NutritionPodcast

How Tech Can Help To Lose Weight With Nutrition Plans

20 Minute Fitness Episode #83

Staying very much on the summer theme, this week on the 20 Minute Fitness podcast we talk about losing weight in the most efficient ways. While trying to force yourself to live in the gym and only focusing on your calories-out can be exhausting for your body, nutrition tracking is a more sensible way to go. It won’t only help with reaching your short-term weight loss goals, but also put you on a healthy path for the long run.

And thanks to some great innovations out there, you won’t need to become a nutritionist and come up with your own meal plans. All you have to do is download an app and you’ll be ready for your smart diet journey. 

Listen to this week’s episode to learn about the best products & services that will keep your nutrition in check!

Three Things You Will Learn

1) Apps That Will Teach You How To Cook Healthy Meals

If you’re on a serious weight loss journey and don’t prep your own meals, you’ve got to change now. The first app that can help with this is Paprika. Paprika has an extensive database of recipes that can turn you into a master chef in a sec.

Each recipe has a star rating and an ingredient list that you can use when doing your grocery shopping. And to make your life as easy as possible, use their calendar to create meal plans a month in advance!

Paprika can be a great fit if you like flexibility, but if you prefer being told what you should eat, DietPoint is the app for you. DietPoint comes with fairly similar features to Paprika, but it has the added benefit of fixed diet plans. 

DietPoint has 130 plans to chose from, all of which are designed to create a caloric deficit. They have a good variety of options to cater for all tastes, and each of them comes with an estimated weight loss number. Press play to learn about the specific diet plans of DietPoint in more detail!

2) The Most Comprehensive Nutrition Tracking App

Healthy meals and diet plans are useful, but what really does the magic when it comes to losing weight is nutrition tracking. And this is why you should grab your phone, click on the App Store and download Lifesum right now!

Lifesum is a comprehensive healthy eating app that helps you keep track of your nutrition intake via a diary screen and your personal macros page. To maximize results, fill out the Lifesum quiz and let the app recommend a diet plan that matches your goals.

Once you’ve chosen your plan, the app will set your calorie intake and macros ratio recommendations that you can track your actual intake against every single day. At the end of each day, you can get a nutrition breakdown displayed on pie & bar charts for some great visual feedback. 

Besides the daily breakdown, Lifesum also has a food rating system that will rate each one of your meals. The rating algorithm takes into account factors like biological effects, satiety index and of course how well you follow your suggested macros distribution. Amazing features to learn and improve your eating habits for good.

Lifesum has a little surprise for all our 20 Minute Fitness listeners, so tune in to find out more!

3) How Your Genetics Can Guide Your Meal Plans

Finally, a more scientific approach to losing weight with nutrition plans is when you let your genetics to set the road. Diet Fit by DNAfit will help you uncover everything about your dietary DNA profile via conducting a salvia test.

Once you receive your test results, DNAfit will set a highly personalized nutrition plan based on your genetics and any potential intolerances or allergies you may have. You’ll kick off with a private consultation with a dietitian and get support throughout all 12 weeks of your program.

Press play to learn about how DNA testing can help you reach your weight loss goals and set you up for a long-term success! 


THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSOR: Lifesum

Lifesum is a nutrition-focused app that helps you keep track of your health by logging your meals, exercise and water intake. Whatever your health goal is, the app will provide you with personalized feedbacks based on your tracking habits in order to achieve results the most efficient way.

To learn more about Lifesum & get a special surprise listen to this week’s episode and visit the Lifesum website!


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Full Transcript

00:00: Hello everyone. Welcome back to another episode of 20-Minute Fitness. If it’s your first time stopping by, then we really hope you enjoy the podcast, and I hope you find it really useful and that you love learning about some of the great technology out there that you can incorporate into your lifestyle and your routine to help you progress towards your fitness goals. If you’re a regular listener, welcome back. And if anyone out there hasn’t listened to the second part of the interview with Connor Young, the Founder of Ample Foods, then I highly encourage to do so. The second part of the interview takes a deep dive into the challenges of maintaining a healthy nationwide diet, for example, and it’s really, really interesting. So please do make sure you go over and check that out, and if you haven’t already as well, check out the first part of the interview to get to know Connor a bit better. If you are enjoying the podcast then please do head over to Apple Podcasts and leave us a rating. It will take less than 30 seconds of your time, if you just click that five star rating, and it means a lot to us.

00:58: And if you’re really enjoying it, but you haven’t yet subscribed to the podcast, then make sure you hit that subscribe button, and then you’ll get a notification from then on when a new episode is uploaded. 20-Minute Fitness is powered by ShapeScale. ShapeScale is a 3D body scanning scale. You simply step onto the device and a 3D robotic arm will spin around your body, moving up and down capturing all sorts of body data. This is then synced over to the Shape app, and on the app you’ll be able to see a photorealistic 3D avatar of your body. So that’s all in color and you can move it around and everything like that, and you’ll also be able to see all the quantitative data, like your body fat percentage, your lean muscle mass, and your muscle girth measurements. So it really does make ShapeScale a comprehensive fitness tracker, giving you that data along with the visual side as well, so you can really get to grips with how you’re progressing towards your fitness goal. It’s now available for pre-order at shapescale.com.

01:55: So, sticking with the getting in shape for summer theme, we’re going to look at today how tech can help you to lose weight with nutrition plans. Sticking it to a diet plan or sticking to just eating healthy foods as we all know, is an extremely tough thing to do. But as we’ve all heard the age-old saying that ‘abs are made in the kitchen’ and they really are, maintaining a calorie deficit is so much easier to do when you’re actually eating healthy, balanced meals rather than just trying to really get yourself in a calorie deficit by overdoing it with cardio, because that’s just gonna knacker your body out and it’s a lot less sustainable than just restraining from eating as much rubbish as we normally do and obviously just making sure the volume of food we eat is also in check. And nutrition plans are a great way to do this, and there’s some great tech out there that can help you easily follow nutrition plans and make sure you’re progressing towards your fitness goal.

02:52: Starting as usual at the low end, we’re going to look at Paprika, a nutrition app that you can get on the app store for $4.99. Its full name is Paprika Recipe Manager 3. And Paprika allows to download recipes from your favorite websites or even add your own. It’s got an extensive database of recipes, and that’s anything really, not just healthy food to be honest. It’s got Belgian waffles, which probably wouldn’t advise if you’re trying to lose weight. It’s got blueberry oatmeal, a good solid breakfast to start your day with a slow release energy. It’s got bruschetta with fresh tomatoes, and each of the different recipes that it lists come with a star rating as well, so you can see what the fan favorites are. And then when you click into the recipes, you can find out the necessary ingredients which you can then scale up or down to match your desired serving size. And of course, if you’re not the most competent cook, like myself, there are instructions on how to do each step to make sure that the meal is very tasty at the end.

03:50: Paprika comes with an inbuilt calendar in which you can create your meal plan in advance for a month, for example. You obviously also do it daily and weekly. And it has a key as well that informs you of what you’re planning for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the days ahead, and that’s listed at the bottom as you click into each new day. And this really does take the stress out of trying to think what you’re going to eat on each given day and it also lets you budget ahead as well. And I think just knowing what you need in the cupboards and what you need in the fridge and what you’re going to be cooking after a long day’s work, for example, just takes another decision out of your head if you’ve had a stressful day, for example. You can also use Paprika to create a grocery list for the upcoming week of meals, so you can finally stop using a shopping list by writing them down on a piece of paper, usually losing them or even clogging up notes on your phone. Do it all from that Paprika app.

04:41: Next up we have DietPoint Weight Loss. So DietPoint is an app jam-packed with about 130 weight loss diet plans. So obviously you should only try this app or opt for this app if you have the intention of losing weight. All of the plans are for people who are looking to being calorie deficit and lose some body fat. So, not for you if you’re trying to bulk up and gain muscle mass. So, the plans are very varied. They include, like the Mediterranean Diet Plan and this is a lot of plant-based foods, fruits, vegetables. You’ve got whole grains and nuts. It’s about replacing butter with olive oil or canola oil. And instead of using salt, for example, when you’re seasoning meats, you’re gonna use herbs and spices instead. There’s a low glycemic index diet. There’s the Candida diet and many, many more as well.

05:31: Each diet plan also has a dedicated shopping list for each, and it also gives a weight loss estimate for the plan before you select it. So that’s quite useful if you’re someone looking to lose a lot of weight, obviously you can pre-empt which plan you want to choose based on the number indicated next to the plan. You can also track your weight within the app and get in-app tips to improve your weight loss progress, and obviously, to help you build healthier habits. So one month of premium to get all of the features included in the DietPoint Weight Loss app will set you back $14.99, which obviously, is not bad if it’s going to help you get that goal, if you’re looking to, for example, cut down for a holiday, like myself, which I’ll get into very shortly.

06:15: So next up in the mid-end category now I want to talk about an app called Lifesum that I’ve been using recently to help me get my nutrition back in check, really. I’m usually quite good but I’ve recently been on holiday to Turkey, and as I’m sure you’ll all agree with me, it’s really difficult to keep your diet in check when you’re trying to taste all the local delicacies and you’re enjoying your trip, you’re out with your friends, you’re having a few drinks, you’re going out for meals. And so, I’ve wanted to really try a nutrition-focused app to help me get back on track with my food intake and making sure I’m eating healthy, balanced meals again, as I’m actually going on another trip in a month’s time to Vietnam. And I want to obviously feel my best self. I want to lose the holiday weight I put on in Turkey, lose that excess body fat to make me feel more body confident. And I think so far my experience of Lifesum, it is the perfect app to help me on this journey.

07:07: So Lifesum is a nutrition-focused app which aims to help you keep track of your nutrition. So you can track and log your meals, and you can also track and log your exercise and water intake as well. So it really encompasses everything. It’s multi-functional. And as you’d hope for, the app caters for a number of different health goals, if yours are different to mine. Obviously, I’m opting for weight loss, but there’s also weight gain, if you want to be in a calorie surplus to bulk up and gain muscle mass. Or if you simply want to learn more healthy and sustainable eating habits, there’s that goal option for you as well. What’s nice in the home or diary tab of the app is that I can update my weight and see it every few days in graphical form, hopefully that graph going down and down and down. And it’s displayed in a nice, easy to understand manner as well. And obviously, it will be nice to see that going down as I approach the Vietnam holiday. There are honestly so many features that I’m starting to utilize in the Lifesum app. It’s absolutely great.

08:03: The primary feature I’m obviously using is the nutrition tracker, so you can manually search for the different items you’re eating or you can scan barcodes or another feature which I think is awesome is, I’ve really experimented with this as well, is that you can take photos of the food that you’ve eaten and it will analyze the food and it will return a suggestion of what it thinks the food might be. And I’ve honestly found it to be really accurate so far. So I’ve been experimenting on things like limes, croissants and getting more and more complicated towards spaghetti bolognese with sauce with meat and it even got that right, so it’s great. So if you want to track something really quickly without having to manually search it, get out the camera, take a photo, and you can select what meal it returns and it will automatically, once you click on that, track the calories as well if you’re trying to get a basic ballpark figure, and you’re not wanting to weigh out the food, for example. So Lifesum provides you with a macronutrient split to aim for each day based on your goals.

08:58: Now, whether that be weight loss or weight gain or just maintaining a healthy balanced diet, and your height and weight. And this is clearly displayed on the home diary tab I’ve just mentioned before, along with the calories you have left for the day, the calories you’ve already eaten and the calories burned, because you can obviously track exercise as well. At the end of the day, once you’ve done all your tracking, you can see a detailed breakdown of your day of nutrition. I think that’s awesome. You can really understand whether you’ve had a good day’s eating or whether you really need to reign yourself in and get yourself in check, with a clear rating per meal, and I’ll touch more on the food rating system very shortly. But it’s really good to see, obviously, where you’re going wrong. Is it at breakfast or later in the day where you start to lose track of the healthy eating habits you’re trying to maintain?

09:42: For me, it’s usually later on in the day when I’m starting to wind down and I’m looking to have slightly unhealthier food, maybe some snacks as I sit down on the sofa. And so Lifesum’s rating system’s great to actually remind me that I need to make sure I get these green smiley faces throughout the day, which I will touch on, as I said, very shortly. You can also use the diary feature of each day. So if you feel you’ve had a good day’s eating, you can write what was so good about that day. Why do you think you managed to keep your diet on track? Did you get up early and go to the gym and then get your exercise done early? And that made you focused and more motivated throughout the day? Or did you have a bad day’s eating? And what was it? Maybe you were more stressed. Maybe you need to express yourself through writing that in the diary through Lifesum, and hopefully that will help you think more consciously about how to avoid stress eating if you’ve had a difficult day’s work. There are also pie charts, which give you a visual representation of your macronutrient split, what you’ve eaten for the day compared against your goal intake.

10:42: So if you’re a more visual learner, it’s really easy to understand if you’re hitting the mark or if you’re way off, for example. So, Lifesum’s premium version costs $44.99 for 12 months and it offers a number of different meal plans to suit everyone’s dietary preferences. These include high protein, which is the diet I’m currently following, and I’ve opted for this after taking Lifesum’s test to find out which diet plan might be best for me, and also because I want to ensure that I’m losing body fat whilst maintaining as much muscle mass as possible, so I want to make sure my protein intake is quite high.

11:15: So the high protein diet asks you to select the protein intake you’re aiming for per day and per kilo of body weight. And if you don’t know what sort of ballpark figure you should be aiming for, you do get some indication within the app to know what you should really be looking to select based on your lifestyle, so whether you’re more active. If you’re more active, for example, you go to the gym quite a lot, then your protein intake per kilogram of body weight should be higher. The nutrition plan then provides you a summary of the plan, including the macro split you should be aiming for, and the dos and don’ts of the diet as well, which is really useful to absorb and take that in. It’s very clear. It’s about five or six different overall key things to remember. You can then also see different recipes that are aligned with that diet plan and they’re all really tasty. I’ve tried a couple as well.

12:01: So, for example, I’ve got cod parcels with green peas, potatoes and leek. Obviously, a very healthy, balanced diet. Fish is great for you. And within the recipe tab you’ll get instructions on how to prepare the dish as well as the ingredients. There’s also a three week weight loss plan, which is something I want to try in the future or going to switch on to now in preparation for Vietnam. This is more of a strict meal plan, which actually recommends specific meals for you for the day, and you can automatically track the calories by clicking the track tab if you’ve eaten that recommended meal. Or if you don’t like the look of one of the meals they recommend then you can simply click the swap tab and choose from a number of other options for that meal plan. So it lets you sort of build around your taste preferences as well. So for example, if I don’t like the idea of feta scrambled eggs, I can then switch that to oatmeal with berries and click into the meal for instructions on the recipe, as well as the full macronutrient breakdown.

12:57: So obviously, if you’re someone who doesn’t do well with flexibility, if you’re doing the high-protein plan but finding you keep going off track and you’re not actually sticking to a high-protein meals, then maybe the three-week weight loss plan if you have an upcoming event is best for you because it’s more rigid, it tells you this is what you need to eat in order to lose weight. And it will also ensure as well you don’t do any sort of crash diet because it’s prepared by a professional nutritionist as well. So, a lot of the time if people have a holiday coming up, they really try and significantly decrease their calories too quickly and do a crash diet and this is not sustainable in the long-term and it also does more harm than good as well.

13:35: These two diet plans aside. There’s a ketogenic diet, so low-carb, high-fat. There’s intermittent fasting with a five-two approach, so five days of the week you would eat normally, but obviously healthy, and then two days a week you should restrict your calories to 500 to 600 calories for the day. There’s vegan diets, clean eating diets, and many more as well. And now I’m going to quickly touch on the food rating system I said that I loved. And this is a proprietary food rating algorithm that scores your macro and micro nutrient distribution based on lots of different factors such as the biological effects of the food, the glycemic index and the thermic effect. And the rating is obviously customized for your different dietary preference or whichever nutrition plan you’re following.

14:20: So, I did a little bit of experimenting with the app and I entered a croissant in a coffee for breakfast which was what my friend was eating, and obviously doesn’t really align with my high-protein diet that I chose. And I used the camera app which I was getting really excited by the camera feature and just seeing if it could guess the different types of food. And Lifesum’s app revealed that my nutrient distribution was off track, so you can then click for further details and it revealed that my choices were low in protein and lacking in fiber. And I could also find data on the saturated and unsaturated fats and important micronutrients like sodium, cholesterol, and potassium. And I think this is obviously a great feature if you’re someone who’s unsure on what the nutritional value of your food choice is and whether it aligns with your diet plan. And Lifesum’s rating algorithm gives you a clear understanding as to why this is lacking, so you can start to learn and change your habits accordingly.

15:09: So, I think I briefly mentioned that the rating system gives you a different face like an emoticon that highlights the nutritional value of the meal, so you can get this super food, smiley green face which shows you that the food is a great source of nutrients and minerals. You might get the the center party blue smiley which is sort of equal parts bad and good. It won’t do you any harm, but it’s not the best source of nutrients for your specific diet or you may get the mistake which shows that your choice is high in calorie, high in saturated fats, or sugars, or even a combination of all of those. So, you should avoid these types of foods at all costs. I think this is just a really clever way to help you compartmentalize all the different information surrounding nutrition and help you understand what is a good choice based on a very simple aspect like a face relating to whether you made a good or bad choice and it will help you hopefully make better nutritional decisions in the future.

16:01: So, I have been loving using Lifesum and I’m already noticing myself get back to my healthy habits and correct all the mistakes I made on holiday in Turkey. It’s a very user-friendly app and provides really in-depth information on my nutrition and it is definitely translating into action on my part and I’m definitely going to keep using it to make sure I get back to where I want to be for Vietnam. Very kindly as well, Lifesum are giving 20 Minutes Fitness listeners a 30% discount on the 12-month subscription to the service. And this includes personalized diets based on your preferences and lifestyles. It’s got loads of recipes to align with your diet. It’s got the macro tracking, the food ratings, and so much more. So, if you are interested, visit www.Lifesum.com/20minfitness. So, that was www.Lifesum.com/20minfitness. And I really do think it’s going to help you get to where you want to be and I’d be really interested if someone starts to use it in you getting in touch with us and letting us know what you think. It’d be really interesting to see if you’re finding it as useful as I am.

17:07: Finally, in the mid-end category we have DNA Fit. So, currently for $169 you can get Diet Fit which is DNA Fit’s genetically guided meal planner. So, what is this and how does it work? What’s this about genetics? Well, first things first, you’ll order the DNA Fit kit. And then when it arrives, you will use the saliva swab to send a sample back to one of the accredited laboratories in the post and within 10 business days, you’ll get your results back. So, the results are based on DNA profiling. And they’ll tell you the optimal diet type for your body as obviously each person’s body is different and it reacts to different foods and we all need different fuel. So, it’s a really neat way of actually assessing what it is we need to eat and what we should do for our own individual nutrition.

17:52: So, with Diet Fit, you’ll learn how your genetics affect the way you metabolize carbs and fat and this will help you to build your own nutrition plan. You’ll also get a percentage split for macronutrients, whether it be 30% fats, 20% protein, for example. You’ll discover how your DNA provides signals on which specific vitamins and minerals you need, whether you have any sensitivities or intolerances as well. You’ll actually receive 15 reports on the insights on your recommended diet based on your genes. And you’ll also for that $169 get a personalized meal planner, and this includes all the different ingredients linked to your sort of favorite online shopping retailer to help you quickly and effectively purchase the ingredients for the recipes they suggest that are based on your target weight, your goal and your tastes.

18:40: And you’ll also get a complimentary 30-minute consultation with a trained dietitian and they’ll sort of talk you through your results, they’ll optimize your food choices just based on the amount of exercise you do and food you do and don’t like, when you normally eat throughout the day, and all sorts different questions. You’ll get the chance to really just fire loads of different questions at them and truly understand how your DNA, how your genes are affecting what you should be intaking into your body. And it’s a 12-week program, so you’ll get support throughout the whole thing as well. So, I think a really innovative and cool way to actually think about how we can stick to a nutrition plan by actually analyzing our bodies’ genetic makeup.

19:17: Finally, I thought I’d just mention Rise which we have talked about in the past. But again, it’s a slightly different format to the previous bits of tech I’ve just mentioned. So, it will actually pair you with a nutrition coach and you’ll also snap photos of your meals and send them to your coach and they’ll provide you with daily feedback based on your goals. So, they’ll let you know whether you need to up carbs or up your protein depending on what it is you’re trying to achieve. And you can even discuss your exercise or workout regime with your coaches, when you should be exercising, how much you should be exercising. They are really accessible 24/7, so just fire the messages and hopefully they’ll guide you in the right direction towards your fitness goal.

19:54: And like the apps previously mentioned, Rise also has a recipe database and graphical display of your weight so you can really stay motivated as you see that graph going down if you’re looking to lose weight or up if you’re looking to bulk up and put on some muscle mass. So, some great tech here today, one of which obviously, I am using myself and I think it’s absolutely great. It’s really helping me to get my nutrition on track by actually following a dedicated plan rather than just going off the cuff and just eating what I want when I want. So, I really do recommend looking into the tech that can help you get your diet on track and looking at nutrition plans and obviously checking out Lifesum as well with that 30% discount. I really do hope you’ve enjoyed today’s episode and that you found it very useful. And as I said, please do check out the second part of the interview. Connor is really, really interesting. You’ll, I’m sure find it as intriguing as me to find out what Connor has to say as well. So, do check that out and let us know what you think. That’s all for now. We’ll see you next week.

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Lilla Laczo

Lilla is a content writer and community manager at Shape.
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