Growing up, I was always overweight and whilst the child me didn’t think much of it, I found myself having a deeper desire to lose more and more weight as I got older. Throughout the years, I went through multiple phases of intensive dieting and exercising which resulted in no changes at all. Since my last attempt at making a change for a better me, I lost over 17 kilograms over a span of about a year (some of which I gained back in muscle mass). So what exactly was it that helped me succeed the last time around? A change of priority and mindset.
It sounds cliche, but a focus purely on weight loss isn’t always the best approach - at least this was the case for me. I prioritized the shift in my mindset of making health and wellness a lifestyle, particularly with the help of just a couple of applications on my iPhone. Although it was a slower method to losing weight, the lifestyle change is one that allowed me to keep my drive and motivation for a fit and healthy lifestyle sustainable up until now, 4 years later. The journey towards this lifestyle isn’t always a walk in the park. Here are a few apps for you to download and try out to ease the process:
Ensuring that you’re on a good sleep cycle and getting a sufficient amount of rest is key to a fit and healthy body and mind. In fact, a study conducted by St-Onge and Shechter suggested that a lack of sleep can contribute to increased food intake and hence, weight gain.
I was someone who really struggled with going to sleep at any time before 2 to 3 in the morning. What assisted me in getting a good sleep cycle going indefinitely was getting into the habit of waking up early and keeping myself busy and active throughout the day in order to be able to fall asleep at night. The hardest part about this was waking up in the mornings. Sleep Cycle analyzes your sleep and wakes you up in the lightest sleep phase to make waking up as pleasant as it can possibly be!
As much as we hate to admit it sometimes, we all know that diet makes up a huge chunk of weight loss. MyFitnessPal helps to determine what your caloric and macronutrient intake should be to reach your fitness goals. It’s also an easy-to-use tracker with a database of foods and drinks where you can record and keep track of what you ingest on a day-to-day basis. It’s the perfect app to ensure that you are eating within your means for optimal results!
It’s also important to have a good understanding of what you’re putting into your body and this is what MyFitnessPal personally helped me with. I no longer track my eating anymore, however the short while I spent tracking helped me to be able to mentally gauge eating within my means, without having to whip out my phone to track anymore.
When you’re getting started in working out, figuring out what to do at the gym can be a daunting task. If you can afford it, I would suggest getting a personal trainer or even joining in on group classes to really maximize the rate at which you progress towards your goals; however, as not everyone may have the ability to do the above, apps such as JEFIT are your saving grace.
JEFIT is an exercise tracker to log and track your workouts and progress. Built into the app is also workout programs with detailed written and video instructions. With plans ranging from weight training programs to at-home programs, and even cardio and HIIT, this app opens doors to a very holistic approach to training!
HIIT (high intensity interval training) is great for many reasons. In just a short amount of time you can burn a lot of calories and it can be done practically anywhere! I used the HIIT timer app especially when I did circuit HIIT sessions in certain places that didn’t have interval timers, such as at the park or in my living room. Intervals allows you to set your working time, recovery time, number of interval sets, number of cycles and optional warm up and cool down timers.
One of the most rewarding parts about committing to a journey towards better health and fitness is seeing your hard work pay off through progression. Whilst I mentioned that weight loss shouldn’t be your predominant focus, it’s certainly empowering to be able to see your body physically transform as your lifestyle undergoes a change. Snapsie allows you to see your transformation by progressively taking perfectly aligned selfies and turning them into a video animation so you can visualize your weight loss progress.
You’ve probably heard that incorporating yoga into your lifestyle presents many benefits. A study done at the University Duisburg-Essen found that women who took part in 3 months of yoga-training demonstrated improved perceived stress, anxiety, well-being, fatigue and depression.
With Yoga Studio and its large variety of ready-made yoga and meditation classes, you can turn any room into a yoga studio. The app even has a library guide with over 280 yoga poses that you can use to customize the ready-made classes or even create your own!
Whether you’re schooling, working or even retired, you simply can’t avoid the daily stresses that come hand-in-hand with living. What you can do is learn how to manage yourself through the stress, and one of the ways that I did this (and still continue to do) is through meditation.
Headspace provides guided meditations to lead you towards health and happiness. With only a few minutes spent on this app everyday, it will train and equip you with the life-changing skills of relaxation, meditation and mindfulness.
It’s easy to forget the importance of taking a few moments everyday to be mindful of our own thoughts and feelings. To me, self-awareness is what propels me towards my goals because I can identify certain emotions and stressors that would hinder my growth if left unnoticed.
There are many ways to facilitate self-awareness, and journaling is one of them. The app, Stoic, is a platform for you to conveniently journal by answering inspiring prompts and questions. These reflective exercises steers you towards a more happy and healthy mind.
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Member of Core Collective Marketing Team