to make use of them to estimate your vitality consumption with the assistance of your smartphone. Nonetheless, as a result of lack of pulse measurement, sporting actions can’t be exactly recorded.

Sporting actions as the primary calorie burner

For those who now know your calorie enter and consumption, then it shouldn’t be too troublesome to determine whether or not the result’s weight achieve or loss. In follow, that is sadly not that straightforward, because the physique is a particularly complicated system and the values ​​for calorie consumption are solely estimates at finest. Nonetheless, you’ll be able to enhance the accuracy price: report your weight for a couple of weeks; both with analogue scales and a pen or take the extra handy route with sensible scales that features a smartphone app. If there are inconsistencies, you’ll have to alter your basal metabolic price, which was decided utilizing a rule of thumb.

Or you’ll be able to lastly cease smuggling all these chocolate bars previous the calorie counter. 

If you achieve or shed extra pounds, there may be additionally one other variable: How a lot sporting actions do you do – and the way harassed is your physique? That is the place the aforementioned evolution comes into play once more. In evolutionary phrases, muscle tissues are a luxurious in your physique. When at relaxation, they devour lots of helpful vitality and are due to this fact damaged down when they don’t seem to be completely essential for survival, i.e. are continuously in use.

This is applicable specifically to calorie deficit: If you don’t do contain your self actively in any sports activities with a unfavourable calorie stability, your physique panics and makes use of not solely the fats reserves but additionally your muscle tissues as a supply of vitality for its vitality reserves. As a result of muscle tissues themselves additionally want vitality and having them make survival much more troublesome throughout an extended famine. From an evolutionary standpoint, it’s higher in your physique to carry on to fats.

google fit
With the Match app, Google tries to mix information from completely different sources. Sadly, as a consequence of a scarcity of help from all suppliers, this doesn’t at all times work so properly. / © NextPit

For those who comply with your consuming sample that’s much like the one earlier than you launched into a non-sporting crash food regimen, the physique, which has been relieved of many muscle tissues, may have a decrease basal metabolic price than earlier than. With the standard vitality provide being consumed and nonetheless with none extra train, you’ll achieve weight once more by leaps and bounds – and this time it will be primarily fats. In spite of everything, the subsequent famine could be simply across the nook. This dangerous swaying of weight is named the yo-yo impact.

If, however, you train vigorously whereas on a calorie deficit, your physique considers the muscle tissues to be vital for survival – and tends to entry your fats reserves extra continuously for its vitality provide. Likewise, with extra energy plus train, you’ll construct extra muscle than fats. In conventional bodybuilding, for instance, many athletes alternate so-called “bulk” and “lower phases”, during which muscle tissues are first constructed up in extra, after which the calorie deficit that has been added in the midst of that is skilled off once more. 

Physique fats scales: Two examples

System Transient Description Worth/Hyperlink
Withings Physique+ The Withings Physique+ connects to your property Wi-Fi community. As a way to report your values ​​for physique fats, muscle mass, bone masks, water share, and many others., all it’s important to do is to face on the scales – the remaining can be executed mechanically. You’ll then discover the information processed and displayed within the app. Most physique fats scales supply an identical vary of features. Approx. €100

Tanita BC-545N

Extra complicated physique fats scales just like the Tanita BC-545N additionally supply the potential for measuring the tissue composition of the higher physique because of a detachable handpiece – so extra exact statements concerning the precise physique fats share, muscle mass, and many others. are attainable. Approx. €200

The correct sport is greater than only a calorie burner!

After all, it’s nice to make use of train to extend calorie consumption, construct muscle, and let your physique fats reserves dwindle. In spite of everything, it contributes enormously to the quantity of common satisfaction whenever you really feel comfy along with your look. Nonetheless, train has many extra facets to it than only a decrease physique fats share.

All types of endurance sports activities, for instance, not solely enhance calorie consumption, but additionally strengthens the cardiovascular system, decrease your resting coronary heart price, and have a constructive impact in your blood stress. As well as, endurance sports activities normally pressure you to place your smartphone down and actually preserve your thoughts free from aggravating alerts and incoming messages.

Nonetheless, most endurance sports activities solely contain the decrease half of the physique. This can be very vital for many who sit in entrance of their screens all day lengthy, to coach their shoulders and again muscle tissues. It does not matter whether or not you are feeling extra comfy on the yoga mat or with full-body HIIT exercises, however holistic train, together with correct stretching, is vital. After a shoulder operation and a slipped disc, I can inform you a factor or two about it.

puma fitness app
Health apps like this one from Puma present the workout routines with well-produced movies / © NextPit

Now, this is essential: For those who begin exercising after an extended interval of dwelling a sedentary life-style, observe your self intently a couple of occasions to make sure that the workout routines are carried out accurately. For instance, getting buddies who’re captivated with sports activities or a private coach (they’re additionally obtainable by way of video name). When you’ve got any accidents or sicknesses, it’s higher to speak to your physician upfront. It is because exercising wrongly may end up in critical, long-term harm which defeats the entire goal of figuring out within the first place.

Coaching apps: Two examples

App Transient Description Hyperlink
Freeletics Freeletics might be THE app relating to unbiased health coaching. Right here, you’ll be able to uncover numerous coaching plans and exercises that designate each train with nice movies which are straightforward to comply with. However the very best factor about Freeletics is the neighborhood that meets in lots of locations worldwide to coach collectively. Anybody who pays (from approx. €12 month-to-month) has entry to the complete coaching program – and a web based coach at their facet.



Body weight Health Body weight Health doesn’t look as polished as Freeletics, Pumatrac and different comparable apps, however this Android app is totally free whereas the iOS model doesn’t comply with the subscription mannequin that’s generally imposed right this moment. There are detailed coaching plans and explanatory movies, however the dietary facet is not noted and the interface does take some getting used to.



No matter you do, crucial facet of sports activities stays: Discover one thing that additionally, you will get pleasure from, one thing you wish to do usually. It normally takes a month or two to internalize a brand new train routine. You’ll have to maintain out for that lengthy, after which it nearly works out by itself like magic.

Now it’s our flip!

One factor may be very clear: health shouldn’t be a closing purpose, however a lifelong journey with many stations alongside the best way. As an example, I used to be at all times too heavy till round 2012. My most weight at the moment was round 95 kilograms at a top of 184 cm – and no, it might be a good distance from morbid weight problems, however I most likely did not really feel it. Not within the swimming pool, and never even when strolling up a couple of flooring stuffed my lungs with what felt like two kilos of tacks. 

It is now 2021 and I am so much lighter at round 80 kilograms, and above all: I really feel match. In 2019, I ran the Berlin half-marathon with none noteworthy further coaching and the day after a twelve-hour flight, I can do a dozen pull-ups relying on my coaching stage, and far more importantly,  my physique usually appears like it’s in actually fine condition. When the diploma of satisfaction decreases, I really discover it. “Ciao pizza, hiya sports activities. It is time to tweak the stability once more.”

Berlin Half-Marathon in 2019 – an image of me from one other period / © NextPit

And you’ll really feel the identical approach, too! Health is a lifelong journey of trial and error. I’ve tried lots of other ways when it got here to vitamin and train; from vegan to high-protein, from yoga to plyo and pumps. I skilled three extreme accidents together with two operations. Maybe this text can shorten a couple of trials and tribulations and provide help to to easily really feel good with a match physique. 

For those who’ve fought your approach by way of to the top of the article, then one factor ought to be clear: you do not want apps or devices to shed extra pounds. However these helpers generally is a enormous motivator. Personally, with the ability to comply with my growth over the course of months or years was the important thing to my success. And even when analogue coaching plans with years of coaching are stacked up in my basement: It is simpler and clearer by merely utilizing an app.

For 2021, I’ve determined to get myself in actually fine condition once more, to check out numerous devices and apps and to doc the progress on NextPit. You’ll learn extra about this with us within the coming days. Keep tuned and have a terrific begin to the brand new yr!


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