Best Nutrition and Weight Loss Apps and Websites
By Pam Evans, MS RD and Kelly Laschkewitsch, RD LD
The weight loss industry has officially rolled out a number of apps to make it easier to maintain your food records, learn meal planning techniques, track your exercise progress and more!
It’s the weight loss industry’s latest efforts to serve the huge audience of people who are trying to either lose weight or keep their weight under control.
And if staying motivated on your own is too much to ask, hey, there’s an app for that!
As we move further into the technological age, our cell phones and the internet will be more and more involved in our healthcare and our lifestyles. Many people already use technology to assist them in weight loss. Others are just learning the benefits of technological support. The following websites and apps provide a variety of support systems to keep you on task.
Fooducate [ www.fooducate.com ]
This is a website, app, blog and so much more.
The fun, “gadget” element is that you can use your phone to scan barcodes of food products and quickly learn the nutritional pros and cons of that food. Fooducate was developed by dietitians and concerned parents to help people make sense of the volumes of information about food, such as additives, excessive sugar, trans-fats and more.
Lose It! [ www.loseit.com ]
This is a website and app.
Study after study has shown tremendous improvement in weight loss when a person tracks their food intake. Using paper and pen to keep food records is time consuming and sometimes difficult to maintain in real time. Now, there’s a quicker, more convenient way. Lose It! allows you to track food intake by picking from a list of common supermarket and restaurant foods. You can also create your own food category by entering a title and calorie information. Each food item shows nutritional information but your daily total only shows calories. Lose It! does offer weight loss support in other ways such as setting goals, connecting with “friends” and a variety of forums.
Fitday [ www.fitday.com ]
Similar to Lose It!, Fitday is a web and app based food diary. Fitday allows you to see the full spectrum of protein, carbohydrates, fat and calories more readily than Lose It. For people who have recently had bariatric surgery and are striving to achieve certain protein goals, the more thorough nutrient information provided by Fitday can be a valuable asset. Similar to Lose It, you can create custom foods for anything that is not in the database and Fitday allows you to enter information such as fiber, vitamins and fat, not just calories, when creating custom foods. Fitday also tracks calories burned from daily living and physical activity.
Meals Matter [ www.mealsmatter.org ]
Meal planning can go a long way to help you eat healthier and control calories. This free website is maintained by the Dairy Council of California and all nutrition articles, as well as online tools, are developed by registered dietitians on staff. There are over 100,000 recipes, all with the nutritional information included. Most recipes are rated and reviewed by people who have tried them. Plus, you can contribute your own recipes. You can prepare and edit your shopping list easily from recipes you select or create.
Livestrong [ www.livestrong.com ]
Livestrong helps track your daily calories and exercise . There are over 2000 exercises listed where you can calculate how many calories you are burning. With this app you also have access to MyPlate which is a very extensive, thorough nutritional database. There is a small fee for this app.
My Fitness Pal [ www.myfitnesspal.com ]
This free app is one of the most widely used app available for fitness and nutrition information. There is an enormous catalog of foods, meals and recipes. There is also a barcode scanner for finding the nutritional information in packaged foods. My Fitness Pal is easy to use and provides comprehensive information.
Remember, these resources may be just the ticket to help you prepare for continued success. But don’t forget your bariatric program is a great source for ongoing support.