According to estimates, three quarters of Belgians would own a smartphone they consult regularly. So ideal for drawing our attention to things that require a lot like controlling our weight. A widespread concern, as shown by the success of applications that are dedicated to it, which are among the most downloaded. It is therefore to choose the right app for securing a profit …

Several forms of aid, if anything

Each program to lose weight should aim for a lasting success. The app should contribute to a change in behavior in the long term: it is only when one adopts a lasting healthy lifestyle habits that can significantly increase their chances of keeping a healthy weight for years. And these habits will be even healthier if the app plays on the various components of daily life. For example by offering attractive alternatives food, learning to find solutions to situations that are problematic, encouraging self, recalling pleasant way the objectives and regularly giving positive feedback. Over the support will be important, the app will be more effective.

Very simple applications, such as those who do every day that recording the weight, the number of steps taken or what was swallowed, are only gadgets. They abound on the web, and it’s probably not a good idea to try them one after the other: indeed there is a risk of being disappointed each time and, ultimately, do not believe it, to discourage and give up. Moreover, the experience with smoking cessation showed that generally, it must go through several attempts (which it is possible to draw lessons each time) to achieve the objective. You should also know that smoking cessation seems simpler to obtain than lose weight, especially because the body sets in motion powerful defense against emaciation.

What is the best?

Locate the app that virtually guarantee a long-term success is easier said than done (see our selection below). The scientific arguments are not of much help, because the quality level of these applications has been little studied so far: this area is still very new, and it takes some time for such studies are made up and finalized. The first were also published there three years. One study looked at the quality of a small fifty apps for losing weight (according to estimates, there exist about 4000 on the web). The evaluation was made on the basis of several criteria relating to content: issue of background information in understandable terms, individualized feedback, encouraging physical activity, healthy eating alternative proposals, adequacy of information dispensed on the app with the official recommendations for a healthy diet, highlighting of the most effective methods for weight loss, etc. The technical aspects were also assessed, such as ease of use and the possibilities of exchange and communication with other users. The results were not very positive: only four apps were deemed good enough.

Stronger together?

Share personal data was initially perceived as an advantage but more and more people come back in because they have not found added value. Unless, of course, that this sharing happens in a large group and many selected participants. Then there is a good chance to find a lot of support at home or emulation that helps everyone grow. Discuss with your doctor also, who may wish to integrate your initiatives in your electronic medical records to follow you, which can also help you hold on. Maybe you he will offer another application, with which it has already gained experience or is supported by a mutual, a large hospital or an insurance company.

How to choose a health app?

Good app:

– is convenient and requires little manipulation;

– is complete and does not require pre-requisite knowledge;

– offers a wide range of different methods;

– encourages rational behavior change;

– Fixed healthy and realistic objectives;

– provides custom monitoring and feedback;

– do not play on guilt nor shame;

– puts your successes highlighted;

– builds trust in you.

Be still cautious

It is also better not to give any credit to the number of downloads, because it says nothing about the quality and life of the application, nor the success rate in the end. Only after years of use it will be possible to assess the serious and effective apps: no one has yet been able to collect about it reliable figures. Simply put, application developers promise mountains and marvels, but it remains a field of apps “Far West”: each is in its own way and there is still no regulation that would punish those who cross the boundaries lie or on efficiency.

For some apps are downright misleading, especially those that claim they can quickly and easily determine your percentage of fat, whereas this rate is very difficult to quantify.

Also beware of applications that claim by visual recognition judging the calorie content of what you eat. The calculation methods are unclear.

One last point should not be overlooked: the most dangerous websites are those devoted to health. The user searching personalized information is normal to answer questions about personal data but this increases the risk of abuse, for example of “contamination” of the computer with spam and virus programs, or use of identity data for criminal activities. This risk is higher on health websites: on all the websites identified as dangerous, almost 27% had health as the main object, almost double the percentage of the next category in the list.

Our selection of applications to control its poids

MyFitnessPal

Noom

Lose It

Monitor your weight

Health & Fitness

Download The figures say nothing about the quality, ease of use and ultimate effectiveness of an application