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Losing weight the Web 2.0 way – Fat-Off challenge
So now that the tryptophan has settled, and the holiday eating season is upon us, I want to give you some suggestions on sites that can help you battle the bulge. I call it the Web Apps Fat-Off. These are apps that really hit upon many of the new Web 2.0 ideas and really are some great ways to help you lose the weight. Everyone I talk to asks me to pick my favorite.
If I was to pick just one, which is very hard since they are all a bit different, I would pick traineo. It really is very robust and the programming behind it is also very strong. But that aside, give them all a try and make up your own mind! Let’s hit those treadmills, pump some iron and really do the Fat-Off proud! I know that I need to lose weight and will be using these apps to help me get there.
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RunFatBoy is a tool created by Jim Jones to help newbies lose weight. RunFatBoy provides customized workouts based on your weight and then you can customize the workouts from there.
- $5 per month
- Very customizable to create the workout that will work for you
- Lots of Web 2.0 goodness
- Offers both Metric and Standard
- Easy to use, functionality works well
Areas for improvement
- Ability to go back in history – appears you can only look at the current week
- Algorithm for initial workout – not sure where the weights come from but they seem heavy for an obese man (I would assume just as bad for a woman)
- Some information on where the pre-defined workout comes from – this is an issue I have with every tool I have looked at.
- Needs graphs of workouts and weights
I think RunFatBoy is for someone who wants a little bit more than Skinnyr, but less than Traineo. If you want a way to track your workouts in an easy to use manner with a diary, then RunFatBoy is for you. If you are the type that needs a community for motivation, then look elsewhere. For me, the suggestions above would need to be implemented for it to be worth the $5/month charge.
Screenshots – click to enlarge
iTrainHarder is a pretty robust site in the areas of nutrition/fitness tracking and planning. The site iTrainHarder defines themselves as:
iTrainHarder is an online nutrition and fitness tracking and planning system that allows you to see your results as well as plan for new ones. Our software will allow you to track your progress using the most advanced web tools available for personal fitness.
- Very well built application, smooth and robust technology
- Site has 5 major components: nutrition, training, measurements, blog and trainer.
- No matter what food I tried, I could not find one that is not in their database
- Each feature has a tutorial video
- Usability is high
Areas for Improvement
- Design is very geeky, not easy enough on the eyes
- Appears to be set for men, not women in its appearance
- No community – could be a positive or a negative
- Explain the pricing – “as low as” – what does the pricing look like?
- Make the design more relaxed with colors that make people feel more relaxed
- Add some line height to the text – there is tons of (good) text on the site but it is a little hard to read with the lines being so tight
I think iTrainHarder really is an excellent comprehensive tool. I think it is worth the $3.75/month. Especially if you have a fitness trainer because it really rounds out what they do with you. If they could work on some of my suggestions above, then I think they could have a very powerful market leader with iTrainHarder. As with most of the other sites, having some backing from a doctor, nutritionist and fitness trainer will help add credibility and “certification” to iTrainHarder. iTrainHarder offers a free week trial. I suggest you give it a try when you are ready to manage your weight and fitness routine.
Screenshots – click to enlarge
Skinnyr is the most basic of the tools tested (it is still very useful!). The idea with Skinnyr is that you can create a graph with your current weight. You can put the graph on any site you are associated with like MySpace or your blog. Here is a test graph I just made to demonstrate: