How To Use Your Smartphone To Lose Weight
It’s hard to believe that smartphones have only been around for 20 years… and that’s being generous. Smartphones as we know them today have only been around for about a decade.
In that time, they’ve become something of a necessity. If you have one, you probably use it for everything from work to shopping to socializing. And there are certainly upsides to having a small computer in your pocket.
But there are downsides as well, as a recent study from the American Academy of Cardiology Latin America Conference found. According to their study, if you spend five or more hours on your phone a day, you’re 43% more likely to develop obesity.
Fortunately, this is not due to the phone itself. Rather, it depends on how you use it. The Conference’s study also found that obesity risk was also linked to specific phone use habits.
You might be struggling with some of these habits right now. If you are, do not panic!TRENDING: Science Reveals Easy, No-Workout Ways to Lose Weight… While You Snooze!
There are some fairly easy workarounds to help get you back on track.
And, even more importantly, there are ways your smartphone can actually help you lose weight! You might have to change a few apps around… but in the end, your phone will be a weight control asset rather than a liability.
Con: Your Phone Might Be Distracting You
Humans are really bad at multitasking. You can shake your head and insist you’re an exception, but the studies don’t lie. Our brains really don’t like doing more than one thing at once.
Smartphones, unfortunately, make multitaskers of us all. You might like scrolling Facebook while you’re on the treadmill. Or maybe you read an ebook while walking around the track.
These might seem like great ways to maximize your time. But, as it turns out, you move slower when you’re looking at a screen.
So 20 minutes on the track with an ebook isn’t going to benefit you as much as that same 20 minutes with your phone in your pocket.
Multitasking isn’t a good idea when you eat, either. Studies have proven that you eat more when you’re distracted.
This is because you’re more likely to miss your body’s cues that it’s full. Or, in the case of snacking, you’ll eat more than you meant to because you just don’t know how much you’ve had.
You don’t have to abandon your phone entirely, of course. Some people need to stay connected in case of emergencies. And some people need music to help them get through a day.TRENDING: Women Who Eat These 3 Cheeses Are Losing Pounds of Stubborn Belly Fat (Research Proven)
Whatever your reason for staying connected, there are options. You can choose audiobooks over ebooks by using your library card and an app like OverDrive. This allows you to get your book fix WITHOUT looking at your screen the whole time.
Or, if social media tends to hook you in, put a distraction blocker on your phone.
My personal favorite is an app called Forest. It prevents you from opening any app you’re not supposed to be on.
If you do, it kills the small tree the app has set to “grow” while you work. The app lets you choose which apps are safe to open, so you can still access the things you need while staying focused.
Pro: Your Phone Can Keep You On Track
It might be a bad idea to have your phone out during a workout… But that doesn’t mean your phone can’t keep you on track. You just have to use it the right way.
Fitness tracking apps are all the rage, and for good reason. A good one can track your sleep, your water intake, your food log, and your exercise routines. Some can even track menstrual cycles, for those of us who deal with those.
This might seem like far too much information! But all of it can help you track your weight loss progress or monitor any food reactions you may have.
Some apps, like SleepTown or the upcoming Pokemon Sleep, encourage you to go to bed earlier. And though some might mock the idea of “rewarding” people for good sleep habits, there is merit to the idea. We are all so busy that sleep often gets put on the back burner.
And as any trainer will tell you, sleep is key to weight loss. Sleep helps you regulate your hormone levels, including cortisol.
Plus, when you’re tired, your body demands more food. Your body then stores this food as fat for energy, since it’s not recharging your energy with sleep.
If your concerns lie more with your workouts than your sleep or diet… your phone still has you covered.SPECIAL: New Research Reveals How to Get Your Brain to Tell Your Body to Burn More Fat
There are a ton of apps on the market that act as virtual gyms or trainers. They come with stock sets of workout routines, many of which you can scale up or down depending on your abilities.
There are even apps out there than can make workouts more fun! Apps like Zombies, Run! turn your daily jog into part of a mysterious storyline. 7 Minute Superhero walks you through a series of workouts while running a superhero storyline starring you.
If the workouts don’t keep bringing you back, the intrigue and story will!
Con: Your Phone Might Be Feeding Your Anxiety
Smartphones are very useful. And, for a lot of people, the friends you make online are just as important as the friends you would meet a local pub.
With a smartphone, you’re always connected. An email from your boss can reach you at 2 AM. Or bad news will make itself known immediately with a push notification.
Sure, you can limit which notifications you get. But that’s only if you know how. And, of course, to do this, you can’t be afraid of missing something important.
All of this can cause a whole lot of stress. This, in turn, messes with your cortisol levels. And cortisol is one of the hormones that directly affects how much fat you store and where you store it.
Unfortunately, there’s no easy fix for this particular problem. Reducing your phone-related anxiety will take some time, as well as some trial and error.
You can start by reducing the number of notifications you get. A quick Google search will yield how-to guides for nearly every phone make and model.
It’s a small step, but you can slim down your notifications for a week and then see how you feel.
Another good step to take is limiting when you check your emails or browse the news. The 24-hour news cycle has come under fire recently, and for good reason. When you carry that with you all the time, it’s bound to cause some stress.
Instead of browsing headlines when you’re bored or “just in case,” try setting a specific time every day. There’s a reason it was called “the evening news” once upon a time.
You should also do the same thing for your email. Productivity experts suggest checking in no more than five times a day for 20-30 minutes at a time.SPECIAL: This Scientific Trick Can Reduce Your Belly Fat By 8.5% in Just 12 Weeks…
More often than that, and you start to lose productivity. Just make sure you stick to this schedule. Coworkers and clients will soon get used to it.
And, over time, they may come to appreciate your reduced stress levels and increased productivity.
Pro: Your Phone Can Calm & Motivate You
Social media, like all things, can be a blessing and a curse. Some people find the impossibly high beauty standards displayed there to be disheartening, and they certainly can be.
But if you follow nutritionists and trainers instead of models, you may find yourself more motivated than frustrated. Many of these accounts focus on healthy lifestyle choices rather than fad diets or dangerously intense workout routines.
There’s motivation to be found outside of social media as well. A few apps on the market act as cheerleaders, urging you on to whatever goal you set. Others can help calm you down after a long day, whether that’s through meditation or soothing nature sounds.
The trick is to cut out the parts of social media that make you feel worse. Then fill in those spaces with things that make you feel better.
You don’t have to be an Instagram model to enjoy a healthy body. You just have to be you.
Smartphones – or something even more involved – are likely here to stay. So it’s up to you how you want to incorporate them into your life. They can lift you up or hold you back.
It’s all in how you use them.
It’s Hard to Keep Electronics Out of The Bedroom… Try THIS to Effortlessly Burn Calories & Get a Restful Night Of Sleep
Honestly, most of the time I’m not even looking at anything interesting…
(It’s usually just the weather, Instagram, or scrolling through cute animal pics on Reddit.)
And yeah, many times I’ve been guilty of staying up so late that I get hungry…
Which is so frustrating, because then my calorie count gets completely thrown off the next day (UGH)…
But you know what?
And on many occasions, has kept me so full that I often forget to eat breakfast the next morning!
Strangely enough, I think it’s actually helped me sleep better, too. 🙂