Health

Three weight loss apps to help you get motivated

From motivational zombies to virtual dietitians, these three new apps leave you one click away from healthy living. Here are our tried and tested favourites.

Three iPhones lined up

Photo by Istockphoto

From motivational zombies to virtual dietitians, these three new apps leave you one click away from healthy living. Here are our tried and tested favourites.

Problem #1: You’re in a running rut.

The app for that: Zombies, Run!, $8

This high-octane thrill puts you in the shoes of Runner 5, one of the last survivors of the zombie apocalypse. When you push play for any one of the missions, a voice announces: “This is an alert. Runners 2, 4, 5 and 8, report to main gates immediately!” Cue your customized playlist, which is interrupted every so often with a heart-pumping update: The (surprisingly speedy) zombies are gaining on you — it’s time to sprint through a checkpoint and pick up some virtual supplies, and watch out for that goon on the horizon! “That beginning alert never fails to get my adrenalin going,” says Adrian Hon, a runner and co-creator of the app. “And the more you run, the more you learn about the world and characters of the story.” The fate of civilization depends on how fast you can fly on the treadmill or the sidewalk. It’s a bit pricey, but, trust us, there’s no better incentive to run harder — and faster — than hearing the groans of hungry zombies nipping at your heels. When you’ve escaped the living dead, check your distance, time and pace — you’ll be surprised by how far you’ve gone.

Problem #2: You’re trying to lose weight, but it’s just not working.

The app for that: Calorie Counter, Free

A virtual food diary and nutrition coach, this easy-to-use tracker has thousands of common foods. Punch in what you’ve eaten throughout the day, then review your final tally of calories, protein, fat and carb levels, and vitamin and mineral intake. Plus, a new feature will help you go further: For $30 a month, a dietician will evaluate what you’re eating, offer suggestions and support, and even answer questions via direct message.

Problem #3: You’re hit by a serious case of the munchies!

The app for that: The Snack App, Free

Giving yourself permission for small indulgences is part of successful weight management. Enter this smart appetite app. Pick what you’re craving — salty, sweet, crunchy, cheesy or creamy — and how many calories you’d like to spend on it. It presents a list of tasty treats, from cookies to nuts. Want to make it truly guilt-free? It’ll also tell you how much you have to work out to work it off.

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