It’s almost that time of year where fitness goals are set, and that also means removing the bulky clothing to face the bulge. It isn’t just about bluntly going into a calorie deficit though, as cutting carbs or that winter chocolate overload just won’t do. You’ll need to increase or maintain your fitness levels as well.

Far from being an intrusion or distraction, technology can often be the help you need. A Life Fitness survey found that those incorporating technology into their fitness routines were better at achieving their weight and fitness goals. Here are some of the best tech toys to help you work smarter, not harder, without compromising on the results.

The Shapa Scale


Only the smuggest of fitness fanatics will ever admit to enjoying stepping on the scale. The problem is, there’s no avoiding the basic habit of weighing yourself if you’re working towards a goal weight, whether that is gaining or losing pounds.

But thanks to your body being a dynamic system that can sometimes store more weight after a salty snack only to pass it again in urine, the number on the scale can fluctuate from day to day and even within a few hours.

Instead of showing you your exact weight, the Shapa scale indicates if you’re losing weight, making progress or gaining weight. Five colour-coded categories exist so that if you’ve gained a fraction of a pound you won't need to know or fret about it. You’ll only be notified if you’re gaining weight when the trajectory is clear. Shapa also comes with an app to help you health-orientate your life as well.

Calorie Counters

No roundup would be complete without a calorie counter. The science is simple: you need to consume fewer calories and up your activity levels to lose fat and keep it off. Calories can be deceptive though, there are many delectable salads that contain more calories than a burger.

There is no need to impose a military-style limitation on your pleasure food – science has long now accepted that the goal to keeping weight off is adapting your lifestyle rather than going on exhaustive diets that take all the pleasure out of eating. All it requires is an understanding of what it’s going to take to burn off that delicious southern fried chicken, fish and chips or your favourite American takeaway on cheat day, for your fitness goals not to fall to pieces. It's great news that the restaurant industry as a whole has been responding to health and fitness concerns with healthier options and low-carb and low-fat dishes, while many upscale restaurants tend to deliver too, as opposed to the sole options of junk food we used to have for takeaway. Just keep an eye on what exactly you're having. MyFitnessPal and Lose It are two of the most widely used calorie counters.

Under Armour


Wearable technology is great for measuring distance, heart rate, calories burnt and other essential stats when you’re a runner or cyclist. But if you’re tired of having to wear something on your wrist or prone to forgetting it now and then, Under Armour has just the thing, namely, smart shoes. The technology is integrated into the bottom of your shoes, so you don’t even know you’re wearing it. It tracks stride, cadence and other critical performance data.

Freeletics

Using body resistance training is perfect if you don’t have time or money to spend in the gym, or if you just want to mix up your fitness routine a little. The Freeletics app models itself on being the personal trainer in your pocket, so you can do a number of highly effective workouts around you with no special equipment or having to enter a gym.

There you have it. The Fitbit is not the only way to get technology to help you lose weight, bulk up or become healthier. Not every one of these options is for everyone, but the potential is great when it's the right match.