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Coupon Abbreviations
  • SC = Store Coupon
  • MC = Manufacturer Coupon
  • SS = Smart Source
  • RP = Red Plum
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Coupon Terms
  • WYB = When You Buy
  • B1G1 = Buy One Get One Free
  • .75/1 = 75 cents off one item
  • .75/3 = 75 cents off three items
  • EXP = Expiration Date

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I shared a month ago that my goal for 2013 is to lose over 30 lbs.  I did great in 2011 and then went off and had a baby in 2012… so here I am back where I started.

I’ve done weight watchers for years, but in all honesty I am tired of logging into the app and even more tired of paying for it.  There are so many great apps out now that are FREE, so why pay $20 a month ($240 a year!) when you don’t have to?

I have found two apps so far in my first month off of WW that I love.  I have no doubt there are more, but I thought I would share these two to help anyone else in my boat.

My Fitness Pal

The best replacement I’ve found for food tracking is My Fitness Pal.  It’s easy to use, and treats every food as a calories (like you should) so you learn that while fruits and veggies are low calories they aren’t exactly free.   My favorite part is that at the end of the day I don’t just see a break down of the calories I ate, but also the nutrition values. My Fitness Pal has an app for most smartphones and an online dashboard if you are away from your phone.

All I did was track the food name and how much I ate, but I get so much more than just points! You also track your exercise in the app, at the end of the day you are given your total calorie loss or gain.  For extra motivation, when you close out a day’s food entries it tells you how much you would weigh in 5 weeks if every day was like today.  While I know every day can’t be alike, it is fun to see when you’ve had a great day!

The last part of My Fitness Pal that is fun… you can follow friends and cheer them on and get encouragement yourself.  If you want to start with a buddy you can add me as friend.  Just promise to be encouraging when I have a bad day…

Strivv

If you need motivation to get moving, then check out Strivv.  It’s a free app for iPhones that gives you motivation with an in app game.  You build a small world and pass challenges to earn more money to buy more plants and trees.  I know it sounds a little like playing Nintendo in the early 90’s.  In reality it’s addictive.  At night my husband is ready for bed and I’m climbing the stairs a few more times just so I can plant another tree.  By the end of the day I may have climb 400 stairs that I didn’t have to (my bedroom is on the first floor) just to plant more things!

If games don’t do it for you, Strivv has a charity side where you can start a walkathon with friends also using the app.  The more you all move the more real money you donate as a group.

Just so you know Strivv has a pedometer you can buy to work with the app, but your phone will work just fine too.  The phone will miss a few steps and stairs but is a lot cheaper than the $60 pedometer.  To be open I do have the pedometer, I asked for it as a Christmas present this year.  I don’t always remember to wear it though, and just use the phone app on those days.

There is one more fun part about both of these apps.  They work together!  I can import all my Strivv steps into My Fitness Pal so that it can calculate the calories burned for the day.

I’m always up for checking out more apps.   Do you have any that you love?

    • Stella

      FItbit products work with myfitnesspal and several other fitness apps. The fitbit has an altimeter to record when you go upstairs, a stepcounter and can be worn at night to report on your quality of sleep. It counts the calories burned and the distance covered. They also have a scale that can send your weight/bodyfate/BMI to the fitness app you are using. These devices eliminate the need to enter your data to your fitness app and it tracks your activity 24-7.

    • Wendylou224

      I lost 70lbs in 7 months using myfitnesspal. I’ve logged in over 405 days in a row too!

      • That’s awesome!! Any big tips you have to share?

        • MelissaG

          One thing I loved about the app and found useful was the scan feature…it allows you to scan packaged foods and the nutrition info is already there for you so you know if you can have half the package or one cookie, etc. I also loved that a lot of restaurant information was in the database so when I ate out I could easily search for something that would help me stay in my calorie range for the day. The app really taught me portion control which is a big part of weight loss.

    • alli

      I love Myfitnesspal!

    • KAYLA

      if you liked weight watchers there is another app, FREE. that is just like weight watchers without saying it is. Ultimate Value Diary.(has a heart with a plus sign in the center) Had we found this out before, my husband would not have joined weight watchers online and then cancel it with a few months. this app works the same as the ww app. and again FREE.

      • Sara

        I just checked this out and it is $3.99 – not a bad price but it was not free anymore

      • marypat

        I did this for a while after I hit a wall with myfitness pal (I LOVED it but found that I needed help making better choices; i.e., 70 calories left so banana or Oreo… same # of calories so I chose an Oreo. LOL). It helped me be better about substituting fruits or veggies for bread or crackers; also made me cut back on dairy.

      • muscadinewine

        Loving this! After doing WW for so long, my brain can’t calculate calories only! Saving me $150/year…thank you!

    • Barbara

      This is not an app, but I found an ebook (Kindle) called 42 days to fit (got it free as part of a promotional deal) that is just awesome. It is written by a homeschooling mom of 8 who actually did the program while she was writing the book with the help of a personal trainer and nutritionist. It is short, simple and effective. I’m in my 3rd week now and am definitely seeing results. (I don’t own a scale, so I can’t say how much I’ve lost…I just know I’m more toned and my clothes are looser.) The website with the book information is Marathon Mom dot com.

    • MelissaG

      I used MyFitnessPal last spring and loved it. I lost 20 lbs with it. I got pregnant soon thereafter and haven’t used it since but plan to start when I I have the baby in two weeks and have given myself time to recover. The only thing I’m unsure of is how to calculate nursing into my calories. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to do that?

    • MelissaG

      I used MyFitnessPal last spring and loved it. I lost 20 lbs with it. I got pregnant soon thereafter and haven’t used it since but plan to start when I I have the baby in two weeks and have given myself time to recover. The only thing I’m unsure of is how to calculate nursing into my calories. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to do that?

      • I was wondering that too. The app faq says to adjust it if you want by going online and manually adjusting your calorie per day amount. The more I read said to not go below 1500 calories a day if you are nursing, so I’m just trying to stick to that right now. My guess would be while you are still up all night that you may need more calories than that.

      • Tricia RN

        Nursing uses about an extra 500 calories per day. Make sure you eat those especially with newborns. If you don’t you will not make adequate milk. If you find your baby fussy, not seaming full, you may need to increase your calories. I ate about 2000 calories while using Fitness Pal and nursing. I still lost weight but slowly. It was more important that my baby was full and happy!

      • lil A’s mom

        you can type in “nursing” and it will give you lots of options and you choose which one fits you best. last time i did it I chose “nursing toddler minimal feedings 200 calories a day)

      • RLH

        Under breakfast, type in breastfeeding. There should be an option with -500 calories, meaning you GET 500 extra.
        Before I figured this out, I’d manually set my breastfeeding calories to 600 and was still losing an entire pound a week more than I’d set as goal.

    • Dana

      I’ve used MFP for three years and love it. I have a FitBit that I requested as a birthday gift and honestly I think it was giving me too much activity credit. I stopped using it. I also have the RunKeeper app which I really like when I go for walks, too.

    • LOC2010

      I love the Nike Training App. It shows a quick video if you are unsure about how to complete the exercise. The voice motivates you by telling you how many minutes are remaining. You can add music to it. I usaully play Pandora as I am exercising with the App. It really shows me that I am out of shape!

    • Elaine

      My Fitness Pal is wonderful!!! I use it all the time!!

    • Jess

      I also really love my fitness pal! But I want to give a word of caution about it. It is a wonderful help to a weight loss program, but we all need to be aware that you can get “addicted” to counting calories, and become obsessive about it. That being said, I find it very user friendly and wonderful.

    • stacey

      “Loss it” is great as well

    • LSeales

      I have been using Myfitnesspal since October and I LOVE IT! I’ve lost

      close to 60lbs. I use runtastic for logging my walks. Basic is free and occasionally they will offer to upgrade to PRO for free for iphone users and 99 cents for android.

    • Lynn1123

      I use myfitnesspal and I have lost 50 lbs. I really love this app. The scanning feature is really nice and the quick add calorie feature is nice when you are busy.

    • Lynn1123

      I use myfitnesspal and I have lost 50 lbs. I really love this app. The scanning feature is really nice and the quick add calorie feature is nice when you are busy.

    • Nicole

      I’ve used myfitnesspal in conjunction with an awesome diet plan and lost 30 lbs (and kept if off for over a year so far!!). I just checked out striiv and OH MY GOODNESS, thank you!! I am so competitive and love games so much, this is really going to help keep me motivated! Yea!!

    • Lori

      I love MyFitnessPal, and I love my Fitbit. As for apps – it isn’t free, but I love ‘Zombies, Run!’. It essentially puts you into the middle of a story, where you are a runner being chased by zombies. Sounds hokie, but really is worth the price tag, if you are interested in adding running to your list of activities. Plus, there is a couch-to-5K version which is much cheaper.

    • TG

      sparkpeople.com They track everything, motivate, have recipes you can incorporate into your ‘nutrition’. Food can be substituted for what you have on hand. I have been tracking everything for almost 3 weeks and have lost about 7 pounds and many inches. This is the first non diet that really works. I have to make sure I eat more food every day. I was eating too little and gaining weight. Go figure.

    • I love the Nike running app. It tracks how far I’ve run, my average speed and shows me which parts of my run were the fastest and slowest. I open that app along with iTunes. For each mile I run, it will interrupt my music to let me know I’ve added another mile (yay!). It also says encouraging things! Gotta love that!! :)

    • tg

      sparkpeople dot com has mobile apps for iphone,ipad,blackberry and android. It is the BEST app out there in my opinion. I track my food that I eat, made from my recipes. I found out I wasn’t losing weight because I wasn’t eating enough food. It is amazing. I am eating real food, losing weight, tracking water, nutrition, exercise. I am in boot camp now, which is motivating. There is also a panic button, which I have not used, in case I am tempted to go off my plan. The plan is individual and FREE. It is based on your current age and weight and amount of exercise. I highly recommend it.

    • tg

      sparkpeople dot com has mobile apps for iphone,ipad,blackberry and android. It is the BEST app out there in my opinion. I track my food that I eat, made from my recipes. I found out I wasn’t losing weight because I wasn’t eating enough food. It is amazing. I am eating real food, losing weight, tracking water, nutrition, exercise. I am in boot camp now, which is motivating. There is also a panic button, which I have not used, in case I am tempted to go off my plan. The plan is individual and FREE. It is based on your current age and weight and amount of exercise. I highly recommend it.

    • moonbean

      I use “Lose It” which is a free app. I have been using it since
      1/1/2013 to track my food intake and exercise every day. I started the
      year around 135 and now I am at 125. The app has a bar code scanner you
      can scan the package of any product you buy from the store and it also
      has a data bank of restaurants and their menu items. You can modify
      your goals as you go along and you can share info with others if you
      want to. It very easy to use.

    • Liz B

      Noom! I have used it every day for over 1.5 years. It’s easy to use with calorie, weight, and exercise tracking. I HIGHLY recommend checking it out!

    • Livnlif

      MyFitnessPal also allows you to create recipes and calculates the calories and nutrition values of your own homemade foods.

      • RLH

        How??

      • RLH

        How??