In my recent podcast about my transformation and weight loss, I mentioned several health apps that were helpful in the process. I’m sharing more detail about each one below and how I used them as part of my strategy this past year.
Like any aspect of health, I think that the apps that are most helpful vary from person to person. These are the ones that are most helpful to me, and I’d love to hear which ones you like best in the comments. If you have any type of medical condition, talk to a doctor or qualified professional before trying any new program or fitness plan.
My Top Health Apps
I tried dozens of apps and these are the ones I still keep on my phone and use regularly:
Zero Fasting App
I used fasting and time restricted eating as part of my plan this past year. Time restricted eating and fasting aren’t great for everyone and shouldn’t be done until hormones are balanced. I personally feel best when I eat my first meal at lunch and stop eating after an early dinner. To keep track, I use the Zero app which lets me log fasts from shorter 12-18 hour daily fasts up to 7 hour water fasts.
Again, ask your doc before fasting, especially if attempting longer fasts!
Renpho Scale App
I used a Renpho scale and the corresponding app to track my weight loss. Though I’m not completely sold on the accuracy, this app also tracks BMI, body fat percentage, muscle mass, bone mass, metabolic age, and more. I saw improvements in all of these as I lost weight and it was motivating to see all the changes. The scale and app also sync with several other health and fitness apps.
I use my Oura Ring to track my sleep and HRV all the time. HRV is the measure of the variability between heartbeats and it is one number you want as high as possible. Since I started tracking with the Oura Ring, I’ve been able to increase my HRV from the 30s/40s to over 100 at times. The factors that make the biggest difference: sleep, not drinking, deep breathing, and dealing with stress.
I also carefully track my sleep with Oura and make sure to get enough deep sleep and REM, especially during times of stress like weight loss. Things that make a difference: reishi tea at night or GOLD from Organifi, tapping before bed, regular sauna use, exercise (especially CARS from Hunter Fitness), and hydration.
Hormones have a big impact on all aspects of health, and I wanted to make sure mine were ok as I lost weight. I got regular blood tests, but also tracked my cycle regularly as I’ve done for years. Before I got married, I learned natural family planing and could track my cycle and know when I was fertile. Now, I do this through the MyFlo app, which also gives advice on how to support the body during each phase of the cycle.
For the full overview of MyFlo and how it works, see this podcast interview with creator Alisa Vitti.
The Tapping Solution
I used tapping to deal with stress and it was part of my weight loss as well. I read The Tapping Solution book but also used the tapping health app to do specific tapping programs. These were especially helpful for sleep and I think also contributed to the weight loss.
Heads Up Health
I tested a lot of health variables all at once over the past year. To keep track of it all, I used the Heads Up Health dashboard and app. It integrates with many of these other apps and lets you view all data in one place to see trends over time. I used it to track everything from weight and HRV to blood pressure and blood test levels. It can also track inputs for fasting, activity, blood glucose, ketones, blood oxygen, and sleep, so it provides a great snapshot of health data all in one place.
This meal planning app was a lifesaver and I still use it daily. It lets you select meals based on any criteria (allergies, macros, favorite foods, etc.) and plan for as many people as you need to. I use it to generate nutrient-dense meal plans and corresponding shopping lists so I only have to shop once a week and save a lot of time!
Read more about how I worked out my meal planning system here.
I use this app daily in some form. We run the deep sleep program during sleep and see trackable changes in deep sleep length and restfulness. I also often use their “focus” programs while working.
My Fitness Pal
I used this popular app to make sure I was getting enough calories. Many people use it for weight loss to limit calories, but I found that as my body adjusted and I didn’t want as much food, I actually had to focus more on consuming enough calories and protein especially. I didn’t use it all the time, but would occasionally input my daily food into this app to make sure I was consuming enough calories.
The weight loss tracker on this was also motivating because it let me see a graph of how much weight I’d lost over a given period of time.
Spar and Diet Bet
I’m a little competitive (ok, a lot competitive). Both of these apps played on my natural competitiveness and were helpful for weight loss. The Spar app let me create challenges with friends and have regular check-ins (drink enough water, move every day, etc.) and kept it fun. Diet Bet let me bet a little bit of money that I could lose a certain percentage of weight in a certain time period. Even though it wasn’t a lot of money, I found this really motivating and I actually won extra money in each round.
You know how I always tell you to check with your doctor before you do anything? Well, this is how I check with mine.
SteadyMD is an innovative new type of concierge medicine that pairs you with a doctor who gets you and knows your health history and needs. My doc, for instance, has also recovered from Hashimotos, has experience with pediatrics so she can answer questions about my kids, and can give advice on fasting and weight loss. The app lets me contact her via text, app, phone, or video anytime we need her. I can easily ping her about new supplements, any issues that arise, or questions I have.
Find out more about SteadyMD here… I highly recommend it.
In all of this testing, I found that my iron levels were high. To help balance them out, my doc suggested giving blood regularly. It’s a win-win! I get to help someone in a potentially life-threatening situation, and also make my own blood healthier. Other benefits? Your body regenerates new blood cells, burns 650 calories, and according to a 2013 study has a reduced risk of certain cardiovascular issues.
I used OneBlood.org and the app to find a place to donate but there are many options. Search locally for one near you.
I love this app for movement. It has a lot of different movement and mobility programs that are easy to do on the go. My phone is always with me, so this has been helpful when I travel. Most routines take about 15 minutes, which is easy to fit into almost any schedule.
I love the coaching aspect of this app that helps you actually understand the anatomy and biology of your body. This education is so important in avoiding injury and choosing the types of movement your body needs most.
This app connects to a wearable device that helps with stress. In fact, it’s the first clinically validated wearable that is proven to help the body adapt to and handle stress. Choose your setting based on what you need to do: sleep, relax, focus, energize, etc. Introverts take note: it even has a setting to help you be more open to socializing!
Apollo works through gentle vibrations that restore a natural sense of balance, using the power of our sense of touch. It’s not a small investment, but compared to other therapies for stress, anxiety, insomnia, etc. it might seem like a bargain!
Health Apps Verdict
The digital revolution comes with its drawbacks, but using these apps have helped my health tremendously. Many of them are inexpensive and replace my need for an expensive gym or coach. I’m able to stay motivated by seeing my progress and connecting with others on the same journey. I hope some of these tools do the same for you!
Do you use a health app in your daily life? What are your favorites? Please share below!