A few things have happened since I last checked in with my fat man diary, none of which have been good for my quest to downscale my vital statistics. First there was a vacation that had an unfortunate effect on my waistline. This was followed by a health-check that had me slightly taken aback at my nurse’s openness regarding my blood pressure, width, and most notably weight.
All this created a renewed focus in me. So, it’s back to the gym and being careful about what I eat. Information and data that I have been carefully entering into my latest app, Noom Coach – Weight Loss (iOS | Android).
And it is going well (though after the gym yesterday I can’t bend my arms). Much like my previous diet app, MyPlate (iOS), Noom offers an intuitive interface that remembers past data entries for easy access. In addition to this, it also recalls the amount or measure of earlier inputs – letting them be reentered with a simple swipe. This is hugely useful for me, as my general weekly diet does not alter much unless I am out and about.
This results in data entry that is a pleasure rather than a chore. Previous apps had me pouring over pages of data, and going one or two menus deep to enter a dish from the day before. With Noom, three or four swipes saw me finished with the list, intelligently updating as I added elements. I could even make this process more efficient using the “Create Dish” option, with a single gesture entering a whole meal.
Exercise was similarly easy to enter (if not to perform) – though a little more hidden away. Exercise-like activity in Noom is cunningly hidden under the “do more” option, which has the advantage of not rubbing your face in your inactivity if you are too busy to exercise in any particular stretch of your life. For me this is fantastic, as it relives unavoidable guilt that can lead me to unhealthy eating cycles.
Once you find the list of training choices you just have to find your activity. These are well organized with more common choices at the top, before becoming alphabetical. Once selected you can edit your activity level, duration, and calories burned. Calculating all this the first time is not exactly intuitive, but it is easy to pick-up and subsequent visits become lightning fast.
My only issue with Noom, and this is quite personal, is its insistence on regular weigh-ins. Personally I find this a dangerous request, as at my current size I am happier just to feel better in myself, and measuring each kilogram feels like it could give way to an unnecessary fixation – one which may be even more pronounced in people closer to their ideal weight.
I really like Noom, and in fact my next diary will focus on it again. Due to recent circumstances, I feel I didn’t give it enough time, and rather than moving on I want to dig further into its features. It’s great, but I will reserve complete judgment until next week.
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