Let’s face it. We are attached to our smart phones. We feel it when we’ve left it behind…something is missing.
While this has it’s pros and cons, the availability of smart phone apps can be a huge pro for gastric sleeve and gastric bypass patients. Smart phone apps can help you track your food intake, your sleep schedule, your water intake, your vitamin intake and your exercise routines…just to name few. Some are free and even better ones cost a little. Depending on where you need the most focus and improvement, you might consider some of these phone apps to help you on your weight-loss journey!
While you may have heard of some of these more popular apps (MyFitnessPal) there may be a few you haven’t heard of. Check out the reviews for yourself and see what you think. The free ones are very low risk and can be deleted if it’s not the right fit for you! I’ve made this list based on FREE apps for iPhone and Android but must admit, I didn’t go looking specifically for Windows phones users. Let us know if you are a Windows phone person and what you would recommend!
This app can be as simple or as advanced as you prefer. One tap of the screen and the app will track your sleep. SleepBot® will track your movement or if there was any sounds made while you were sleeping like thunder or a barking dog. The “smart alarm” will wake you up at the right time in your sleep cycles which can help you feel better throughout the day. It will track your history which allows you to regulate your sleeping patterns and habits…which can greatly improve weight-loss progress!
II. Map My Walk (iPhone and Android – Free)
Track your steps without an extra device…you already have your phone with you! The app will track your daily and weekly steps allowing you to feel motivated to move more throughout the day. While a device like a FitBit® can take your exercise tracking to the next level, this app is far less cost if you are not ready to make that kind of purchase. The map will show you where you have been and even show you new routes to change up your walking routine! The company has other apps such as Map My Ride (cycling) and May My Run (running).
III. MyFitnessPal (iPhone and Android – Free)
Most everyone has heard of MyFitnessPal. There are several great food tracking apps also including LoseIt and Calorie Counter by Fat Secret. My preference tends to fall with MyFitnessPal likely because I’ve used it so long it knows all my food choices! I can’t change now! The more you use any of these apps the easier they become. Utilize the bar code app to scan your food choices right in or add in your own recipes with the recipe creator tab. My favorite screen is the “pie chart” which tells me how my protein to carb to fat ratio is looking. I use this feature more than anything when I counsel my postop patients.
IV. Plant Nanny (iPhone and Android – Free)
Plant Nanny is one of my very favorite apps. I tend to be more consistent with this one than most any other! Track your water by “watering your plants” and growing your garden! It reminds me of the “Giga Pets” that were incredibly popular when I was in elementary school :) Change your settings to your personal fluid intake goal and the size of you water bottle. The app will tell you how many bottles you need to reach your goal and will remind you to drink (but not in an annoying way). If you don’t drink for a while, your plant looks very sad and starts drooping over! Keep it watered and it grows quickly and is a happy little guy.
V. Eat Slower (iPhone and Android – Free Version and Upgraded Version)
While the paid version will provide added benefit, even the free version of Eat Slower can help you stay mindful with the speed of your eating. As you likely know, this is SO important after weight-loss surgery. Eating too quickly makes you uncomfortable and often times you stop too soon during your meal. When you feel hunger a half hour later, it can lead to grazing in between your meals. The app allows you to set a timer of how long you wish to wait in between bites. It will notify you when it’s okay to lift your fork again. Even if you can’t turn on the app for every meal, it can help re-train the habit! Start with 40 seconds in between bites and see how you do :) Ideally your meals should take 20-30 minutes so you may need to adjust the time between bites to not take too long to eat either. This will depend on how far postop you are and how much you need to eat to fill up and stay satisfied. It’s not a “one size fits all” answer.
VI. iFood by Kraft Foods (iPhone and Android – Free)
While I wish I could have a FoodCoachMe app and allow you to easily plan bariatric specific recipes like this app, I know that may take years to get created! Donations now being accepted :) The Kraft Foods app is very user friendly in helping you search for new recipes and plan your meals. It syncs up with the calendar in your smart phone and you can “add recipe to calendar” and plan your meals all within the app. Look for recipes that can be easily modified for your diet such as omitting the rice/pasta/potatoes. It will also compile your grocery list and allow you to hit the grocery store with your list ready for you within the app.