Today, I caught up a little bit on weight loss apps, and not on purpose.
An acquaintance is using a weight loss phone app to track her calories, her weight loss, and she was struggling today to figure out exactly how many calories certain activities burned and how to input custom foods into the application. She figured it out, and, technically, that’s a neat little application.
But, really, it makes me wonder, once again, what we have come to on the entire weight loss spectrum.
Now, there are definitely people who by medical advice need to lose weight, for health reasons, and there are many of us who sometimes want to lose a few pounds to feel better, even look better, and that’s A-ok fine. But, can we be okay with tracking our numbers all day long, every day, as our approach, or, should we just listen to our bodies and stay active?
It’s interesting. The way we have eaten (globally) has changed dramatically over the last twenty years, and with that change in diet has come a steady stream of revolutionary weight loss plans. But, before these years, people just started eating a little healthier or exercising a little more. Maybe that is still our best option. It is after all, tried and true.
And, in the meantime, more and more celebrities are in the news for dangerously low weights. We are losing more and more people to eating disorders and disordered eating, in general. Our models remain sickly thin.
The diet industry, I am sure, makes billions and trillions of dollars each year on point systems and color codes, and labeling, and programs, and meals in the mail, and of course they do. Why not? We fall prey to just about every fast and “scientific” way to drop a few pounds, when, actually, the true answer lies within us, in our bodies, telling us what we need each day.
And, that’s another thing. While these apps are wonderful for teaching us that calories come and go, they don’t necessarily come and go at a steady determinable rate. Some days we do get hungrier. Some days we eat more. Some days we eat less, but I am pretty sure that our bodies can guide us through that without extreme results.
While many of these applications provide a way to track your calories on the go, and keep a constant account of where you stand on daily totals, weekly totals, and pounds lost, watching my acquaintance actually made me feel really sorry for her. Here is a girl that first of all does not need to lose any weight but second of all was spending more time on her app than having lunch with me, and unwinding before we started working again. And, even more sadly, she planned a dinner out with friends by how many calories she could eat and switched out what she ate for lunch based on her original option having just a few more (and too many) calories.
If it’s weight we are trying to lose here, do we end up losing a lot more?