Who would of thought ten years ago a cell phone would help you track what you eat, stay active and lose weight! Many of these apps for phones are free, easily accessible and are making impacts on reaching healthy goals.
The most popular weight loss apps include:
Lose it! A free app that allows you to set your goals. This handy tool offers you a calorie budget that easily fits your needs and helps you achieve your weight loss goal. For example, set a goal to lose 5 pounds a month and the program will calculate your daily caloric intake needs to meet this goal. Tap on the screen of the food item eaten and the calories, fats, carbs, sugars and so on will be calculated for you. Each day you will see if you met or came in under your calorie budget. Exercise is also factored into your daily routine, which allows you to consume more calories as a reward. You may also share your progress with your friends for support.
DailyBurn. This fitness companion is an app that helps you keep track of your diet and exercise. You can use your smartphone to scan the bar codes of many foods that you eat. This is a great time saver. In addition to calories, you can keep track of fat, protein, and other vitamins and minerals you consume daily. This allows you to easily customize a diet and exercise plan to help you meet your goals. It also offers many helpful tips for eating and working out.
MyFitnessPal. Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker is a free app that has information for over 600,000 foods. This app allows you to list all of your exercises and meals. It carefully logs all of your calories in an easy to read format. The app synchs with your computer, allowing you to input your food entries from multiple locations. You can set your own goals or used recommended ones based on your demographics. You can also view your progress thru charts and graphs
Fast Food Calories is the easiest way to make sure you always know exactly what you’re eating. Even if you maintain a healthy diet, you still might eat fast food. While nutrition facts are posted in restaurants, many people forget to notice them. Often, they don’t realize what they are putting in their body. This app tracks thousands of menu items from every major fast food establishment. You will be able to see exactly what fast food does to a diet.
We can’t forget Twitters, Tweet What You Eat! This online food journal is easy to post what you eat and allows others to see what you are eating. Studies suggest it’s a lot easier to decide not to eat something when you have to post it for others to see. Research also indicates posting your weight loss numbers helps too. Individuals who reveal weight loss success stories on a weekly basis trim down faster than those who update less frequently. If you’re reluctant to reveal yourself, create a Twitter handle and upload a cartoon character as your avatar to tell your success story without feeling self-conscious.
All these apps include detailed charts and graphs which provide a visual report of your progress. It is interesting to learn where your calories are coming from (carbs, protein, fats, etc.) Studies indicate that people, who keep daily food logs, lose twice as much weight as people who didn’t. The immediate feedback is a great motivator to help you reach and maintain your goal.
Author: Beth Stefura, Family & Consumer Science Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension