Keep motivation up with the ideas from Shibani on the newest tech and fitness apps to you keep going into Valentine’s Day and beyond.

If you haven’t given up on your January resolutions yet, congratulations! According to fitness company, Strava, the majority of people give up on their new year goals by January 19.  

If you’re fading on your enthusiasm with your January health goals, you’re also in good company. My pep has waned, but I am still going strong on my road to reach my weight loss goals.  I typically use January and the weeks beyond it to clean up my diet after holiday indulging, to practice new habits and test my will power. So far, I have successfully lived life without alcohol, caffeinated coffee and sugary treats – though the early weeks of January almost pushed me over the edge.

Tech investor, Mark Suster, shares his approach to losing weight, folding in tech and different weigh-loss strategies to keep up motivation and push his body to college-level fitness. Read about his inspiring journey and use of fitness apps and tools. 

Here are a few fitness apps, products and lifestyle tools to help boost your health into 2021:

Stick on a Levels CGM patch to examine your body’s response to foods

fitness app
Upclose with Levels CGM and the thread-like fiber and monitor

Metabolic health is something I am obsessed with exploring these days. Functional medicine is discovering that obesity isn’t the only sign of poor health.  One (of a few) critical markers is your body’s blood sugar responsiveness to food.  Many peaks and valleys in your blood sugar, or glucose, levels in a day puts your body on an insulin roller coaster ride that affects your weight, energy levels and even hot flashes and brain function.  

We have individual, unique responses to food, which is why this tool is invaluable.  A banana on an empty stomach could spike your glucose while one after a meal could have less glucose impact.  That’s where a continuous glucose monitor can shed light on your body’s unique response to foods. 

Exploring our individual responses to food

I have been thrilled by and slightly obsessed with scanning my monitor after eating food.  This gadget keeps me hyper accountable, and along with a calorie and weight tracking app (read more below), I feel that I am gaining new insight into my health even as an experienced dieter. 

Application of the device is easy and painless, though the first time you apply it, it is a little scary. You stamp the device onto your arm to insert a thread-like fiber into your arm. It is held secure by a waterproof Levels sticker, which is visible through light clothing and if your arms are bare.  I didn’t have any issues showering, working out or carrying out my normal routine with it. 

The Levels patch is pricey at $399 for 2 patches, which gives you coverage for 4 weeks.  Learn more about Levels.

Apple, Fitbit and Google are all investing in CGM technology to incorporate in their health apps and smartwatches. Also, this requires a leap of faith in trusting this company with your personal health information. 

Calorie and weight trackers

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Despite hours logged on your Peloton each week, the weekend wine and steals of the kids’ cheddar bunnies all add up. The experts say that you can’t out-exercise a bad diet, and I have found that to be true. There are different schools of thought on calorie counting. Some people don’t believe in it. I gave up on it, too, many years ago. But, after experimenting with fasting, Whole 30 and intuitive eating, I realized that I needed to try tracking and cutting calories to reach my goal of losing 10 pounds. It was time for a more regimented approach. 

Free tracking tools

I explored different tracking apps like SparkPeople, My Fitness Pal and Cronometer, which are terrific and free. 

But, I ended up signing up for Noom for ease of use, reinforcement of positive habits with psychological motivation and daily weigh-ins. The annual cost of Noom $199, though there are always deals. 

Using an app that requires an investment can increase the chance you use and stick with it.  But, the free options are just as great. 

How my “Nooming” is going so far

The app helps you create achievable goals and keep you accountable for reaching them.  Their research shows that a daily weigh-in and calorie counting are a strong predictor for achieving weight loss goals, two things I haven’t done in ages. 

Three weeks into the routine, I now am no longer afraid of the scales, think critically about what I decide to eat and meal-plan much more effectively.  The result is only 4 pounds lost so far, but I am giving myself 3-6 months to reach my goals given how stretched I am with homeschooling, working from home and taking on domestic work.  

Boost your fitness routine with weight training

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Tonal, the at-home gym

If you’re like me, your Peloton has been your most cherished quarantine companion.  However, there are days I need a break from the bike, the instructors and the monotony.  One tip I received from my doctor before I began my health journey was to begin to include resistance band or weight workouts 2 times a week to my repertoire.  Strength training impacts your bones, can boost metabolism and can lessen the intensity of chronic conditions, according to Mayo Clinic

Peloton has many options, and the Obe Fitness website is a low-cost, accessible option that I have enjoyed, as well. 

The Peloton of weight lifting

If you’re looking for a Peloton-like experience with equipment and an app, Tonal takes the guesswork out of strength training and elevates your workout. Tonal’s A.I. adapts to your strength and dynamically adjusts exercises as necessary, up to 200 pounds. Its 17 sensors analyze and correct your form, to save you from injuries and make sure you’re always getting the optimum workout. Pricing starts at $2,995.

Future, a heavy-lifting app

Fitness tools from Future Fit

For those looking for a new app, Future Fit is worth exploring. It pairs you with an on-call Olympic, college and professional sports-level fitness coach through an Apple watch. It sets custom weekly workouts to accommodate your equipment (or lack of) and schedule (or lack of). Future sends you an Apple Watch to aggregate your biometrics – Future’s CTO was Apple’s head engineer on Phone, Facetime and Messages. Future Fit is priced at $150/month.