If you played any games online recently, you saw all sorts of apps for exercising, yoga, and losing weight. But, are weight loss apps worth it? Do we really do better using our phone for support rather than a coach?

Benefits of Using Apps

For sure, there are many benefits to using apps to help you lose weight. For people who are self-starters and can keep up with a do-it-yourself program, they're great. There are some other benefits, too.

  • Private 

There's a certain discomfort for people who are just starting to lose weight. Walking into the gym and seeing all those eyes on you is disconcerting. You can feel their judgment, even though you’re doing something positive for your weight. Because you're not “there yet” and it can feel like those who exercise regularly are judging you.

If you’re using a weight loss app at home, there’s no judgment. There’s nobody there to criticize you or cast that silent judgment. Many people feel safer using apps rather than the gym.

  • Self-Motivated

The apps are definitely for self-motivated people. If you’re the type of person that makes a decision and sees it through to the end, apps work perfect for you. Many of them have reminders and step by step programs that will lead you precisely to where you need to be on your weight-loss journey.

But, that’s the downside as well. You have to be a self-starter and take responsibility for what you do. If you find yourself starting things, but need accountability, the apps are not something that will keep you on track.

  • Doesn’t Nag You

Unlike the gym, you don't get the nagging and controlling from the apps that you would get from being around other people. You have reminders to do the workouts, but they won't keep harping on you if you miss one or two sessions.

If you feel a little guilty about missing a workout but can jump back in and get back on track on your own, the apps will not judge you. They won't hold you accountable for what you missed.

Benefits of Using a Coach

Of course, there exist many benefits of using a coach or personal trainer. Throughout history, having somebody helping you was one of the fastest ways to lose weight or build muscle tone.

  • Personalized Attention

Working one-on-one with somebody means you get a personalized plan and accountability. These people will keep in touch with you and make sure that you are completing the program. For example, our coaches here at Custom Health Centers start by assessing to determine your supplement needs. We then work with you to make sure you’re taking supplements and getting good results.

It’s accountability that keeps a person moving along a set track. People who use coaches to accomplish any goal succeed far more often. Because you have our personal attention, we can make sure that everything’s working well for you, you’re keeping on track, and getting everything you want out of the program.

  • Consistent Motivation

Think of the coaches as having your own private cheerleader. This is someone who will stand behind you and encourage you to keep going, even when it doesn't feel like you can. Think about the last time you went to an exercise routine. It was tough by the end, and you debated with yourself about just getting up. Well, a coach won't let you.

On the other side of that, when you need moments to heal, our coach will encourage you to take it easy and take the time to recover. Then, we'll be right back at you to exercise again.

  • Troubleshooting Problems

Not everybody can do all the exercises in the same way. As we get older, we find aches and pains manifest to irritation and stiffness later on. Doing squats is excellent for the gluteus muscles of the behind, but if your knees are sore, they can be agony.

Working with a coach can point out the right and wrong way to do a particular exercise. Maybe squats aren’t right for you, but another activity will give you the same results without the pain. Your coach can help troubleshoot the problems before you caused any damage to yourself.

Cons of Apps

  • No personalization
  • Use lasts on average 6-12 weeks
  • Lowest success rate (but still better than not doing anything at all)

Cons of Coaching

  • More expensive
  • You have to do it – they follow-up to make sure
  • You have to explain your lazy days and change your habits

Which Should You Choose?

If your goal is weight loss, you have to know yourself well enough to know what works best. Are you good at self-motivation and accomplishing your goal without anyone cheering you on or helping you out? Then, the apps will probably work fantastic for you.

But, if you need a little bit more help, motivation, and accountability, coaching is definitely for you. If you need adjustments to some exercises or to avoid injury, definitely work with a coach.

February 02, 2021 — Dr. Jason Olafsson