Saturday, February 24, 2024

Weight loss apps aid or distract users

One thing a lot of upcoming college students fear is the freshman 15. Most people don’t experience it until halfway through their college career. The freshmen 15 is a commonly used expression relating to the 15 pounds most people gain during the first year of college.

The growing of technology have allowed for a simple “apps for weight loss” search to result in many free applications.

The Huffington Post published an article titled “The Best Apps for Health Weight,” which listed different apps with targets. Some of the apps listed in the articles included My Fitness Pal, Fooducate, Locavore and Lose it. My Fitness Pal is popular choice for a digital food diary, given its database of more than 6 million foods and meals. Fooducate scans a packaged item’s barcode and produces a letter score, A, B, C or D, based on its nutritional value. The app analyzes the item and reveals information about the ingredients such as the amounts of added sugar, preservatives and harmful food colorings.

Locavore tells users which fruits and vegetables are in season based on that person’s location. Lose It sets people up with a personalized calorie budget based on their personal health goals. Users can search foods, scan packaged products or take a photo of an item to track it in the app.

GymGoal is an app that helps the user keep track of his or her measurements and it comes up with a large workout database.

Plattsburgh State freshman business and entrepreneurship major, Caylin Phillips said she doesn’t go to the gym very often. She said she dedicates no more than two hours in a day to the gym.

Phillips said the reasons she goes to the gym is to be healthy.

“For my height and weight, a normal weight category would be 130 pounds,” she said.

PSUC sophomore Jennifer Sevilla who majors in environmental science said she is starting to go to the gym now, and she goes five times a week. She said that she dedicates one to two hours a day to the gym. Sevilla said the reason she goes to the gym is to lose body fat and gain muscle.

Phillips said she has tried apps that help target weight loss. She said if someone is serious about going to the gym, then apps can help but can sometimes hinder the goal of actually going to the gym.

“If you have a militant background, and you have good self-control, then apps can help you stay on track and keep you in your schedule,” Phillips said.

She said if someone doesn’t have that much self-control, they waste time trying to set up the app, tracking everything he or she eats and eventually, that person doesn’t make the time for the gym.

Phillips said in order for her to pay attention and focus on the gym, she can’t worry about keeping up with the apps.

Sevillas said she has tried weight loss apps, and sometimes they are helpful, but other times they push you to do too much.

“Some have you do 100 squats a day, which goes up by 50 each day. That’s kind of impossible to do and hard to keep up,” she said.

Sevilla also said that some apps have levels ranging from beginner to intermediate. However, some students jump straight to the harder levels, especially with summer right around the corner.

Jorunn Gran-Henriksen, the chair and program director of the nutrition department at PSUC said apps help some people keep track of what they are doing. Henriksen said sometimes people can be too focused on what they are putting in the app, instead of what they are doing.

She also mentioned that when people keep track of what they need, they become more conscientious about what they are putting in their bodies, which can lead to weight loss.

Email Raheal Neequaye at

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