Tech Tips: Start your New Year’s diet with the right app

diet appsIt is almost a cliché that, with the coming of a new year, we vow to lose those extra pounds we put on during Winter break. Gyms see a spike in enrollments and diet plans are researched in force. Here at the library we too feel the pain, so we have some advice to knock out that weight without necessarily breaking the bank, and it’s all thanks to the technology you already have around.


In some ways SparkPeople is rather like the rest of weight loss programs/websites. Calorie trackers and recipes are heavily featured, as well as personalized exercise programs. Where SparkPeople stands out is in the large community of people who can communicate with you, helping you overcome personal hurdles and other weight loss challenges based on their own experience.  Additionally, there are apps for iOS and Android allowing you to track your progress on the go.

Tweet What You Eat 

If SparkPeople is not up your alley then maybe Tweet What You Eat might be for you. Using the Twitter services you can tweet your every meal so everyone who is part of the service can see what you are up to. According to one user of the service, “Sometimes it was a lot easier to decide not to eat something than to have to tweet it for the world to see,” showing that sometimes peer pressure can be a healthy thing.


For those to us who need a little more skin in the game than can be provided by the dour expressions of strangers there is Pact. The premise here is a simple one, commit to goals you feel are reasonable, a thousand steps a day for instance, and then put up a little money saying you will. If you meet your goals you can keep your money and maybe make some more from those who failed to do so. Tech such as GPS, fitness trackers, and user-submitted pictures ensure you report your progress, making your weight loss emotionally and financially satisfying.

Nike Training Club 

Need some help staying motivated during a workout? Feel as if you need your own soundtrack to the montage of your life? Well Nike Training Club is here to help. Using your device’s music the app creates a playlist for you to accompany any of the 73 routines in its database.


Sometimes the huge numbers of foods in the grocery store can seem daunting to the calorie conscious among us. Unless you have done your research it can be hard to weed out the healthy from the not. Free for iOS and Android, Fooducate takes out the guesswork by allowing you to scan an item’s bar code and see what score it receives, allowing you to make healthy choices with minimal fuss.

While the numbers of sites, apps and plans is virtually without end, this list will hopefully make shedding pounds a little easier.

John Carter

Jacksonville Public Library

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