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5 Reasons Why You Should Diet With Project Management Software

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Oh January.

Snow is falling.

Martin Luther King Jr. is top of mind.

National Blood Donor Month, National Braille Literacy Month, National Hobby Month, and National Soup Month sweep the States.

And we all go out and buy that new gym membership.

In fact, 12% of all new gym memberships start in January annually. Other months have an average of 8% new membership sign-ups per year.

If only these new gym rats knew the secret to weight loss success.

It’s not a fad diet, a super pill, or a get-abs-quick exercise regime – it’s project management software.

diet project management

There are tons of free project management software options you can use to accomplish your weight loss goals, but don’t you want to learn why the method works first?

Read on to learn the five reasons project management software is the secret to a successful diet.

1. Diets are basically projects.

diet project management

Let’s think about what a project is. According to the Project Management Institute, “It’s a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result. A project is temporary in that it has a defined beginning and end in time, and therefore defined scope and resources.”

Think about how this align with our weight loss goals for a sec:

  • There is a clear start and end date (check)
  • It’s a temporary endeavor (check)
  • There’s a defined scope (check)
  • There are limited resources (check)

In other words, project management software was created to address projects exactly like weight loss. And that sentiment carries over to other physical goals. Consider:

  • Projects are sequential in nature. So are weight lifting goals; you can’t lift 100 lbs before you lift 50 lbs.
  • Taking a daily multivitamin is really just completing a daily task.
  • Dieters don’t have unlimited funds. Many weight-loss websites won’t be clear about this, but I’ll be: diets are limited by a budget, whether it’s set or not.

2. Weight-loss sites are already using project management concepts for their users.

diet project management

It doesn’t matter if you’re using MyFitnessPal, SparkPeople, Lose It!, or Excel (c’mon guys, you can do better than a spreadsheet), Gantt charts are already present in your dieting strategy.

Think of it this way: Gantt charts look like this, right?

diet project management

And what does projected weight loss look like?

diet project management

Starting to notice a trend?

They’re essentially the same thing, except in weight loss it’s more redundant. Lose five pounds: first block. Ten pounds: second block. Fifteen. Twenty. And so on.

Other project management features are present as well: daily “tasks” in the form of calorie counting and exercise, macronutrient advice to keep dieters on track, and collaboration options. you’ll see things like “liking” and “commenting” on statuses overlap. Project management is all about team building—or, in the case of weight loss—building a community to distribute effort.  

3. Existing wellness apps won’t help you lose much weight.

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Habit management apps, like Habitica or Habit List are great for weight maintenance, but not for weight loss.

Why?

Because they take the “project” element out of it!

The second a goal is removed from our checklist, it’s no longer a project but a business process—and business processes, or quotidian habits, in this case, aren’t exciting. And they don’t lead to results; they predictably lead to more of the same.  

You’d think weight loss apps would fare better, right?

Nope.

Consider the research around the effectiveness of weight-loss apps.

A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that most mobile weight-loss programs’ functionalities don’t help dieters at all (81%). Not only that, but a study Public Health and Nutrition found that over the course of a year, app users could expect to lose just three to six centimeters around their waist. Non-app users? Not much different—a reduction of two to four centimeters.

That’s all to say these apps are failing.

Should we try something new?

4. Mobile is still best for weight loss.

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Don’t panic sweaty, sad panda! I’m not advocating that you lose your phone for an on-premise or web-based project management software option.

In spite of weight loss apps’ modest success in helping dieters diet, there is still some success to highlight. Those centimeter reductions mentioned in the last section are still reductions.

What compounds a diet’s efficacy is whether or not it’s trackable on mobile.

In the journal Mobile Networks and Applications, UC San Diego and Stanford researchers published a study that found that mobile dieting apps work best when compared to other systems. The reason for their success is that they’re able to annoy their user bases with notifications.

The optimum number per day, in case you were wondering, is three before the app gets naggy.

Luckily, many project management software and task management software are mobile optimized. Between apps and mobile-first websites, you’ll never have to be apart from your weight loss guide.

5. There are suggestions for using project management apps for weight loss already.

diet project management

Don’t know where to start? Never fear, I have some suggestions.

You can start with a kanban board using software like MeisterTask, Trello, or Kanbanchi.  

Raphaela Brandner, marketing manager for MeisterTask, explains:

MeisterTask has everything you need to create a beautiful meal planner and workout schedule. You can set project boards up to reflect your whole week by using the sections as days and the tasks as individual meals / workouts.

The act of completing a task is really rewarding in itself, so every time you tap that complete button after a run or eating a healthy salad, you feel extra good about your accomplishment.

MeisterTask’s tasks of course offer space for everything from links and images to checklists and entire recipes. You can set due times and even track time of all your activities.

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Don’t want to use kanban? Try a project management tool like Wrike, Asana, or a task management tool like Centrallo.

In all of these apps, you can make a calendar for exercises, meals, and daily to-dos to get that satisfaction of a daily check off. Just be sure you add an end date, or else you’re making your own habit app instead of weight loss project management app.

Centrallo_-_recurring_reminders_can_now_be_set_for_workout_routines

Take Centrallo. The phone app makes it super simple to set up a weekly weight loss goal and related activities. I chatted with Michael Sher, Centrallo cofounder, who pointed out:

  • You can make exercise checklists to keep track of which workouts you do daily.
  • You can keep notes of what you eat.
  • You can take photos and videos (and store them). Take them regularly to view your progress!
  • You can keep notes of your weight per week to view progress.
  • You can keep healthy recipes in the app.
  • If your friends are also trying to lose weight and if you both have the app, you can share helpful links with each other.

Want another example? TechRepublic has a decent take on how to use Asana to lose weight:

Under each goal heading are specific tasks that need to be completed to accomplish the goal. It isn’t advisable to enter tasks that aren’t particularly actionable such as “Exercise More” or “Eat Better.” By identifying specific tasks, such as “Sign up for Tae Kwon Do” or “Pack Lunch 4 days per week,” you’ll build a better action plan to achieve the goal.

Asana has a useful priority feature that allows you to specify if you are going to work on the task Today, Upcoming, or Later. Each day, you can pick from the specific tasks and assign the proper priority. Asana automatically filters the tasks so the tasks you want to work on today show up first on your task list…

The biggest benefit of using Asana for goal planning and achievement is how easy it is to integrate your personal and professional to-do lists into one checklist.

Whatever you choose to use, you’ll ultimately be forced to put in more effort at the beginning of every month to make sure your goals align with your final goal weight—but that’s just good project and weight-loss management.

Ultimately, doing so is a sign that you have better control over your weight, fitness, and wellbeing.

Ready to diet with project management software?

diet project management

Good! I’m excited for you too.

I’d love to hear about your experiences dieting with project management software. Did it go well? Poorly? Did you have an app that you preferred or hated? Did you apply other project management techniques that I didn’t think of? Let me know in the comments below!

Looking for Project Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Project Management software solutions.

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About the Author

Rachel Burger

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Rachel is a content manager for Capterra, a free online resource that quickly matches businesses to their software needs. She specializes in project management tips, tools, and tricks . She also runs her own blog on content marketing. On the rare occasion Rachel isn't writing, she's reading, hiking, jogging, or spending time with her friends and family.

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