Hungry Girl: How Technology Can Help You Lose Weight

02/08/2016 at 02:24 PM ET

Hungry Girl
David Paul Morris/Bloomberg/Getty; Inset: Courtesy Lisa Lillien

Lisa Lillien is the author of the popular Hungry Girl website and email newsletter, featuring smart, funny advice on guilt-free eating. She is also the author of ten books, six of which debuted at number one on the New York Times Best Sellers list. Read her blog every Monday for slimmed-down celebrity recipes and more.

Technological advances are great for more than just voice texting your mom and sending your friends a slew of custom emojis. There are so many ways technology can help you drop unwanted pounds. Here are four of my favorite weight loss gadgets.

Fitness Trackers
If you’re down to make a small investment in your health and weight management, these are super useful. I’m a big fan of the FitBit – there are several different versions, from basic trackers to those intended to rival the Apple Watch. See what’s right for you, and consider whether you’d like one that will track your heart rate, your sleeping patterns, your exercise, etc. Even basic models can log your steps, calorie burn, and active time. Shop around!

RELATED: Hungry Girl: Why You Should Make Your Own Peanut Butter (It’s Easy!)

Electronic Food Journals
I’m a big proponent of food journaling – eating a whole package of Oreos is a lot less likely to happen if you’re writing down every single thing you eat. Even better than basic journaling is tracking your food in an electronic food journal like MyFitnessPal or Calorie Count. You can easily track the calories and other nutrients so that you don’t go overboard for the day. You can use most of these on your computer and smartphone. Speaking of which…

Smartphone Apps
It’s no secret that there’s an app for everything these days. But it goes beyond just being able to track your food intake. If you don’t want to shell out for a fitness tracker, you can log your exercise through apps on your phone. Nike+ Training Club and Strava are good for things like biking or running. Even the basic Health app that comes on every iPhone will track the steps you take (well, those you take when the phone’s on you). And if you’re looking for exercises you can do at home, the app store is your oyster.

RELATED: Hungry Girl: These 5 Foods Will Make Your Skin Glow

Food Scales
Something as simple and inexpensive as a digital scale can make a huge difference in your weight management. One of the biggest diet saboteurs is inadvertently overdoing your portions. Our perspective has been skewed by the crazy amounts restaurants serve up – those are not normal portions! Start cooking at home and measuring out your ingredients, especially nutrient-dense items like meat and nuts.

‘Til next time… Chew the right thing!

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms
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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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