2013 has ended and I’ll spare you the cheesiness of end of the year speeches and New Year toasts. Whether 2013 was a great year or a rough year for you, take a little time to think about lessons that you learned this year, self-reflect on your bad habits, and create a New Year’s resolution.
For many, the usual promise to one’s self is to lose weight. Though most may be motivated by cosmetic reasons, everyone should seek better health, find education on the basics of nutrition, and create the effort to make better choices on what foods they put into their bodies. Luckily, we can easily attain these goals through the assistance of smart phone apps geared towards tracking diet and fitness.
For those that wish to begin a fresh and strong 2014, I’ve selected a roundup of three nutrition apps that I believe are beneficial in making smarter decisions at the dinner table, at the supermarket, and even at popular restaurants.
- My Fitness Pal’s Calorie Counter: Available on Androids and iPhones, this app does a terrific job of allowing users to log the foods they eat everyday and determines the right amount of calories a user should try to eat everyday, depending on his or her fitness goals. Calorie Counter additionally contains a variety of food options that users can search for and include in their log, based on the meals that they have eaten. For instance, if a Calorie Counter user went to a Costco concessions stand, ate a hot dog, searched “Costco hot dog” within the app, he or she can add that food to their daily food log and learn about the caloric intake and nutritional content of the hot dog. With access to a pie chart noting of daily nutrient details and calorie breakdown into carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, this app is a sure winner leading to more conscious diet decisions for all.
- Fooducate: Ever taken a trip to the supermarket and pulled a product off a shelf – only to be indecisive about whether you want to purchase that item because you are confused if it is healthful? Fooducate is for you! Users can scan barcodes of a plethora of products and can learn about the nutritional information of products by not only a breakdown of nutrient content, but letter grades assigned to each product. If a food is given a poor grade, the app also contains suggestions for similar, but healthier food alternatives and offers daily tips. Fooducate gets an A+ in my book for permitting everyday people to improve their diets.
- The Eatery: Though definitely not as informative as My Fitness Pal’s Calorie Counter or Fooducate, the Eatery is a unique app where users can take pictures of their meals and rate it on a scale of fat to fit. Across a week, consumers can look back at the images of the foods that they have eaten and receive a perspective of how healthy or indulgent they have been. The only downside to this app is that it is only accessible to iPhone owners.