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14 Apps Every Shopaholic Needs to Have

14 Apps Every Shopaholic Needs to Have

If you love to shop, sometimes you may find that whether or not you have a shopping buddy can greatly affect the experience. Some shoppers prefer to have a second opinion when it comes to picking out an outfit, while others like to go solo. Regardless of whether you see a shopping partner as a benefit or a hindrance, the majority of shoppers will find that their smart phones are the best shopping partners out there. From comparing great deals to discovering the right outfit, here are 14 apps that every shopaholic should have.

Finding Deals

Being able to find a good deal is the main goal of a shopaholic. If you are spending too much, then the shopping trip is unsuccessful. When it comes to finding deals using apps, most individuals usually search in two categories: apps that help you find a specific product at a lower price or apps that help you find general items you want for a cheaper price online.

RedLaser_Shopaholic2

    To find better deals for a specific product, I recommend Shop Advisor. Not only does the app allow you to search for items by keyword or barcode, but you can also save items to track their price and ensure the deal is the best for you. Red Laser (Pictured Above) is one of the most popular options and is currently a veteran in barcode scanners.

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    Zappos_Shopaholic4

      The app also offers you great deals and even coupons. If you are looking for deals online, two popular options are Zappos (Pictured Above) and eBay. Both have quality mobile applications that allow you to search on a whim, and eBay’s barcode scanner makes searching even more seamless.

      Figure Out What to Buy

      GiftPlan_Shopaholic5

        Once you know how to find the deals, it is now time to figure out what you will buy and who will receive the gift. If you are thinking of who will get what gift for either a birthday or the holiday season, Gift Plan (Pictured Above) is an application to look into that will allow you to make a list of individuals in need of a gift, when to give them their gift, and what you want to give them.

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        Wanelo_Shopaholic6

          If you are looking into a bit of personal shopping, Wanelo (Pictured Above) is a wallet emptier. Simply look on other individual’s profiles, the profiles of stores, or around the web for products that interest you. Wanelo links with the website you are getting the product from to offer a direct link to where purchase the item. Pinterest, similar to Wanelo, allows you to save items and create collective boards. Pinterest doesn’t allow you to purchase in-app, but it does allow you to save other types of items and photos.

          Once At the Mall

          PARKINGBUD_SHOPPING1

            You have your gifts in mind and you are ready to head to the mall, but that can be a stressful trip in itself. From having to find parking to other shopping assistance apps, your iPhone is there to help. On the subject of looking for parking, Parkbud (Pictured Above) is known as a great choice and the ultimate resource for parking anywhere.

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            The application not only allows you to find your car based on GPS, you can also set a timer to let you know when your meter is about to run out and even pay for your meter if mobile payment is accepted. It isn’t free, at $1.99, but it’s worth it. Evernote is a great resource, once at the mall, to keep a nice tally of whom you’re shopping for. With Evernote Premium, you can even have select people edit the notes, making grocery and gift lists more seamless than ever.

            Money Management

            Moni_Shopaholic10

              Shopping can certainly put a damper on anyone’s budget. However, adequate planning and understanding your economic state in all cases will allow you to know how to budget adequately. This is possible with some applications, like Mint or Moni. Both allow you to connect various accounts and track expenses. Moni (Pictured Above) is unique in that it truly reflects whats in your pocket, rather than what’s calculated in your accounts. Meaning, Moni takes into account cash as well as connected accounts.

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              Paypal_Shopaholic8

                Other applications, like PayPal can be useful when shopping online and in select stores. The ability to also receive money and transfer it to connected accounts makes it a great choice for ensuring you have enough cash when shopping. Specific banks also have their own apps like USAA, Bank of America, etc. It’s smart to look into those as well.

                The above applications are there to help you throughout the shopping process. From finding out what you need to buy to finding the best deal for it, we hope that the apps above will ensure that you get the item you want at the right price. With the holiday shopping season around the corner, let us know in the comments below what applications you enjoy when you are out and about shopping.

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                Last Updated on November 15, 2019

                Expert Advice That Will Teach You How to Increase Your Metabolism

                Expert Advice That Will Teach You How to Increase Your Metabolism

                Wouldn’t you like to be able to eat twice as much as you do now without gaining weight? If so, I have good news for you because this is possible when you learn how to increase metabolism.

                How Much Do You Know About Metabolism?

                Before we get to the meat, let me say that metabolism is a term that describes all the chemical reactions in your body.[1] These chemical reactions keep your body alive and functioning, however, the word metabolism is often used interchangeably with the metabolic rate or the number of calories you burn.

                The metabolic rate is a rough estimate of how much energy your body needs to simply stay alive and perform all its biochemical reactions. These reactions require energy, aka burn calories.

                Imagine that your brain alone consumes nearly 20% of your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure at rest),[2] your digestion and the detoxifying system come second, repairing tissues third and so on.

                Staying alive is expensive for your body and its two main currencies are fats and sugars.

                When I am talking about improving your metabolic rate (metabolism), I mean improving the amount of energy, your body requires to (pretty much) lay down in bed and do nothing for 24 hours.

                Extra physical activity, extra thinking or fighting illness are things that require a lot of energy (burn a lot of calories) but they don’t really increase metabolism… actually they can decrease it.

                Can You Naturally Change the Speed of Your Basal Metabolism?

                The answer to this question is yes and you can also achieve an increase in metabolism and a drop in body fat by eating more.

                Shocked? Well, I was too.

                The way I came across this phenomenon is quite funny. Over my 10 years as a coach, I helped many busy professionals to naturally increase their metabolism by getting them leaner, fitter and stronger but, at the beginning of my career, I actually had no idea whether they were losing weight because of an increase in metabolism or because we created a calorie deficit with diet and exercise.

                When I was training my clients regularly, they would lose weight. Every time I would take a few weeks of vacation, I would come back to London and find out that most of them gained back a generous amount of weight despite the fact that they were following their diet and they swapped our weight training sessions with cardio.

                On the contrary, when they were going on vacation, they would do zero exercises and binge like there was no tomorrow but come back either lighter or weighing the same (but looking more muscular).

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                Observing this phenomenon happening over and over again, got me curious about the mechanics of our metabolism and the ways to hack it.

                Was it really possible that by relaxing and eating more food, someone could actually maintain his/her current weight or even be losing fat?

                Driven by the desire to answer this question, I spent a good amount of years researching and testing different food strategies until I finally cracked the code to an improved metabolism that allows you to eat like a king and look like a Greek God.

                Does Eating More Increase Metabolism?

                Before I explain why eating more increases your metabolism, let me dig into something that I see people doing much more often: “eating less and moving more.”

                It is quite common to see people embarking their yearly weight loss journey (usually after Christmas or Easter) by following very restrictive diets and bombarding their body with several hours of exercise per day.

                Despite the short-term effectiveness of this approach, in the long run, if the goal is to increase metabolism and lose a lot of fat over an extended period of time, this simply won’t work.

                As I have mentioned before, eating fewer calories and exercising more are energy-consuming activities for your body. In the first case, your body needs to use its own energy reserves to top up the missing energy it needs to fully function; and in the second, it takes your body extra energy to contract your muscles.

                In both cases, your TDEE (Total daily energy expenditure at rest) doesn’t vary much; therefore your metabolism stays unchanged.[3]

                A different scenario happens when you eat less and move more for an extended period of time (weeks or months). In that case, your metabolism will slow down because your body is receiving a “we have little access to food and we need to run away from threats” signal.

                Your metabolism is like your bank account.

                To understand this concept, let’s imagine that you have $4,000 coming into your bank account each and every month. The money you spend on housing, transport, food and leisure are calibrated according to this monthly income.

                Now, imagine that a rich uncle starts to send you $1,000 each day. What would you do? Probably, you would save that money for the first two or three days but, when you notice that $1,000 keep on coming every single day, you would likely start to spend more right?

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                What if, instead of a rich uncle sending you money, a poor uncle needed your financial help to pay for the treatments of his illness? You would probably try your best to adjust your spending according to your old $4,000 monthly budget.

                That’s exactly how your body reasons:

                More Resources Coming in = More Energy Released (Improved Metabolism)

                Fewer Resources Coming in = Less Energy Released (Decreased Metabolism)

                Note that activities like weight training[4] and high-intensity interval training (HIIT),[5] when combined with an increase in nutrient-rich foods, will also improve your metabolism.

                For this reason, today, when I coach a new client, I always start by increasing their daily food intake and their physical activities. Usually, people are quite confused because they come to me to lose weight and I tell them to eat more but, without fail, the next weekly weight-check shows a lower number.

                Be aware that not all foods are equal and only certain foods have the power to increase metabolism to a noticeable extent.

                Foods That Increase Metabolism

                Doubling up on Snickers bars won’t improve your metabolism and you know that. What you may not know is that certain foods that are marked as “healthy” doesn’t help you with increasing your metabolism. They also make you gain weight.

                Before giving you a list of foods to eat or avoid, let me explain a simple principle of human biochemistry.

                Your body uses energy from three (or four) main sources:

                • Sugars: whether you eat a Snickers bar or a banana, the carbohydrates contained in both get absorbed in the gut and become blood glucose (the basic form of sugar our body utilizes as a source of energy).[6]
                  When blood glucose is present in the bloodstream (elevated levels), the body always uses it as its primary source of energy. When blood glucose levels drop (this phenomenon happens when you’re using these sugars to fuel a physical activity or when your pancreas produced a spike of insulin and stores that glucose into fat and muscles), your body starts to release fatty acids into the bloodstream to use as a source of energy.
                • Fatty acids: either from your own fat cells (adipocytes) or from whatever fat-containing foods you ate in the past 2-3 hours. Fatty acids are a slower and more consistent form of energy than sugars that your body can utilise.
                • Amino acids: Amino acids are the broken-down form of proteins. Proteins cannot be used by the body as a source of energy, not even in their broken-down form. Your body can transform amino acids into glucose with a process called gluconeogenesis.[7] This is a very inefficient process where a decent amount of energy gets wasted (and that’s a good thing for us but I’ll get to that later).
                • Ketones: when you don’t feed your body any source of carbs (or proteins in excess), your liver produces an alternative source of energy called Ketones. It can replace the need for glucose (most of it at least).[8]

                Now that you know the four energy sources the body can use to fuel its metabolism, let’s get to the meat (quite literally).

                To make this simple for you, I am going to divide foods into three categories:

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                1. Red Flags – Avoid the red foods because they slow your metabolism. They are usually extremely low in micronutrients and high in antinutrients (agents that are highly toxic). They are highly processed or spike your insulin levels (therefore stopping your fat burning process).
                2. Orange Foods – Limit your consumption of orange foods. The orange foods on the list are suboptimal choices but they don’t have a negative impact on your metabolism when consumed in moderation. In fact, they contain a decent amount of micronutrients and, if eaten in small amounts, they shouldn’t stop your fat burning process.
                3. Green Foods – These are foods to consume most. Green foods will improve your metabolism and should be the main bulk of your diet.

                Next, I’ll get into details exactly what foods to eat and avoid:

                Sugars and Carbs

                Sugars do not directly improve metabolism because they stop the process of fat utilisation. There is an exception to this rule though. When you eat a diet extremely low in carbohydrates and sugars for an extended period of time (two to six days onwards), introducing carbohydrates and sugars can actually improve metabolism quite a bit.

                Unfortunately, for most of us that love eating bread, pasta, fruit and yoghurt, unless we were on a low-carb diet for the past few days, these foods are not an optimal choice.

                Sugars like fructose (found in fruit or commercial sugar) actually decrease metabolism and should be limited. Heavily processed sugars and carbohydrates should be also limited. Here is the colour list of sugars and carbs that affect metabolism:

                Red Flag Sugary Foods You Should Avoid:
                • Dried fruit
                • Commercial and packaged corn
                • High fructose corn syrup
                • All sorts of candies and lookalike
                • Packaged fruit juices and purees
                • Sugary dairy products like flavoured yoghurt, condensed milk etc
                Orange Sugary Foods You Should Limit:
                • Bread and flour-based products
                • Milk and also vegan milk alternatives that are sweetened
                • Most fruit (exceptions are in the green list below)
                • Potatoes and potato starch products
                • Oatmeals and other grains
                Green Sugary and Carb-Containing Foods That Improve Metabolism
                • All berries except strawberries
                • Tubers like squash, carrots, parsnips etc
                • Sweet potatoes
                • White rice
                • All green vegetables

                Fats

                Fatty acids and fats, in general, can improve or decrease metabolism depending on their composition.

                Red Flag Fatty Foods You Should Avoid:
                • Margarine and hydrogenated fat
                • Lard
                • Gmo oils
                • Most vegetable oils from seeds and peanut oil
                Orange Fatty Foods You Should Limit:
                • Nuts
                • Meat fat
                • Nut oils (macadamia, almond, cashew etc..)
                • Seeds
                Green Fatty Foods You Should Eat Daily
                • Extra virgin olive oil (non-heated)
                • Avocado
                • Coconut oil
                • Butter (organic)
                • Egg yolks (free-range)
                • Bone marrow

                The fatty foods in the green section tend to be very effective in increasing metabolism, especially in the absence of carbohydrates because they stimulate the production of ketones (I’ll talk about this later).

                Bear in mind that 1 gram of fat has 2.5 times the calories of a gram of protein or carbohydrates; therefore “eating more fats” to increase metabolism should be done very gradually to avoid weight gain.

                Proteins

                Eating food not only sends regulatory signals to your brain about abundance vs scarcity of resources, but it can also increase your metabolism for a few hours. This is called the thermic effect of food (TEF).[9] It’s caused by the extra calories required to digest, absorb and process the nutrients in your meal.

                Protein causes the largest rise in TEF.[10] It increases your metabolic rate by 15-30%, compared to 5-10% for carbs and 0-3% for fats

                Eating protein has also been shown to help you feel more full and prevent you from overeating, in fact, a study found that people were likely to eat around 441 fewer calories per day when protein made up 30% of their diet.[11]

                Also, proteins help preserve muscle mass.[12] The more muscle mass we have, the higher our basal metabolism is.

                For these reasons, the first nutritional advice I usually give to clients is to reduce sugars and increase proteins. This quick swap is often enough to kickstart their metabolism and commence the fat burning process.

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                Red Protein Sources That Should Be Avoided
                • Cheap whey proteins
                • Soy proteins
                • GMO meat
                • GMO eggs
                • Packaged meat
                Orange Protein Source to Be Limited
                • Canned tuna
                • Canned fish
                • Canned meat
                • Gluten-rich products like Seitan
                • Farmed fish
                Green Protein Sources to Have Daily
                • Free-range meat
                • Free-range eggs
                • Wild meat and fish
                • Whey protein isolate
                • Collagen and beef protein hydrolyzed

                Note that this is a general categorisation of the foods that, when added to your diet, have the power to increase or decrease metabolism. There are some specific foods and supplements worth mentioning because they have been proven to improve metabolism by increasing thyroid output or resting heart rate, they are as follows.

                Other Foods and Supplements

                Cold water

                Drinking water may temporarily speed up your metabolism. Studies have shown that drinking 17 ounces (0.5 litres) of water increases resting metabolism by 10-30% for about an hour.[13]

                This is not a surprise since our body is made up mainly by water and proper hydration is key to a fast metabolism. This calorie-burning effect may be even greater if you drink cold water, as your body uses energy to heat it up to body temperature.

                MCT Oils or Powders

                Medium-chain triglycerides or MCT have been shown to improve metabolism by stimulating Ketone production.[14] Coconut oil contains MCT fats and, when used as a replacement for cooking oil can help you improve metabolism.

                You can buy the concentrated version of MCT oils and eat it separately to further enhance this effect. Either way, coconut oil or pure MCT oil can be a great addition to your diet if you’re following a ketogenic or intermittent fasting protocol.

                Caffeine

                Caffeine and coffee have been shown to improve metabolism by improving heart rate and, therefore improving calorie consumption.[15]

                Green Tea

                Green tea

                is thought to increase energy expenditure and fat oxidation, and to reduce fat production and absorption.[16]

                Bottom Line

                In this article, I just covered the basics of food and metabolism but, there are many other non-food related things you can do to improve your metabolism, like improving your sleep quality and following certain exercise routines.

                For now, just know that making small and gradual changes to your diet can increase your metabolism and improve your general health. Starting from changing one habit at a time is always the best strategy to accomplish any goal.

                Once you improve your diet, your hydration and your supplementation you can think about testing more advanced “bio-hacks” or techniques like ice baths and fasted HIIT training.

                And remember, having a higher metabolism doesn’t only help you lose weight and keep it off but it also give you more energy and a feeling of vibrancy. If you give it time, it really is worth the investment.

                Featured photo credit: Fitsum Admasu via unsplash.com

                Reference

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