There's over 800 weight loss apps available for iPhone and Android devices, but a new report from the University of Massachusetts Medical School says the apps may not be as successful as a simple lifestyle change.
The study evaluated 30 mobile weight loss apps -- these services help users count calories, journal exercise and send inspirational messages encouraging a dieter to get out the door. The study, however, didn't evaluate whether or not anyone lost weight during these apps, but rather, it measured the app's functional features, like goal setting and calorie counting ability.
FOX 9 medical expert Dr. Archelle Georgiou says to not be discouraged by the study's findings. A traditional method of weight loss could be compared to a weight loss app if actual results were included.
One potentially beneficial finding in the study discovered free apps may offer a user more than a paid app. According to the study, more free apps contained features like social networking (aimed at providing more encouragement) and barcode scanning to count calories in comparison to their $2.99 counterparts.
Bottom line: Scour a few apps and see what you think will fit your lifestyle. Everyone loses weight using a different method, so don't get discouraged by headlines suggest that the apps are useless.
However, many apps don't inspire long-term weight loss and don't necessarily set a user up for a life of health and fitness. It's important to remember that once a person loses weight, he or she may need to continue tweaking that lifestyle in order to maintain that new figure -- it's a marathon, not a sprint.