It wasn’t so long ago that we had to rely on “other people” and “books” in order to lose weight and get in-shape. Thanks to technology, those dark days are behind us. For the cost of a New York City gym membership (or less) you could be on your way to weight loss with one of these gadgets. Check out our list of favorites, and where you can purchase them in the Big Apple. By Lawrence Bonk.

See Also: The Ultimate NYC Fitness & Weight Loss Guide | NYC’s Best Weight Loss Programs

Mobile Phone Apps

The Thin Cam app for iPhone analyzes the meal you're about to eat after you send a picture in it from your mobile device.

See Also: Best iPhone Apps For New Yorkers | Best Android Apps For New Yorkers

Having your own personal nutritionist is a pipe dream right? Wrong. Thanks to the Smartphone, it’s not only celebrities and evil businessmen that get that luxury. Take an iPhone app like Thin-Cam ($1 to purchase, $9/month), for instance.  It allows you to snap a picture of your meal before you eat it in order to store it on a server, where a nutritionist then analyzes the data and lets you know what you are doing wrong and how you can fix it. Runtastic Pro, a free app for both the Android and the iPhone, boasts a bevy of jog-friendly features. Track your time, distance and speed, or pull up a visual map of your running route. Then, you can even boast about your run on Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets.

Kinect Dance Central

$50 (plus the cost of a Kinect system and the cost of an Xbox 360).
Gamestop, Best Buy,

Sure, at around $400, this isn’t your cheapest route to fitness. However, if you already own an Xbox 360 (or know someone who does) this can be a cheap and fun fitness solution. The Kinect allows you to control any related game with your body, without the need of an external wand like the Wii remote. You move and your character does the same. Dance Central takes this idea and marries it to calorie burning world of dance. You’ll have a blast learning your favorite dance routines and getting fit at the same time.

WiiFit Plus

$100 plus the cost of a Nintendo Wii
Available at: Gamestop, Best Buy,

This is the gold standard for video game exercising. You stand on the game’s included balance board and then complete the game’s many exercises. They focus on core strength and balance, two arenas that new exercise buffs often overlook. Also, and this should go without saying, it’s fun. You’ll have the time of your life providing your house or apartment doesn’t have large windows. People look kind of stupid while traversing that balance board.

Gruve Personal Activity Monitor


The Gruve does what the name implies. You know, it keeps track of your personal activity. If the device is certain you’ve been lazy, it lets off an alarm. Sure it sounds like something out of “1984” but, hey, whatever works. It doesn’t just shame you, however. The device also analyzes your burned calories for the day against a back catalog of data it has been collecting. It’s like having a forceful and somewhat mean personal trainer at your beck and call. No pain no gain!

Adidas miCoach

$130, Best Buy, J&R,

File this gadget in the popular “virtual personal trainer” category. The miCoach is a music player that syncs up to just about every facet of your exercise routine, from your heart rate to the number of steps you are taking as you jog. The unit also offers real-time customized coaching. Yes, the machine will verbally coach you through a verbally workout. Sample advice includes tasking you to speed up to meet a workout goal or to slow down if your heartbeat is going too quickly. Shades of Hal from “2001.” Cool!

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Lawrence Bonk is a freelance writer living in Brooklyn.