I've got 83 apps on my iPhone including all the usual grocery list, GPS, flashlight, and other typical apps.
I thought I would download a few free diet and exercise apps to review. After downloading quite a few free apps that are real stinkers you lower your standards for what to expect from a free app.
The first app definitely lived up to this low standard.
Eat This Not That from Mens Health Magazine
The game version of the app disappoints. Although this app when released hit #1 on iTunes, it isn't worth the price.. which is free.
Using a quiz format your dietary intelligence is tested by prompting you to choose between two food choices, determining which of the two is better for you.
With few exceptions the comparisons you are presented with are all junk food. So really you're left deciding which of the choices is less unhealthy. It's a burgers vrs burgers and donuts versus cheese cake thing.
The whole game reads like repeated adds for fast food meals that pose as real food choices.
Two thumbs down. Don't waste your time.
Lose It! by FitNow
This free app is continually one of the most downloaded apps on itunes. As it should be. It can run as a stand alone on the iPhone without an internet connection, or you can sign up for a free account online that allows you to connect with friends for extra support in your weight loss goals, and also adds weekly reminder and other extras. I didn't see that much use in the extras and found the app by its self to be excellent.
With a very robust food database including brand name foods, you can enter everything you eat and the app does the rest showing you totals for calories, fat, protein, carbohydrates, total fat, cholesteral, sodium, fibre, saturated fat, fibre and sugars.
Enter your weight and goal weight, foods you eat in the day, and exercise, and the app will tell estimate how many calories you have consumed so far and how much you have left in your calorie "budget".
Nothing motivates like success so seeing positive progress really helps you stick to healthy habits.
No iPhone? While I'm sure Apple would love it if nearly everyone had an iPhone, that isn't going to happen. There are many excellent websites that describe how to eat healthy and exercise including this one and my original site: rhinofitness.ca
For figuring out how many calories you need go to my guide on everything you needed to know about calories.
One of my favorite websites for learning about healthy eating is Worlds Healthiest Foods. This site has an extensive list of what they categorize as the "worlds healthiest foods" which among other criteria presents foods that have the highest amounts of vitamins and minerals with lower calories.
Of course you can go old school and simply use a pen a paper to record what you are eating and how much you exercise, but of course since you're reading this online chances are you have access to a computer and the internet to use the above mentioned sites.
However you keep records, it's worth every moment. Despite most people initially lamenting doing anything as arduous as keeping a daily log, everyone who does it gets better results for weight loss and sticking to a healthy lifestyle.
Even though I've been doing this for over two decades, I still keep an exercise and diet journal. Actually I don't keep a diet log consistently. A few times each year I'll record what I eat for a couple weeks, and wouldn't you know it, I always find things I can improve and places I snuck in too much food.
A weight loss and exercise log motivates like nothing else. When I see my weights and reps increasing in the gym, and my cardio improving, it feels very rewarding. When I see them go down, it's still rewarding.. it simply means it's time to rest for a few days to recover from fatigue.
If you see a few weeks without weight loss when on a weight loss plan, don't panic, it's ok not to lose weight every single week. Simply add a little more exercise and cut a few more calories and you'll be back on track. No records? Don't count on dependable results.