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Dieting in the New Year? There's an app for that.

Of course there is! Actually ... there are several.

I began working out with my daughter several weeks ago and at the end of each "event" in the gym, she pulled out her phone and began TEXTING! I mean, seriously ...

Actually, she wasn't texting, she was logging in her information to an app on her phone that keeps up with her diet, her exercise, and her general progress with her program to get fit. 

She uses myfitnesspal to track her progress. Even when we work with a trainer, she puts that workout in ... and when she stops at Taco Bell on the way home, she logs that in. Myfitnesspal is a free app that boasts: "We believe — and medical studies prove — that the best way to lose weight and keep it off forever is to simply keep track of the foods you eat. Gimmicky machines and fad diets don't work, so we designed a free website and mobile apps that make calorie counting and food tracking easy."

Another free app rated in the top 5 by Mashable.com is MyNetDiary. It claims a large food catalog with nutritional information for 480,000 foods. Users can track food portions using either grams, ounces, cups, etc. making data entry more accurate. Recommended daily intake is determined based on your age, height, weight, gender and activity level. 

And DietPoint sounded pretty interesting to me. With lots of pre-loaded diet plans, from Vegan to Paleo, you choose the one that interests you. Load in your initial data and goals, then it provides shopping lists, reminders, updates and everything except maybe that amazing "OMG! YOU LOOK GREAT" that it takes to maintain a diet after the first week.

The secret? Being honest about your food intake. These apps are only as good as the data you give them ... sort of like internet dating, but that's a story for another day.

I'd love to hear of any apps that you have found helpful in assisting with tracking progress for diet and health purposes. 

Michelle Couch January 03, 2013 at 07:17 PM
No Weight Watchers. No type of "Brand" diet. Just counting calories. You can find out the nutritional information for any food made on the web. Most any restaurant menu can be found online so it makes it very easy to count calories. I pretty much eat what I want - but in moderation. And my spreadsheet obsession kind of spilled over into my calorie counting...lol
Michelle Couch January 03, 2013 at 07:22 PM
The app and logging the information makes total sense. I once heard a fitness guru in an interview say that logging your dietary information and your fitness information, progress, miles ran or walked, provides a sense of accomplishment and accountability. When I log my calorie intake throughout the day, and add it all up at the end of the day, if I have gone over my 1200 point limit - I feel really horrible and so I'm sure to behave better the following day. So the theory really does work; it makes us accountable for the goal that we have set for ourselves.
Stephanie Gross January 03, 2013 at 10:55 PM
Thanks, Gail! I want to give one of these a try.
Stephanie Gross January 03, 2013 at 10:56 PM
Sounds like a good way to go!
Amy January 05, 2013 at 04:09 AM
Hi Gail, I tried mynetdiary.com and I was very impressed. I bombed the first day because I went over by about 500 calories and it was only lunchtime. The good thing about that is it that seeing my horrific eating habits really made me think twice about having fried chicken wings for lunch. I opted for a salad-didn't scrimp on the a salad dressing-but it wasn't enough to render my workout useless. Today I did even better. I actually need to eat 500 more calories. Thank you for sharing. This is a really neat application. Just a little side note. The application is free if you use it on the desktop/laptop computer. If you use it on the mobile phone, whether Android or Iphone, it's a one time charge of $3.99. I thought that was worth it because, I won't do it if I'm not at work.

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