Body Blog: For a Healthier Lifestyle, Turn to Your iPhone

As we all surely know, starting a new diet or exercise routine can be an expensive and time consuming endeavor. Gym memberships, personal trainers and private nutritionists have always come with a hefty fee, and women are often too busy to take the steps necessary for achieving weight loss.

These days, however, your iPhone may be all you need to tone up and shed pounds thanks to dozens of new applications that make calorie counting and following exercise routines a snap. With the tap of your finger, these apps can help you organize a healthy shopping list, search extensive databases for low-calorie recipes, and customize workout plans and diet journals. And since we’re attached to our phones all day anyway, there’s really no easier way to get motivated and start transforming your body before summer rolls around.

Here are some of top applications, all available on iTunes in the “Healthcare and Fitness” category and compatible with iPods, iPod Touches and iPads.

Tap and Track: Calorie, Weight Loss and Exercise Tracker, $3.99
After you plug in your Body Mass Index and weight loss goal, this application keeps track of how many calories you’ve consumed throughout the day. Just record what you eat and the serving size in the food journal, which analyzes each meal’s fat, calorie, and carbohydrate content and keeps track of it in a neat list separated by “breakfast,” “lunch,” “dinner” and “snack.” When you press “add exercise” and describe the workout you’ve just completed, the application will reset your calorie allotment for that day.
(If you don’t want to spend $4, you can also download MyFitnessPal, a similar app that is free and is also available online.)

Eat this, Not that!, Free
For women who are always on the go (or in college…), unhealthy restaurant choices often turn into diet downfalls. This application pits take-out items against one another (think fast-food hamburgers, sandwiches from chains like Cosi and Au Bon Pain, and bags of tortilla chips) to help people make healthier choices when they don’t have time to cook for themselves.

Weight Watchers Mobile, Free
This application keeps track of how many Weight Watchers points you consume with each meal and keeps a running tally of the points that remain to be consumed on both a daily and weekly basis. You can log the foods that you eat even if you don’t have an internet connection, and update your list later–which the application will remind you to do if you forget. Finally, it records your weight loss progress in an interactive chart while helping you find Weight Watchers meetings no matter where you are. It’s like having your own nutritionist.

Body Fitness: Ultimate Exercise Journal with 320+ Exercise Support, Free
This app allows you to log your workouts while providing detailed pictures and verbal descriptions of abs, arms, legs and core routines. If you’re unsure how to use a dumbbell or carry out a sit-up routine on a balance ball, this is the perfect way to ease into an exercise routine while monitoring your achievements.

RunKeeper, Free
This application is perfect for women who prefer to run outdoors but still want to measure their speed, distance and number of calories burned. With a built in GPS system, you can be sure that you’ll never make a wrong turn–and this comes in handy when you’re walking as well.

*Note: For all you non-Apple users, many of these applications are available on other phones as well.

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