Technology has come a very long way in the past few years. Nearly everyone has a smartphone and it is almost impossible to avoid noticing that there are thousands of apps out there that can help you track what you eat. In most cases, people want to track their meals so that they can reach their weight or fitness goals over time. However, are cell phone apps that keep a diary of your meals a good idea? In fact, using an app has many benefits and lots of fitness trainers and obesity clinics are now recommending that their patients and customers use an app on a daily basis. Especially for overweight individuals, tracking meals can be a great way to keep an eye on how much food is truly being consumed over the course of the day. Whether you have a goal of losing weight for health reasons or if you are hoping to lose as much weight as possible in preparation for a cosmetic procedure, there are many different ways that an app can help you reach your goals.
One of the most effective aspects of keeping a food diary through an app is the fact that there is a concrete record of what you eat on a daily basis. It is so easy to have an extra glass of hot chocolate after a long day, but when it shows up in your app as a pile of extra calories on a regular basis most people feel the need to cut down on their consumption. If this method doesn’t tend to work for you or if you are sometimes forgetful about adding meals to your app, inviting a friend to track meals with you is always a great idea. Every week, a group of friends can compare calories and food choices, which can be motivating enough to make someone avoid extra calories that are not part of a healthy diet. After all, if everyone else is taking the app seriously, then there is an actual reason to keep up to date with tracking your meals. Also, this method allows you to see others benefit from cutting out high-calorie junk food even if you haven’t seen your own results yet.
Many of the apps available for free have a wide variety of foods that people eat every day already included within the app. On the rare occasion that a portion of food you need isn’t available, you can always add it so that it is readily available for next time. The great thing about this system is that it is incredibly easy to figure out how many calories you have had because the app does all the math for you. When people kept food diaries with pen and paper, they were less likely to follow through as a result of the extra time required to calculate how much they consumed. For most app users, it can truly be a surprise to see just how many calories small things throughout the day can add. For example, coffee with heavy cream that is served more than a couple times per day can really add on calories over time. For people looking to lose weight, there is almost always at least one food that was less healthy or had a greater impact on their weight gain than they ever thought possible. An app makes it easy to target which foods to remove from your diet plan so that you can see results faster.
Fortunately, many apps that track your meals can also track your exercise routine and your weight loss over time. In general, exercising and entering your hard work into the app will show that you have more calories available to eat during the day than you did before. This is where a lot of people actually slow down their weight loss progress. They use the extra calories burned from exercise as a reason to have a sugary dessert or an extra cup of coffee. On the other hand, sometimes the calories burned from exercise are a lot less than most people would expect and this can encourage them to watch what they eat more carefully. After all, only 10 to 30% of calories burned throughout the day can be attributed to calories burned through exercise.
Overall, meal-tracking apps are a modern way to maintain a food diary. The extra features such as calories burned through exercise or sharing your progress with friends are all great motivators to get in shape and to stay on track with eating healthy and making healthy life choices. Of course, the apps only track your food properly and can only motivate you if you are consistent with using them. Thankfully smartphones have made it easy to take our food diaries with us wherever we go!