Authored By- Laura Burkey
Every year, thousands of people recommit themselves to eating better and exercising more in an effort to lose weight. Some join programs to count points, calories, carbs, and whatever else the fad diet is that month.
Turning that flab into fab isn’t as easy as taking a magical pill, of course. (Even though some might make such a claim.) Losing inches comes down to one matter of science: You must consume less food.
But diets are hard to follow, and it’s easy to cheat. Now that we’re in the 21st century, put your smartphone to work. Here are five calorie-counting apps for the iPhone and Android markets to try out. It’s time to step out of the cubicles and get moving.
- 1) Lose It!: This app calculates how many calories are in foods and drinks and then determines how much exercise you will have to do in order to burn off that food or drink. (That brownie doesn’t seem as appetizing, huh?) You also can enter your weight (both goal and current), height, and age. Lose It! will tell you how many calories to consume to achieve your goal weight.
- 2) Weight Watchers: Free with a Weight Watchers subscription, participants can track food, scan barcodes to see how many points are in various foods, compare similar foods, and gain access to thousands of recipes.
- 3) MyFitnessPal: This free app allows you to set a daily calorie goal, as well as record your daily food consumption and exercise. The smartphone app also synchronizes with the website MyFitnessPal.com. Any changes made on either part of the application are updated on the opposite one. So, if you’re at your computer and add your lunch into the site, the mobile app will automatically update (and vice versa). This app also follows the 40:30:30 rule. Otherwise known as, 40 percent of calories should come from carbohydrates, 30 percent of calories should come from quality protein, and 30 percent of calories should come from dietary fat.
- 4) Restaurant Nutrition: With more than 250 restaurants and more than 60,000 food items, this free app lists information on dishes from protein, fat, carbs, and fiber. Record food items, share on Facebook, discover food allergens, and find gluten-free menu options when available. Plus, you can even hide restaurant locations in which you are not interested. (Don’t tempt fate if you don’t have to!) Or map restaurants that are nearby.
- 5) Endomondo: While this app doesn’t track food, it does turn your mobile phone into a free personal trainer. Log your running, biking, walking, or any other distance-based activity into the phone. Endomondo saves a full log of your training, route maps, distance, duration, calories, etc. And with more than 10 million users, enjoy the virtual fitness community to keep yourself honest to your workout program. It’s available as a website and for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices.
- 6) DailyBurn: Stream workouts regardless of where you are. When you’re on the go, watch fitness DVDs at the gym, at work, in your hotel room, or in your living room. This program carries a monthly fee of $10 and streams on all smartphone devices.
- 7) MyNetDiary: This program is based off a natural diet plan and avoids starvation diets and pills to drop weight. The motto: To lose a pound of fat, you must lose 3,500 calories. That pretty much says it all. The calorie counter allows you to tailor your diet to fit your lifestyle. And the MyNetDiary Online Community is a great place to find motivation and support to help you stay motivated. This is available for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, and iPad devices.
Regardless of your goals, it’s always a good idea to know the details of the food you’re eating each day. When part of an exercise routine, eating healthy and losing weight go hand in hand. Before downloading any apps, remember to read reviews from other consumers.
Author Bio – Laura Burkey is a freelancer who writes about various topics including entrepreneurship, parenting, and gardening.