Monday, June 20, 2022
Here, we round up our favourite apps. All are free to download and use, are backed by quality evidence and are written or endorsed by the NHS/Public Health England.
Let’s dive in.
This 12-week plan is broken down into small daily activities, making it perfect to use alongside any weight loss treatment.
The NHS Weight Loss Plan supports you with setting and tracking achievable weight loss goals, making healthier food choices and getting more active. As these small changes become habits you’ll find that not only will you lose weight now but you’ll keep that weight off in the long term too.
My favourite feature of this app is how it gives you real information behind the suggestions, such as clearly explaining the benefits of losing just 5% of your total weight. It feels supportive, not bossy.
If you’re interested in making healthier food choices or learning more about how healthy your go-to weekly meals are then you should absolutely try the NHS Food Scanner.
The app lets you scan the barcode of food or drink items and gives you information on how much sugar, salt or saturated fat it contains. What’s really cute is the app’s augmented reality feature which turns different foods and drinks into little lumps of sugar, sachets of salt and wobbly little lumps of saturated fat - maybe cute wasn’t quite the right word.
Regardless, it’s different from the usual numbers and colour coding and would be really helpful for showing other members of your family or friends, especially children, how and why we should make healthier choices.
NB. Tracking the saturated fat content in our food is especially helpful if you are taking Orlistat.
Walking is such an excellent way of increasing our activity. It’s gentle on the body, gets us out in that gorgeous, mood-boosting fresh air and burns more calories than you might think.
The NHS Active 10 Walking Tracker is a simple little app that records how many steps you walk each day, helps you set goals and gives lovely achievement rewards to help you stay motivated.
You can use it as a quiet background app to track and monitor your weekly steps or use it to challenge yourself and see if you can boost your numbers (and your weight loss).
It’s likely you’ve heard of Couch to 5k, given that it has close to 350,000 positive reviews on the app stores at the time of writing.
It’s an excellent programme for anyone who wants to try running, and by running I am including everything from self-conscious shuffling to speedy sprinting. The programme can be completed in however long you feel comfortable with and, if you want, will get you fit and able to run 5k without stopping or keeling over.
There are plenty of friendly features in the app, such as coaching from well-known personalities and the ability to chat and connect with other people on the same journey.
I really love the tone in the app. It’s motivating, helpful and supportive but not competitive, which is hard to get right.
If you drink alcohol, this app could help you both reduce how much you drink and/or make more calorie-friendly choices. Alcoholic drinks are upsettingly high in calories so cutting down or swapping to lower calorie alternatives will certainly help with losing weight.
Short-term effects of reducing how much alcohol we drink include weight loss right up there near the top, as well as better sleep, clearer skin and more energy (hello cheeky morning walk).
To translate drinks into units or to really horrify yourself and see how many calories are in your favourite tipple I really like this calculator from DrinkAware.
While not strictly an app, I want to include a quick shoutout for the NHS better health website, where there are often discounted referral programmes available with big-name weight loss support groups and services. I was delighted to see (at the time of writing) that there is an amazing scheme supported by Public Health England where football fans can attend free fitness sessions at their local football club as part of a 12-week weight loss programme, such a great idea!
As always, for more information and advice about healthy weight and to learn more about treatments that can help you lose weight, see our Weight Loss guide or contact us for an impartial chat with one of our clinically trained team at email@example.com or 01295 262925.