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TUAW Fitness: An Apple a day makes the weight go away

I've struggled with my weight for a long time. In my free-wheeling post-college days I lived with my two best friends, sitting around playing video games, drinking beer and eating Taco Bell. I put on a lot of weight in a short amount of time with that diet and exercise schedule, topping out at 260 pounds. I decided enough was enough, and I strapped on my running shoes, straightened up my eating habits, and lost almost 90 pounds.

In the years that have followed, my weight has gone up and down several times, and I'm at the point now that I need to get serious about losing weight again. According to my BMI, at 6'3" I should top out at 199 pounds, and right now I'm at 225.

This time my weight loss should be easier since I have 3 secret weapons: my iPhone 3GS, my Mac and my AppleTV. Read on for my weight loss plan and how these Apple products will help me achieve my goals.

iPhone 3GS

This one is obvious. The Nike+ integration makes this a no-brainer accessory in my battle against my belly, and the GPS enables many exercise apps to track my runs and bike rides. Running is my exercise of choice, and in the next few weeks as I progress I'll post my opinions on RunKeeper, JogBuddy, Trailguru, and of course Nike+. Maybe this experiment will be enough of a success that I'll use Can Do 26.2 to train for (another) marathon by the time this is all through.

I've been a pretty avid runner for many years, so even though I'm back to being heavier I'm still capable of 3-5 mile runs, albeit not nearly as fast as when I was at my thinnest. The apps will be used more to speed up on my runs rather than increase my distance, although for those of you who may just be starting out on running I'll be sure to test on longer runs to see if they properly motivate you to finish. I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that I've never been one to run with my iPod or iPhone, and certainly not with Nike+, so I am coming into this whole "iPhone as training device" as a total newbie.

Mac

There's a variety of great software available to track calories, like Calorie King, BeFit, and Perfect Diet Tracker. MacGourmet can help plan my meals so that I don't exceed my daily caloric limit. Weightmania provides a wide variety of tools to track workouts, meals, measurements, and more. There's no shortage of Mac software to help you track your food and exercises of choice.

AppleTV

The AppleTV may encourage a sedentary lifestyle with the plethora of movies and TV shows it offers, but it can also be friendly to the waistline with a variety of TV shows and podcasts available made to help you achieve your weight loss goals. ExerciseTV has a variety of TV shows available to get you off the couch and moving, including free (at the time of this writing) Yoga classes (iTunes). There are also plenty of free video and audio podcasts available to help you eat right and exercise, like the eDiets podcast (iTunes), and Diet.com podcast (iTunes).

I have several weight loss success stories under my belt (including the time I won over $200 in an office pool for who could lose the most), but I've never used any of the aforementioned tools in any of my efforts. I hope that through this series of articles, I can help out of those of you who, like me, sometimes find it hard to motivate yourself to eat right and exercise.

Follow along with me as I lose the weight with Apple as my virtual personal trainer and virtual chef. On the advice of fellow TUAW blogger Steven Sande, I've created an account at LIVESTRONG and am already impressed with what the iPhone app and associated web app has to offer. In the coming weeks and months I'll write more articles on my progress and my thoughts on the various applications available.

Do you use your Apple products to keep your weight in check? Sound off in the comments.

I've struggled with my weight for a long time. In my free-wheeling post-college days I lived with my two best friends, sitting around...