Every year, thousands of people decide to lose weight, but only a few succeed. Although there are many reasons, the real reason is that losing weight is “painful.” Because conserving the energy was the survival necessity back in our caveman ancestor days, our body hates to use any more extra energy than it needs to. Consequently, our brain sends out a “pain” signal every time you start working out.
The same is true for eating in an opposite way. Getting more energy was good for survival. Every time amounts of food consumed are restricted, the brain sends out the “pain” signal.
Because of this, many people underestimate their daily calorie intake and overestimate their energy expenditure from physical activities. Accordingly, they don’t see any weight reduction, get frustrated, and quite the weight loss program they started.
If you really want to lose weight, you need to make them enjoyable, or at least, less painful. The workout could be pleasurable…
You know that many runners get a “runner’s high,, right? This is another caveman’s legacy. When you got chased by a pack of wolves, you needed to keep running for a long time. If it was too painful, you would stop soon and get eaten. So the brain gives you another signal saying that the running is fun!
Unfortunately, for most weight loss program starters, this won’t happen at the beginning, and they need an extra push from outside. That is where a weight loss coach/trainer comes in.
You can hire a real person who can really be with you, watch your diet and workout level, keep motivating you, and even make your workout fun. However, hiring a weight loss coach is rather expensive (note that, in a long run, it saves your medical expenses and even enhances your earning capacity — overweight women makes less money than fit women–, so it is very cost effective).
Thanks to the modern technology, we can have a weight loss coach in our pocket. According to the study done at Northwestern University, a simple weight loss management app on your smartphone helps people to lose weight.
Of course, you need more than the app. You need to make yourself accountable to someone; any or all of your friends can be that “someone.” You can use Facebook to announce your intention and progress. If you think that Facebook is too open to the public, you can use Google+ and create a circle of close friends who will help you to keep going towards your progress.
By the way, it is still wise to meet an expert (a real human being) face to face. It is your doctor. Make sure that you meet your doctor and check out your physical condition before starting any weight loss programs. You can ask her to enroll you into the weight loss program at the clinic or hospital. There are quite a few free or very low cost weight loss programs you may find though them.
Here are some popular weight loss apps:
This is one of the most popular diet apps on iPhone and free! It creates a daily calorie budget for you and tells you how much you need to spend to lose weight.
This one costs and is not comprehensive as Lose It!, but have a bar code scanner and it can read in the calories from food packages. You need to sign up DailyBurn.com (free) to access more extensive database.
This is a simple pedometer. It is great, though you need to keep iPhone on your body all day and it may use up battery bit quicker than without. Still, if you are a person listening music on iPhone all day long, this is a great app to have with you.
One of the best weight loss app on Android and free. It has huge food database and lists many workout routines. You can work with your friend via this app. An iPhone version is also available.
My Diet Coach:
This one focuses solely on women and also offers more motivational stimulations. The database is not good as My Diet Coach, but it is a good one to have. Get the free version.
Restaurant Weight Loss Diet:
This one costs, but if you travel a lot and need to eat out, this may help you to count how much calories you are eating at a restaurant, though most of the restaurant listed are fast food chains.
This app is the top of the workout video app. There are 1,000s of workout routines posted and you can follow them quite easily.
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Ventral Tegmental Area Cannabinoid Type-1 Receptors Control Voluntary Exercise Performance. Biological Psychiatry, 2012
4 Top Reasons Why Dieters Do Not Lose Weight. Loyola University Health System January 2013
Integrating Technology Into Standard Weight Loss Treatment A Randomized Controlled Trial. Archives of Internal Medicine, 2012