Described as “Your own digital coach” the Kiqplan Slim and Trim app monitors your activity, nutrition and provides coaching and motivation. Kiqplan Slim & Trim provides a 12 week fitness and diet plan to help get you into shape. There are is also a Beer Plan for men. If you want to give a virtual gift this Christmas, this is a great option for any fitness friends.
The Slim & Trim App
The app is free to download from iTunes and Google Play (I only tested this on Android 4.4.3) and is just under 11 Mb, so it is best to install over a wireless connection. To use a FitBug app you need to purchase a plan.
The latest app comes with a nutrition search function and improved FitBug Orb sync. Orb is Fitbug’s button-sized wireless fitness tracker that is designed to be worn 24/7. It tracks your whole lifestyle, including sleep, walking and workouts. Watch a video about it here. Information is uploaded to your smartphone via Bluetooth and then your smartphone uploads to your account on the FitBug website.
After installing the app you need to create an account. Signing up is easy, you can chose to use your Facebook, Google or Twitter accounts or an email of your choice. The only data you have to enter on sign-up is your date of birth. The app is designed for over 18 year-olds only.
To use a FitBug app you must first purchase a plan. You will be given an activation code that gives access to the app and connects with the online account.
The next part asks you to input your weight and height – you can chose to use either the imperial or metric system.
The app was tested this using a weight of 72kg (160 kg) and a height of 167 cm (5ft 6in) because this represents an average woman today (US size 12, UK size 16).
The app gave a weight goal of 69 kg, which represents a weekly weight loss target of 0.25 kg. The app allows you to increase your weekly weight loss target in increments of 0.25 kg up to 1 kg.
According to Body Mass Index, the top end of a healthy weight for a 167 cm (5ft 6in) woman in 69.8 kg, so this app appears to be targeting this weight to start with.
When you have entered these details Kiqplan requests that you pair an activity tracker to automatically log your exercise and movement. This is where a device such as the FitBug Orb can be very useful. Compatible devices listed include Fitbug Orb, Jawbone, Withings, Fitbit, Misfit Wearables, Nike+ and iHealth.
It also detects your other fitness tracking apps – on my phone it detected that I have Runkeeper and MyFitnessPal installed. If you do not have any app or device to pair you will have to manually input your data. This is the only real downside to this app and fitness plan – it would be better if there was an option to allow your phone to track your workouts.
Tips and Advice
As soon as you have set the app up you start receiving daily tips. Here is what the app told us on day one:
“Have you logged your food intake today? Studies show keeping a food diary can double your weight loss”.
A simple piece of advice but a very important reminder. Weight gain is the result of overeating (and drinking too much) and for most people the key to weight loss is tackling bad eating habits.
On day 2 it started giving advice to drink more water. Not bad advice, but not really revolutionary – besides, how did it know that this advice was needed?
Motivation is provided through badges; for each plan you are encouraged to meet various targets.
There is a Move badge that is obtained when you hit your daily Total Steps target for 15 days during a four week period; a Sweat badge for is your aerobic steps target for 7 days and a Fun badge for performing and tagging all activity for 13 days during a four week period.
There are also badges for sticking to the diet plan and getting enough sleep.
Slim & Trim plan
The app gives a daily view with an activity target (6000 steps), diet goal (1500 Calories) and sleep target (8 hours).
The app also sets out an exercise plan to follow that is reasonable flexible. The plan gets you to work your large muscle groups for the first four weeks using a resistance band.
Each workout starts with a warm-up and then exercises such as bent-over rows, box press ups (on knees), lunges, squats and shoulder press, before moving on to core exercises and a then finally a cool down.
You select your workout on the app and a video shows each exercise. The videos are clear and with a good description, the only negative point is that there is no audio to prompt the exercises, I think that the the app would benefit from sound.
When each exercise is complete you touch the screen to indicate how you are feeling – bad, neutral or good – before seeing the rest countdown and then the next exercise.
The exercise routine is designed to provide a slow and steady workout that is challenging but also allows you to easily go at your own pace. If you feel that you require a longer rest between exercises simply delay touching the screen to indicate how you are feeling.These workouts as similar to the ones we provide in our weekly fitness plan, they are simple and effective.
The Kiqplan Slim & Trim is not a complicated app. One of the best things about it is that it works with other applications that monitor your activity. The badge system is a good motivational tool; everybody should be able to win all their monthly badges.
One downside is that there workouts do seem to be set in stone, so if you do not like all of the workout you just have to keep at it. Also, it is hard to see where each workout is stored on the app, so it may not be possible to review past workouts.
If you are looking for a simple app that provides you with an effective workout and helps you to manage your diet on a day to day basis, this app might be the perfect one for you. You can learn more on their website, at www.kiqplan.com/en/plan/slim-and-trim.