It works – The program works!
In my effort to lose weight and become healthier, I am testing out a variety of weight loss apps and resources! Here's my experience with the app iTrackBites.
The iTrackBites application is very easy to use and possesses similar qualities to the Weight Watchers app. It's even organized by breakfast points, lunch points, dinner points, snack points, and activity points, just like Weight Watchers' version. The app is free to download and use if you choose not to have access to the restaurants and some other useful features, but if you want the full version, it would cost you about $36 per year, versus the $22/month that Weight Watchers charges. Quite a difference!
It is important to note that the iTrackBites app has been recently updated, greatly improving its usability. In the old version, food used to be harder to find, the selection was lacking, and the interface was very confusing overall. I did not feel motivated to use it until the major update showed up.
Here's what it looks like now:
What I found most useful about iTrackBites is that it has five programs to choose from (Weight Watchers has only one). Instead of limiting customers to one program that is “useful” for everyone, you can pick and choose what works best for you! (I’m down with that).
The available tracking programs include:
- Bites Plus (based on protein, carbs, fat, and fiber) | This is their version of Points Plus
- Bites Flex (focused on helping you limit your sugar) | Their version of freestyle
- Bites Smart (calories, sat. fat, sugar, protein) | Their version of smart points
- Bites Classic (calories, fat, and fiber) | Their version of the classic program
Instead of fighting with the same 10 pounds or not understanding the program you are paying for, you can pick and choose the one that fits your lifestyle the most. For me, it’s the Bites Plus or Points
Plus program. It focuses on protein, carbs, and fiber, the three main components that help me lose weight.
The variety is what caught my attention the most. Instead of being confined to one program that was not working, I was able to track back to one of the original programs that helped me drop 50 pounds the first time around. Every body type is different so having the freedom to choose the program allows iTrackBites to be more accessible and effective.
How iTrackBites Works
Basically, you use the app to track every single bite of food that goes into your mouth.
In order to add your lunch to the tracker, you click on the green plus sign, click on the search bar, type what food item you are looking for, and click search. There, you can easily select from the wide list of food items for exactly what you are looking for. If you eat at a particular restaurant, you can find the restaurant in the app and then search for the menu item that you are having.
Another aspect of iTrackBites that caught my attention was the fact that you can connect your FitBit so that it will automatically track your daily allotted active points. You can see how you are doing with exercise, how much you are eating, and the progress you are making.
Just like Weight Watchers, iTrackBites has a section for you to log your weight, and then the app will calculate and change your daily allotted point balance for you so you can keep losing weight.
And what I found most interesting is that the app features a message board where you can cheer on fellow iTrackBiters and post questions. You can interact with others on the same journey as you!!
I need to clarify two things before I go into my iTrackBites journey of the last 30 days: I have Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), so my journey is a little more difficult than the average person.
How my brain and stomach are functioning on a day-to-day basis determines how fast or slow I lose weight, what I will eat, how I will work out, how focused I will be for the day, and my overall results.
On my major ADHD days where I feel like I'm on acid (my brain won't shut up and has been put into hyperdrive by Chewbacca), I am more likely to make worse decisions by eating foods that take less time to cook and consume more sugar.
Courtesy of GIPHY
People with IBS have what are called trigger foods that will irritate their bowels, and I am still figuring out what those are. Some of my trigger food are coffee, peppers, anything acidic, and some dairy products. When I eat too many of (or accidentally have) the trigger foods, I generally have to stick to the BRAT (bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast) diet with ginger ale or plain chicken. IBS also affects my weigh-in days as my weight fluctuates frequently – Healthline explains this perfectly!
So, now that we have clarified all of that up, let's get down to the nitty-gritty (*rubs hands together*).
Here's What I Did
I ate foods like these:
Pictured: Lean salmon, broccoli, and a small portion of rice. Points: 6
Pictured: Chickpeas, sweet potatoes, brown rice, and a hummus dip. I later added half an avocado. Points: 10
Pictured: Homemade breakfast sandwich with English muffin, thinly sliced turkey, American cheese, and an egg. Points: 8
Pictured: Rotisserie chicken with BBQ sauce, instant mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and butternut squash. Points: 8
As you can see in the photos above, I focused on making healthy and protein-filled dishes. Don't shy away from carbs; just don't overindulge in them.
Because I am human, I still ate ice cream, Reese's, and fried foods, but I made sure to portion everything out so I would not go over my daily allowance.
I worked out to The Fitness Marshall 3-4 times a week and alternated between the dances and taking a long walk outside.
Last but not least, I drank my recommended daily dosage of water per day – hydration is key!
Here's What Happened
For the first two weeks, I was over every single day. As time went on, I began to be more careful with my decisions and focused on making healthier and better choices. As I did this, the scale started moving downwards, I started working out almost every day, and I started to feel better about myself.
The healthier choices were paying off because I noticed a positive change in my mood swings, improvement with my skin and sleep, and an increase in my energy levels. The less sugar, salt, and carbs that I consumed, the better I felt.
I still had plenty of days where my stomach was so flared up, meaning that my stomach ballooned in size and I could barely eat, or I was just tired – but overall, there were major improvements. I started feeling better about myself and was not as ashamed.
I tracked 100 percent of everything that went into my body, no matter if I had gone over my daily point allowance, it got tracked ... even if it was painful to admit.
Here are my final results:
Overall weight loss: 5.6 pounds in total
What it a success? Yes, absolutely it was. Overall, I was very impressed with this program and intend to continue using this so I can take off every single extra pound that seems to be hanging on for dear life. I plan to figure out a system that will allow me to juggle losing the weight while dealing with my IBS and ADHD days!
**All photos courtesy of Caitlin Helveston
Are you a member of Weight Watchers and are wanting to try something different? Will you be giving iTrackBites a try? What fitness app do you recommend? Tell us your thoughts and feelings in the comments.