Smart phones can be just that: smart.
By Pip Taylor
When the ability to track, monitor and educate is right at your fingertips, you are more likely to stick to resolutions and be more accountable for what you are eating. There are thousands of apps out there, and more being created every day. For more nutrition and training apps, check out the expanded version of this article online at Triathlete.com/nutritionapps.
Whether you want to gain or lose weight, change body composition, or just eat more fruits and vegetables, diet trackers are a great accountability tool. The best apps will not only track the macronutrient content of your diet (fat, carbohydrate and protein) but will also show other valuable targets, including sodium, micronutrients, etc., indicating where you might be falling short and where better choices can be made. But you need to be honest about portion sizes, and sometimes assumptions and estimates need to be made. Many trackers will also allow for exercise input, but don’t rely on the caloric budget generated by the app—a lot more goes into caloric requirement than can be determined by even the smartest apps. Use it as a guide and a personal reference only.
Some of the best:
Tap & Track—Calorie Tracker. Large database of common and brand/restaurant foods. Can be used offline and also has a Web interface you can sync with. (iPhone $3.99 also available for iPad $9.99) http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tap-track-calorie-tracker/id307749752?mt=8
Calorie Tracker by Livestrong. Big brand backing and possibly the most popular of the diet trackers. Search will bring up just about every possibility, plus you can input your own foods and meals for easy adds. (iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry $2.99. Lite version for iPhone is free) http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/calorie-tracker-livestrong/id295305241?mt=8
Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker by MyFitnessPal. Another popular choice with a large food database and quick food entry. Allows you to make notes for both food and exercise outside of the daily log as well as track progess over time. Synchs with a web based interface. (iPhone, Andriod and Blackberry, free) http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/calorie-counter-diet-tracker/id341232718?mt=8
Daily Burn (iPhone, free + BurnBot open source app for Andriod, free) http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dailyburn-calorie-workout/id378928008?mt=8