5 Ways Your Phone Can Help You Lose Weight

Credit: Kevin Kozicki / Getty Images

You know your phone is useful in your personal life and career. But it's also just the thing to help you drop those extra pounds. Here are five ways your smartphone is the perfect tool to help you shed those extra few pounds now.

RELATED: The 30 Best Health and Fitness Apps of the Year

It can get you off your butt.
Even if you're a gym rat who hits the treadmill every morning, sitting all day at work can wreak havoc on your health. If you only get out of your chair for bathroom breaks, you have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, Type-2 diabetes and, you guessed it, weight gain. The key is regularly moving for a few minutes throughout your day, but it's easy to get in a zone and forget — and that's where your phone comes in. Apps such as Move buzz every hour to remind you it's time to hop to your feet and do a quick activity (Move will even suggest what to do, including quick exercises that won't be obvious to your colleagues).

It can help you eat less.
Snapping a photo of every snack or meal before you eat it can actually help you make healthier choices. Research from the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that unlike food logs, which most people fill in after the fact, photographs require you to think about what you're going to consume before you take a single bite. People who take a photo are likelier to adjust what they're going to eat, or consume a smaller portion. (It does seem harder to devour half a pizza in the afternoon when you're forced to take a record of the pre-binge evidence.)

RELATED: The 14 Best Fitness Trackers to Buy Now

It can serve as a reminder when you need it most.
Text messages are hard to ignore, which makes them perfect for keeping your weight-loss resolution front and center in your mind. Studies show that daily text messages referring to your ultimate goal (How many steps did you walk yesterday? Did you hit the drive-thru?) and giving some feel-good encouragement can keep you motivated and help you lose weight. You don't need to bother your friends to start texting you nonstop — apps like Weight Loss Nagger and Coach Alba will do the reminding for you.

It can wake you up on the healthy side of the bed.
Exercising in the morning means no after-work drinks or surprise deadlines will get in the way of your calorie-burning plans. Plus, working out first thing means you'll be consistent with what time you exercise — something that can help you feel less fatigued and perform better. But waking up before sunrise to do that? That's where the BetterMe app comes in. It uses the fear of public humiliation to get you to the gym when you say you will. Just plug in your gym's address and what time you want to show up there. If you don't make it, the app will post about your failure on your Facebook page — a status update your friends are sure to notice.

RELATED: The Complete Guide to Getting Fitter Faster

It can be your personal trainer.
There's no doubt you push yourself harder when a trainer who could be The Rock's stunt double is telling you exactly what to do. But at $100 a pop, meeting with one every week can drain your wallet. In between in-person sessions, rely on FitStar Personal Trainer. Developed by NFL star Tony Gonzalez, the app tells you exactly what to do based on your goals, skill level, and other criteria like if you don't have any equipment or are super short on time.