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Mobile devices that let people track how much they eat and exercise may help them shed weight over and above the benefits of a typical weight-loss program, according to a U.S. study.

Researchers writing in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that overweight and obese adults lost an average of over eight pounds (3.6 kilograms) more when they had personal digital assistants (PDAs) and occasional phone coaching to help them, in addition to a group program.

There's no reason to think the same wouldn't hold true for smart phone apps that can log nutrition and activity information, and give real time feedback, they said.

"The number one mechanism through which people lost weight is self-monitoring, just watching what you eat and keeping a record of it," said Goutham Rao, who wrote a commentary published with the new study.

Rao, from the NorthShore University HealthSystem in Evanston, Illinois, noted that programs for mobile devices are easily personalized, and readily available wherever people carry their phones or PDAs.

After six months in the trial, people in the PDA group had lost an average of almost 10 pounds (4.5 kg) and 41 percent of them had met the goal of losing at least five percent of their initial body weight.

"I'm actually very optimistic that people who are motivated, who can couple the technology with in-person counseling and management, are going to be very successful," he told Reuters Health.

The benefits of using an app on a mobile device, Rao said, are that it can be cheaper and widely available, and can help re-engage people who are having trouble, unlike an in-person program with a specific end date.

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My solution: become a workout demon and reduce your carb & fat intakes. Burns it off faster than anything. No app needed, just consistancy.

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^ Hard to do when your blood sugar goes low, and you run out of energy.

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i think it's a good idea. starting and the beginning period is the hardest part and many people tend to have a 'target' weight they want to reach so seeing ongoing progress is pretty helpful in that case. of course, once you make exercising a part of your lifestyle then it's not really as necessary because you're in the habit already, but until you hit that point, it serves as a good motivator.

i have a fitness app that i use sometimes to look up exercises/stretches that i might've forgotten about because i try to switch them up every week.

bottom line...so long as it's helping, nothing wrong with it :) to each their own

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I thought there'd be a link to the app...

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Over the past 1.5 years, I have lost 70 pounds. No apps, no hand holding just got off my ass, started working out, and stopped eating so much. A week ago there was that Livestrong app for Win8 was released, and I started tracking what I ate, my workouts, etc. I found it more depressing that my total caloric intake after my workouts is about 200-300/day, and I have not neared my goal (lose about 10 to be where I was when I graduated college). I would think that having the details there in your face and showing how nothing is working would drive people away.

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^ Hard to do when your blood sugar goes low, and you run out of energy.

Mine went low too, after some workouts my glucose level dropped 60-90 points, so I cut my insulin WAY back and ate fruit & cottage cheese (or Greek yogurt) before my workouts. Problem solved, and I'm saving $60/month on insulin copays and supplies.

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I thought there'd be a link to the app...

They are not talking about a particular app, rather people recording what they ate at what times, then consulting with councilors/nutritionists as to how they are doing.

However, here are some specific apps:

Top 5 FREE Nutrition Apps for Your Smartphone

http://nutritionlate...our-smartphone/

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My solution, create a lipo power converter so you can plug your smartphone into a fat persons thigh and recharge. They lose weight, you recharge your battery. Good for their health, good for the environment!

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^^ No Hum I want an App!!!

OK, my blood surgar is up...what were you saying? :D

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I'm using the Livestrong App as well, and boy, it's quite enlightening how many calories I consume if I'm not paying attention. But I run about 3 to 4 times a week also. At 45 though, I find it's an uphill battle.

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Work & battle yes, but worth it.

63 y/o and I'm not up to running on the leg prosthesis yet, but I do 2-a-day workouts 5 days a week with weights and a sh*tload of lower body and core exercises. Benching 240 lbs.

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My solution: become a workout demon and reduce your carb & fat intakes. Burns it off faster than anything. No app needed, just consistancy.

or, you can just eat less of food...

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You need to do both, but if you do heavy workouts some people can end up eating more and still lose weight, fast, because after a few weeks their metabolism ramps way up.

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