Monday, August 30, 2010

There's an app for that...

So, the book talked about counting calories, and food journaling and figuring out how many calories you need to eat in order to lose, gain or maintain weight. Knowing that I would be needing to count calories, I wondered if there were any apps for the iphone (since basically, the phone seldom leaves my side!!). So, I searched "calorie counters" and of course, a whole bunch came up. One caught my eye though, called I thought this was the Lance Armstrong thing for cancer, so I checked out the reviews on it, and everything I read, was quite positive. I decided, for $3, I could download it and check it out. So I did, and I put in my data from that day. And I have put in my data every day, ever since!!

Basically, the tool is called Daily Plate, or MyPlate and can be used to input the foods you eat and the exercise you do. The database is incredible. There are over a million items in there. In the past, one of my complaints on some of these sites is the lack of Canadian content, however, in this case, the Canadian content is fantastic. Right down to the 12 grain alpine loaf from the local Bowness Bakery. It also has all sorts of restaurants including Canadian content when it is different from the US stuff (ie like blizzard flavours from the Dairy Queen, although I can happily say I have not had any sort of blizzard since I started using the app). And it bases your calories on your goals, either to maintain, lose or gain weight. It nets out so if you exercise, you have a few more calories at your disposal.

But, what if I don't have an iphone, you ask. Well, the online version is free. Yup, that's right. Totally free. It's fantastic. And the online version tracks your sources of calories, so you can check out graphs and stuff on how you are doing, and it let's you know if you are eating too many carbs, proteins, fat, sodium etc. It's great. Really. You can also add meals that you usually eat (like cereal with banana and milk), so that you don't have to input each item every time. And if you make a recipe, you can input it and it will calculate out the calories you ate etc, so even home cooking can be figured out. There is an upgrade to a version with no ads, but so far, I haven't been bothered much by the ads. I've just been so impressed at the program. They even have a diabetic version of myplate. I haven't checked it out at all, but if you are in this situation, I'm sure it's tailored more to the needs of someone tracking and dealing with blood sugars etc.

Basically, I couldn't be happier with the program. It's amazing. It's been fun to use, and now that I'm going on two weeks with it, it's nice to see the different trends emerging and seeing where I need to change my eating and what I'm doing well. My husband uses only the online version, and has been very happy with it as well. I like the iphone app, as it works for me at work, or wherever, but it's nice to get online as well to see some of the graphs and stuff. All in al, it's been a great find, and funny enough, as I got further into the book, it even suggested the exact same site. Funny, I found it before I read about it though!!

So, if you are wanting to keep track of your calories in and out, check it out. It's neat... and so far, it's keeping me in line, and my weight is down four pounds, so that is a good thing... next up, my Saturday adventure...

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