Let’s face it, in the cold winter months, it’s hard to stay motivated and stick to a regimen. Fortunately, there are more smartphone fitness apps available and they can get you back on track in a matter of a screen swipe.
Let’s take a closer look at BodyLab’s offering. BodyLab products are “created for women by women,” promoted by Jennifer Lopez, and designed to empower women to be happier and healthier versions of themselves. Their app is free to download and available for Apple iPhone and Android. The app does four things:
- Tracks weight in a new way. Take pictures and use selfies to track weight changes. Photos are a great way to monitor weight loss or fitness progress because they show the changes in your physical appearance that your scale can’t capture.
- Monitors nutrition in several ways. Create a personal profile (which determines daily caloric intake goals) and upload meals into the meal planner. Not sure where to eat? Enter your zip code and the Guilt Free Meal Locator will find restaurants and provide the calorie, fat, and carbohydrate breakdown of the items on the menu. Don’t want to eat out? Simply go to the recipe section and you can design a meal. There are several recipes for vegetarian, paleo, and low-carb diets. Unfortunately, gluten-free folks will need to fend for themselves and find their own recipes.
- Track your supplement intake. Sort of. You are limited to Bodylab products–the TastyShake Thermodynamic Protein Complex, Thermodynamic Total Burn, and 7-Day Ultra Fast Slim Kit. BodyLab has strategically incorporated the supplement section to promote their products and create revenue for the app.
- Provides “expert” advice. Posts from the BodyLab blog are accessible through the app and many of them are written by Tiffany Strobel. While Tiffany Strobel is a health writer, body builder, and personal trainer, it is concerning that there are no licensed healthcare professionals providing “expert” advice.
But will the Bodylab fitness app work to help with weight loss and/or fitness motivation? The latest research shows apps that interface with other users have the best success. Nicholas Christakis MD, PhD and James Fowler PhD are researchers who wrote the book on health and social networking (Connected). They found that both face-to-face interactions as well as online connections can positively and negatively influence health. Their research, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, shows that associations with overweight friends can increase the odds of gaining weight by 57% to 171% depending on the strength of the relationship. On the flip side, fitness apps that include a social networking component have the potential to positively influence health behaviors and promote weight loss.
Bodylab’s app “community” is more about providing information rather than creating relationships. So, unless you think of JLo as your newest and healthiest BFF, this app is probably best used as a diary for Bodylab supplement intake. (Stay tuned for my next article that looks into the efficacy of their supplements. I can give you a heads up now, the box is covered in warning labels.) But if the BodyLab app is a good resource and works for you, that’s great, keep at it.
If not, there are several smartphone apps designed to keep you motivated. My Fitness Pal tracks nutrition and Nike Training Club focuses on exercise. Nike Training Club has a relationship building social network platform which optimizes success. Guilt Free Meal Locator is available without the Bodylab app. SnapTrack is a fitness and weight loss app that uses selfies to monitor progress.
With the BodyLab app and a wild imagination, you can pretend you’re working out with JLo. Sort of. Not really.
For more information on supplements, Keilynn Hopkins wrote this great post (and mentions the JLo supplements that come in the 7-Day Ultra Fast Slim Kit.)