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Nutrition Informatics Blog

Mar

26

Lose It!, DailyBurn, and Calorie Tracker, Oh My!

Lose It!, DailyBurn, and Calorie Tracker, Oh My!

By Chelsey Bobcek, MS, RD, CD, CSSD

Here’s the one thing that I have learned to help manage my weight—eat it, write it!

Not only has my own anecdotal experience taught me the lessons of food tracking, but more research studies than ever have now proven that when you embark on the great journey of weight loss, meal tracking will increase your likelihood of success.

But now that we are on the horizon of hi-tech nutrition informatics, is it enough to just write it? What about the amazing array of all of those gizmos and smartphone apps out there? Do we truly need to “write” anything or is the answer to “tap” to our hearts content!

More meal tracking apps are available every day on smart phones to electronically enter your food on your own personalized program. If you have an iPhone, Droid, Windows 7, or BlackBerry, have no fear, a meal tracking app is available for you.  Between Lose It!, DailyBurn, MyNetDiary, Tap & Track, and Weight Watchers® Point Track, you have no shortage of choices. You can stop after having lunch with your coworkers, pick up your smartphone, and enter the brutal truth that was your lunch.

With all this overload of hi-tech meal tracking options, ask yourself these questions:

1.       Is it worth it?  

2.       Which app is best for me? 

3.       Can I make sense from all that data that was my lunch to meet my health goals?

Well, the answer lies in what you are doing already. If your premier way of organizing everything else in your life is a smartphone app and you already have your calendar, e-mail, and games on the phone, then guess what…

A MEAL TRACKING APP IS FOR YOU!    

Apps, apps, and more apps, which one to choose? The beauty of it is that there are many free meal tracking apps on the market. The world is truly your oyster (whether you eat oysters or not)! Pick your favorite color or read the reviews. The key is to start tracking. That is when you truly see the difference.

The truth is, you need to start and become committed. Any logging of food is always an investment where you have to take the time to enter your own custom foods. Once you get through that initial investment, no matter which app you have chosen, you just keep logging in the foods that make up your healthy meal plan. The key to remember is if you don’t like the app, switch to another one before you have entered too many custom foods. The more you enter, the less likely you’ll want to move and try another app. Maybe track on a few apps the first week to see what feels right to you!

No matter what app you eventually do choose, the fact is that you are now tapping in all of those delicious morsels you’ve eaten and learning about your food habits. By electronically taking account of what you eat while having some gizmo fun, you’ve really tracked what you have eaten for 1, 2, or 3 weeks more than if you had not joined the tracking app download revolution. Adding some high-tech tap fun may just help you meal-track a bit longer than if you just wrote it on paper. And I bet you lost some weight too, just by becoming more engaged with your new toy!

So, if you have a smartphone and want to get fit and in shape, what do you have to lose by placing a meal tracking app on your phone to help organize your health goals? Your waistline? This is the information highway of technology helping you meet your real-life body goals.

Don’t know where to start?  Below are some tips on choosing a meal tracking app:

1.       Read the reviews. If you like what other customers are saying, than usually the majority rules and you probably will like it too.

2.       Go ahead and look on a search engine for the top-rated meal tracking apps. Chances are you will find one you love.

3.       You can’t judge a book by its cover, but you can get inspired by the name. If you like the name of the app and it motivates you to track, go for it!

4.       Check out the health and fitness categories on the app stores. You’ll find apps galore there!

 

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