Are Smartphone Apps Good for Weight Loss?

Last month, we talked about the best smartphone apps for weight loss, but we didn’t answer the question about whether smartphone apps were an effective way to lose weight. After all, the best of a terrible approach isn’t a good way to go at all.

Although there are good reasons to doubt the effectiveness of Smartphone weight loss apps, it turns out they may be among the most effective approaches for weight loss.

Why Some Say Apps Don’t Work

One of the basic problems with smartphone apps is that they’re usually built on the same diet principles that have already been expounded dozens of times before. Weight loss apps fit into the traditional niches, encouraging you to count calories, add healthy foods to your diet, increase exercise levels, and more. A slightly more innovative technique is improving “food memory.” Partly we get hungry because we forget how much we’ve eaten, so remembering our food helps us keep from overeating.

However, as some point out, these aren’t really giving us new weight loss tools. It’s still the same old approaches that haven’t worked for decades, and just because we’ve now made them into apps doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to work any better.

Evidence Suggests Apps Might Work

However, a study of approaches to dieting that compared diet apps to use of a dieting website or the use of a diet diary found that people who used a diet app were much more likely to stay on their diet. The study randomized 128 overweight volunteers among the three different diet approaches. They found that while 93% of people using a smartphone app stayed on their diet for the full six months of the study, only 55% of the website group and 53% of the diary group did.

They also found that the smartphone app group tended to lose more weight, an average of 4.6 kg (10 pounds), compared to 2.9 kg (6.4 pounds) for the diary group, and 1.3 kg (2.9 pounds) for the website group.

This means that smartphone apps are probably a good start for trying to lose weight, although it reminds us they may have only limited effectiveness. If you have tried a smartphone app with no effect or if you want to lose more weight faster, we can help. Please contact Med-Fit Medical Weight Loss Clinic in Denver.

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Dr. Angela Tran