Becoming healthy is a slow, gradual process of creating good habits. Lucky for you, there’s an app for that—an app with a 92 percent success rate. That app is Pact.
I find that to reach health goals there are four components. This app has all four components.
1) want to be healthy
2) set realistic goals
3) engage with a community
4) be held accountable on a weekly, if not daily basis
Pact App: How it Works:
I learned about the Pact App from a friend of a friend. It’s been almost three weeks, and nothing gets you going like this app.
Not only will this app hold you accountable, but it will pay you for achieving your goals and fine you if you don’t. Those who cheat or don’t complete their Pact, pay for the people who do achieve their goals. When you complete your Pact, you earn a cash reward, which Pact states ranges from 30 cents to $5.00 depending upon the number of Pacts you commit to that week.
You have one day to complete each Pact. You cannot complete your Pact in bulk. For instance, you cannot work out for 2 hours on Monday for it to count as four workouts a week. You have to work out for as many days as you committed to (between 1 day and 7 days a week).
There are three different Pacts you can make.
The first is a Gym Pact. You can commit to 30 minutes of activity or 10,000 steps a day either through an at-home or gym workout. You can check-in to your gym with the name and address. Every gym is verified by a person and it takes up to 3 days for verification. If you are at home, you use the motion tracker, which monitors the intensity of your workout. Pact also integrates with various apps including RunKeeper, MapMyFitness, Jawbone UP, Fitbit, or Moves to track your workout.
The second Pact you can create is to eat vegetables and fruits. Take a picture of a full serving of fruits or vegetables and other people using Pact will verify if it should count.
The third Pact is tracking your food through MyFitnessPal app. Pact app requires you to log in a minimum of 3 meals a day that total a minimum of 1200 calories.
Pact App: User Experience:
Pact teaches you good habits. For each Pact, everyone has the same 24 hours a day to eat vegetables and go to the gym.
Eating Your Fruits and Vegetables:
Surprisingly, I found that by day three of using this app, I was eating cucumbers and humus and a smoothie instead of a Cuban coffee and empanadas. You can set small goals for yourself, such as eating vegetables 3 times a week and then progress to eating your vegetables everyday.
Logging in your fruits and vegetables is pretty simple. You have to take a picture the same day and upload it. You can write a brief description. From there, other users vote a thumbs up or down on whether it should count as a fruit or vegetable. People upload everything from broccoli to smoothies to salsa. Salsa, really? I don’t know about that.
The truth is it feels good to see other people making healthy choices. I will divulge that the Pact feed does not feature Instagram quality pictures. You are privy to disgusting salads, up-close cucumbers, and apple smoothies taken in poor light. But, if we subconsciously take in what we see, I was taking it in.
The Gym Pact is a bit of nuisance. It can be a bit difficult to use the Pact app for workouts.I find that I walk the 10,000 steps a day instead of completing a high-intensity workout. For instance, I was running and used the motion tracker. The app crashed mid-workout. So, the workout didn’t count. Also, when you are completing at-home workouts, it’s hard to do low-intensity workouts such as Yoga, Pilates, or strength conditioning because the motion tracker verifies your workout and these exercises usually use less motion and more control.
One of my favorite aspects of working out is to unplug from distractions. That is hard to do when your phone is tracking your workout. However, it’s beneficial to track your steps or your workout. It makes it easier to literally go the extra mile to complete your 10,000 steps. I found myself getting off the train early or forgoing the bus to walk more and reach my goals.
While it became easier to get the 10,000 steps in, I think that an intense workout is important. When I run in the morning or kayak, I notice a considerable difference compared to simply walking. I will admit that after about 8 or 9 miles of walking, my legs will feel a bit sore. But running opens up a different sensation. It feels like I worked out my body and gives me added energy.
Pact helps you log your meals with MyFitnessPal app. MyFitnessPal app has about 65 million active users and boasts an 88 percent success rate in the first week. I think this is a key component towards overall health because you can record your food and exercise. Simply eating one portion of vegetables and working out for 30 minutes a day was not as effective as writing everything down and seeing the quality and quantity of what I was eating. MyFitnessPal alerts you to the nutritional aspects of your diet. It notates when foods are high in saturated fats or Calcium.
Oh, and just so you know, if you don’t set a new goal for the week, your last week’s Pact renews. That’s right, that means eat your veggies or pay $5 per day (at a minimum).
This works for three reasons.
First, you can build community when you make a Vegetable Pact. Seeing other people make healthy choices is a good daily reminder and motivator to also make healthy choices.
The second benefit to using Pact is that this is an all or nothing app. You have to do it all or you don’t complete your pact for the day. For instance, if you only walked 9,888 steps and not 10,000 steps, you haven’t completed your pact. Also, if you don’t move around with enough energy, that minute of exercise doesn’t count. Yes, the rests in your 30 minute exercise don’t count!
Lastly, you have to pay a minimum of $5 for each pact that you didn’t complete. Five dollars add up quickly. If you don’t workout all week and made a pact to workout 5 days a week, that’s $25.
Pact’s motto is “commit to you.” So, if you are finding it difficult to motivate yourself to run in the morning or eat your vegetables, make a bet with yourself and see how the Pact app can motivate you.