Consumer Watch: Apps that help you lose weight


by Andy Treinen

Posted on October 1, 2012 at 4:29 PM

Updated Monday, Oct 1 at 4:29 PM

(WHAS11) -- Did you know that your phone can help you lose weight? Weight loss apps can help you shed pounds simply by counting calories.  

Smartphone apps like fitness pal allow you to plug in a target weight and it tells you how many calories you can eat to meet that goal. If you want to eat or drink more, you have to earn it through exercise.
Abe Mohammadione used to weight 260 pounds. But when he turned 30, it hit him that all this weight could shorten his life.  

"I didn't know how long i was going to be around,” said Mohammadione.  So he reached for his phone for help. He uses a weight loss app for smart phones called "lose it," it's one of many apps available that keeps track of the number of calories in the food you eat. 
Mohammadione said getting started was the hardest part.

“The initial shock was finding out actually how many calories or how much fat or how much sodium was in a lot of the stuff that i was eating on a regular basis,” said Mohammadione.
It's basically a high tech food journal. He scans bar codes on grocery store items which automatically tallies the calories. Research shows that keeping track of what you eat and drink, “makes you more mindful of it and therefore you're more able to lose weight,” said registered dietitian Ann Dunaway.
Mohammadione still eats fast food from time to time, much of which is listed in the program. He also looks up specific items, like this serving of tuna salad for lunch.  At the end of one year, he had dropped 75 pounds using just the app and no exercise.
He now uses his app to maintain his weight. “I feel like I've gained a couple of years. A new lease on life to a certain extent for sure,” said Mohammadione.

And now, to add more life to his years, he has taken up running. The apps log every minute of exercise and tell you how many calories you are burning. That comes in handy if you want to indulge over the weekend. You just have to earn that chocolate cake and  red wine.