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Favorite wellness-related apps for iPhone and iPod Touch

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Back in April I wrote a blog post listing my favorite apps.

It seems like it might be time to update the list, since there are a few new ones. Most of them are free or really cheap, with the exception of LeanMePro.

You may wonder why neither the Spark People mobile site nor the Spark People app is on this list. I need to be able to do my tracking while offline, since I have an iPod Touch and there frequently isn't wireless where I am eating. Both of those tools require a connection to the internet.


Food Tracking
LoseIt! www.loseit.com
Free. Also works offline, syncs to multiple devices, and has an online web-based interface. This is my primary nutrition tracker at the moment.


Free. Amusing free app that tracks your 8 glasses of water per

Food Information
Fooducate www.fooducate.com
Free. Uses barcode scanning function of camera on iThing, or you can type in the barcode number. Requires a network connection. Provides nutrition information, suggests
healthier alternatives, etc.

$0.99 Sleep Cycle mdlabs.se/sleepcycle
Uses the motion sensor to track your sleep, wakes you up at the
optimal time in your REM cycle. Also provides a cute little graph
showing your sleep pattern throughout the night.

Weight & Body Fat Tracking

FatWatch www.fatwatchapp.com
$4.99 Based on the weighted moving average popularized by The
Hacker's Diet; tracks both weight and % body fat with a smoothing
algorithm that helps you mentally through plateaus and temporary water
gains. As long as your weight is below the trend line, it's going down,
no matter what the fluctuations are.

True Weight www.madeupsoftware.com/trueweight
Like FatWatch but does not include % body fat. There is a
"lite" free version.

Menstrual Cycles
P Tracker

Free for "lite" version, tracks your cycle and predicts when it
will start again. Graphs are given and the ability to track symptoms.
(Sorry, had to include it, BREWMASTERBILL, LOL)

Instant Heart Rate www.instantheartrate.com
Free. Uses the camera to estimate your heart rate from your
finger. Seems pretty accurate.

iFitness medicalprod.com/ifitness.html
$1.99 Tracks strength training workouts very nicely. I love
bringing it to the gym and ticking off the routines, etc. Provides
graphs showing improvement in reps and weight.

Unfortunately it appears that iFitness is not currently in the iTunes app
store. Here is what looks like a viable alternative, and includes a pedometer based on the motion sensor:

All-in fitness mobile.viaden.com/iphone-sports-fitn


I currently use GymGoal, which is free and has a convenient back up and restore feature.

It looks like this one might include some kind of nutrition tracking too; I'm pretty happy with LoseIt, so I'm sticking with that.

Gym Finder itunes.apple.com/us/app/gym-finder/i

Free. Can be useful while traveling. I tend to sign up for
7-day free trial passes when I travel so I can work out at the local
Bally's or 24 Hour Fitness. This last trip to San Diego meant staying
at a hotel where they *charged* to use their awful little "fitness" part
of their "spa." So I ran away to 24 Hour and Gold's instead. For free.


Free. Uses the motion sensor to aid in deep breathing. Very
relaxing. Nice choice of music that rewards you for consistent, slow
breathing. Provides a graph estimating your level of calmness. The
activity seems to induce a mild euphoria for me. I don't know if that
is common.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOUIS_D 7/19/2011 5:22PM

  thanks, some cool stuff out there (few i didnt know of). For a free one i use Fleetly to generate workouts. the community helps keep you motivated by commenting on your challenges which is cool too.

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OUTDOORSDC 2/26/2011 7:07AM

    Thanks. This is some good stuff.

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MYOWNHERO 2/25/2011 2:38PM

    I like the Nike Personal Trainer app for iPad. It's free!

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ALYFITN 2/23/2011 8:55AM

    I'm into apps too. I have not tried some of these--thanks so much for posting!

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MRLEEP23 2/23/2011 8:26AM

    Thanks much for sharing!!

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WILDVIOLETS 2/16/2011 11:10PM

    Instant heart rate now costs a dollar. (just letting you know.) Thank you for sharing :)

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KAKIPOPUP 1/26/2011 5:18AM

    Thank you for the information - emoticon

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More XC skiing

Monday, January 24, 2011

Went on both Saturday and Sunday. Burned about 850 calories each day.

Here I am, after an unfortunate faceplant into deep powder, LOL

Tried TaeKardio today at lunch. Will do Body Pump tonight. Trying to keep moving to help distract myself from wanting to eat...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JESPAH 1/27/2011 6:38AM

    You just have powdered sugar on ya. :)

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NDORRIS 1/25/2011 1:12PM

    Would your body need some extra calories after those sorts of work outs? Seems strange you would be hungry unless you are under some emotional stress. Are you eating within 30 min to an hour after a work out? Hope I'm not being too nosy. Just felt concerned. You look happy (or is that an 'I'm giving you the brave smile' smile--hehe.)


Congratulations on trying new things.


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CARRIE1948 1/25/2011 10:24AM

    Good for you. You need to find the time to stop by and see my new gym.

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 1/24/2011 9:08PM

    It was like squeaky, slippery cornstarch. Going up the hills was a real upper body workout! LOL

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KAYOTIC 1/24/2011 8:56PM

    Love to ski! Looks like it was a bit on the soft side, that's what we have too, after weeks of little to no snow....fingers crossed for more white stuff soon!

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Let's add snowboarding to the list, shall we?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Um, yeah. I tried snowboarding this weekend. Saturday we had about 10 inches of fresh powder to fall on. When I went down it went "poof!" Which didn't hurt at all. We also had to barely lean in order to get the edges to bite into the snow.

Sunday the powder was all groomed and packed. A lot more work. And way harder to fall on. I'm going to have some interesting bruises on my backside.

But after two days I can say that yes, I can link my turns and mostly get down a short green run without falling - too much. LOL

My toe turns are definitely not as sharp and confident as my heel turns. And I found out why it is bad to let the downhill edge catch. LOL (ouch!)

But I liked it. It was a lot more intuitive than I expected. It did not weird me out to have both feet strapped in - in fact it felt kind of secure and nice. The worst part was hobbling around using my bad leg to propel me on the flats. And just walking around. I limped all over on the flats. But was fine as soon as I got to the top and could ride the board down.

So maybe this will be OK for my arthritic knee, after all...

I'll do it again. It was fun.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

S318830 2/18/2011 1:44AM

    Ah ha! I had wondered how I saw a skiing and snowboarding group on your page when I thought your knees couldn't handle it. I hadn't realized the snowboarding was a new thing. Very cool! Congrats, and I hope your knees are able to hang in there and let you add this to your sporting repertoire.

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TWOSTICKS 1/14/2011 2:47PM

    Way to go! Sounds like you had a blast!

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ALYFITN 1/11/2011 1:51PM

    I'm so jealous!!! I tried and tried but could never get the hang of it. I'm sticking to skis.

May you enjoy all the BEAUTIFUL snow I'm sending your way from across Ohio.--Aly

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SEESTARS 1/11/2011 11:30AM

    I also have bad knees and find snowboarding does not bother them. Sounds like you did great your first two days. When I taught lessons I found that the girls always had an easier time on the heelside (and boys usually did better toeside at the start). I think it is a center of mass thing. Try focusing on pushing your hips forward next time you go boarding.

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ANNE7X7 1/11/2011 10:34AM

    I LOVE snowboarding! It's amazing on powder!!! I miss doing it so much, and like you said, it's very intuitive! The first couple of times are the hardest, and the learning curve is HUGE! Before you know it, you'll be zooming down those black diamond hills!

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GRACEFULIFE 1/10/2011 10:07PM

    I've never gone snowboard. But then I've vowed never to do alpine sliding sports in my state again. BORING.

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    So jealous!! You guys in New York got a great base for it! haha I realized that the more I try to control my board the more I feel out of control. If I just let the board take it's own way its easier. I can lean and guide, but it's like... jsut let it ride man. Ha! Im glad you had fun!!

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CO_VANESSA 1/10/2011 1:59PM

    Looks like a ton of fun! And kuddos to you for trying out something different.

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CARRIE1948 1/10/2011 10:28AM

    You're leaving me in the dust. As you do more outside, I'm sorting out how to do everything without leaving home

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DDOORN 1/10/2011 9:49AM

    Remembering how limber you were on cross country skis...no surprise that you should take so well to snowboarding!

Kudos to finding another exciting outdoor celebration of the "new you!" :-)


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DIAMONDFOOLER 1/10/2011 9:28AM

    OUCH! emoticon I can't even imagine. But I am so glad you are having fun!!

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JILLWILSON2102 1/10/2011 7:52AM

    So you've turned to the dark side! emoticon Honestly you do make it sound like fun - I hope you have a blast!!

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JESPAH 1/10/2011 7:28AM

    Ooohhhh that looks like a blast.

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Report on day 4 of 4

Thursday, January 06, 2011

1o82 calories
45% carbs
49% protein (142g)
6% fat

As you can see I've paid a lot more attention to getting the protein I want.

I am feeling too sated to eat my usual midafternoon shake. What a difference, huh? I KNEW from my experience last year that carbs increase my cravings and make me feel hungry. And that protein does the opposite.

And as a result I'm set to go to spinning with two whey shakes to eat later. One I'll have in the car on the way home and the other I'll have after I've showered and busy baking Hubbard squash at home. It should help deflect some of the temptation to snack on the squash. (I dunno about you, but I LOVE me some baked winter squash. Especially a sweet variety like Hubbard, all brown and carmelized... LOL)

So why didn't I focus on protein back on Monday? I have no idea. Probably because it took me these four days just to get into a zone where I cared. Maybe I was flying so high on carbs that I wasn't thinking straight.

I'll tellya what. This whole "start with tiny achievable goals" thing definitely works. I'm much more mentally prepared for the weekend and my winter off-season training now than I was four days ago.

I've also lost some weight already. I'll post the final tally tomorrow morning when I weigh myself.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANNE7X7 1/8/2011 12:38AM

    Awesome! Way to finish off your 4 day challenge on the right foot!!! I love that it helped you figure out where you were going wrong and how you can fix it!!

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CARRIE1948 1/7/2011 10:23AM

    Good job! You might consider adding just a tad more fat.

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JESPAH 1/7/2011 6:54AM

    Tiny achievable goals. Good. :)

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GRACEFULIFE 1/6/2011 11:19PM

    That strikes me as a pretty low fat level.

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    rockin'. What a difference 4 little days makes. Speaking of high on carbs, I knew I had a problem with carbs when they found me in the corner shaking with crusts of crushed wheat bran caked around my nostrils.

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BUFFYW410 1/6/2011 5:30PM

    I love that you are exploring what works! Having the courage to be curious sounds empowering. I'm doing my best to figure me out too.

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Report on day 3 of 4

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

1289 calories
70% carbs
27% protein (93g)
3% fat

These ratios do not please me.* I function much better on lots of protein and I need to feed the muscle I'm trying to regain. Another problem with the beans besides the possible arthritis pain is that they come with a LOT of carbs. I knew that, but I guess I conveniently forgot, since I love carbs. LOL. Gonna cut down on the beans and go back to the 2-3 whey shakes daily plus high protein breakfast and lunch.

Went to the Y for a bodypump class tonight. (The trainer had a last minute appointment conflict so I'll just go next week and lift on my own in the meantime.)

52 minutes
236 calories
133 bpm max
102 bpm average

Had to put down even the 5-lb weights for some things - I must have wrenched my shoulders pretty badly last weekend kayaking. Next time I'll bring or use 2-lb ones to work the shoulders back up again.

Now I'm curling up with the cats to watch Biggest Loser on Hulu.

* These ratios apparently do not please my body, either. Not long after writing the above post, I had a hunger pang that wouldn't go away so I ate a Soy Rocks protein bar (11g protein). Then later I had another one that threatened to disturb my sleep so I had a protein shot (26g of protein). After that everything quieted down again.

Total protein intake for the day including the emergency rations at the end? 130g in 1480 calories.

Grams of protein I used to eat while successfully losing weight and dropping body fat last year? 120-140. So, guess what. My body is going to demand what it wants, and apparently it wants more protein. A year ago I suspected that it ran better on protein, and this seems to be confirmation of the fact. I am adjusting my foods for Thursday accordingly.

My favorite sources of lean protein are listed here:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARRIE1948 1/6/2011 1:03PM

    Protein really is the linchpin of the food pyramid

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ANNE7X7 1/6/2011 11:34AM

    Beans... YUMMO! I totally get the struggle. I love me some carbs too! At least you are seeing where you need improvement and can adjust accordingly! Good luck with day 4!!!

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JESPAH 1/6/2011 8:16AM

    W00p - is peanut butter good?

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    More PRO! :)

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