I am a person who has struggled with weight issues for most of my life so, like many of you, I have heard every weight loss and nutrition tip in the book. My doctor has suggested that I join a support group like Weight Watchers and start going back to the gym. She has also suggested it might be helpful if I read some health and nutrition literature, started calorie counting, and ate more meals at home. These are all great ideas that have proven to work for others in the past but, after a lifelong struggle, I knew that traditional methods for losing weight didn’t necessarily work for me.
I stay pretty busy, both in my personal and professional lives, so I am on the go and I need tools and resources that move with me. I know what changes I need to make: Eat less and exercise more. But how do I do it? When do I find the time? With so much information out there about what to eat and what not to eat, how do I decipher what is truly the best approach? Well, like 31 percent of mobile users, I decided to turn to the mobile universe to help me on my quest. In honor of March’s National Nutrition Month, I have compiled some of my favorite tools that have helped me in my nutrition journey so far.
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My doctors recommended I see a nutritionist, but I don’t necessarily have access to one as often as I like. One mobile application (app) from Bakedweb brings a registered nutritionist right to my device. I can take note of the meals I am eating, and then receive an analysis from a dietician who will offer advice about what habits will help me to lose weight and stay healthy.
Fooducate is a mobile app that won first place in the United States Surgeon General’s Healthy Apps Challenge. It provides label information and allows you to learn more about what’s in your food. Fooducate boasts the largest database of product codes and provides food details on more than 200,000 products. I can look at serving size, ingredients, and calories to decide what foods make sense for my nutritional goals.
With Livestrong’s Calorie Tracker Lite, I have the ability to track both calories and my exercise routine within one mobile app. CDC noted on their site that “When it comes to maintaining a healthy weight for a lifetime, the bottom line is – calories count!” There are a number of calorie trackers out there, but I like this one because Livestrong.com has a strong history of developing nutritional products that help with lifestyle changes. This particular tool keeps me motivated because it is easy to use, free (a paid version is also available), and includes a support forum to help me with nutritional questions. Livestrong has included a great mobile rewards component that provides additional incentives for me to use the app and make better food choices.
Making my meals instead of eating out is always the healthier option. But when I am out, the HealthyOut mobile app helps me find restaurants with better food choices more easily. I can search for specific dishes, calories, or common dietary needs, like “heart healthy” or “gluten free,” and the app will direct me to the nearest location. This is especially helpful when I’m in unfamiliar neighborhoods or traveling.
With these digital resources, I have already lost 22 pounds by using tools that make sense for my lifestyle. It’s been tough, but I will continue to look for innovative resources that help me reach my goals. Are you looking to make healthier food choices? What digital tools are helping you reach your goals?
By Tracye Poole