Tuesday, May 17, 2022

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    I Let a Fitness App Run My Life for a Week

    With only 8 weeks to go until Tough Mudder, it’s about time I start training. And what better way than to let an app do ask the planning?

    8fit (not sponsored) promises to manage every aspect of fitness and nutrition – workouts, cardio, and a complete meal plan. I chose 8fit because it goes one step further than other apps and compiles a shopping list for the week’s food.

    I choose the recommended 3 meals, 1 snack per day plan, and after a brief quiz it decides I should start on workout difficulty 2/9, three times a week. I up it to 3/9, 5 times a week.

    Food shopping

    I select my meals for the week from the app’s selection, choosing a spinach- filled version of my scrambled eggs for weekend breakfasts so I can still watch Scrubs and relax all morning. Still, most meals look a lot like salads, which drains my will to live. Mum does not approve either.

    Day 1

    All starts well with a strawberry and raspberry smoothie. I wonder how it could possibly have 500 calories in, until I shovel in the peanut butter.

    Lunch is a delicious salad, and I’m feeling more toned already. Then it got to snack time. Raw carrot and cucumber stick with peanut butter dip. Flipping putrid. Genuinely gipping. I mean, there’s only so much a man can take. So I decide to change to the 3 meal 0 snack plan, and slightly up the ingredients in other meals.

    The workout is easy enough, and I finish with an anticlimactic chicken and tomato on hummussy bread. With celery. Some vegetables aren’t made to be eaten raw. Carrots and cucumber and celery are three.

    Day 2

    Same food, but without the manky raw celery etc. For tea I even got adventurous and heated the bread and chicken up.

    Smashed out workout #2.

    Day 3

    Lovely berry smoothie again – blueberries go surprisingly well peanut butter!

    Day 4


    The workouts ramp up to a challenging difficulty, and the hunger sets in. Mum notices I’m wasting away and modifies the manky carrot/cucumber/PB snack to a much improved pepper/cucumber/hummus dish.

    Day 5

    I’m not so great at planning, so have a couple missing ingredients for the asparagus/tuna lunch salad, so sub in more beans for the tuna. I also get caught up in a conversation at the canteen and (completely absent mindedly) buy a pack of crisps – my first naughty! But I am still skipping snacks so it’s not overeating at least.

    These workouts are starting to burn hard. They’re still only around 15 minutes, but the ache from yesterday in my chest muscles is real.

    Day 6

    I’d arranged to go to the races with a pal and her friends, and as much as I love the races I still wanted to stick to the plan as much as possible. So, I skipped joining them for breakfast, and made some scrambled egg, and got home in time to make the aptly titled “beef in a bowl.” The only meal I messed up was lunch, which ended up being unhealthy nachos.

    Day 7

    A small piece in and up for scrambled eggs before finishing a couple of uni assignments. Lunch was a simple yet tasty chorizo, chickpea, and pepper dish that I heated in a pan. Tea was beef in a bowl again – mainly beef mince, tomato puree, and oats… A strange mix of chilli con carne and porridge. Smashed the fifth workout of the week to end on a high.


    It was an interesting experiment, and 20 meals and 5 workouts later I can admit that I was getting hungry toward the back end of the week. However, my Lifesum score did go up +8 points to 111!

    In terms of a review, the recipes were a mixed bag (raw cucumber, carrot, celery?!), and the fitness app was way more primitive than others (recommend Nike Fitness Club). But, I did feel the burn, and I liked how it bases meals around a source of protein, whether that be fish, meat, peanut butter, etc.

    I will definitely keep the blueberry, banana, strawberry, and peanut butter smoothie recipe because it’s delicious.

    Bring on Tough Mudder!

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