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Stay on Track with Food Tracking Apps

Have you ever wondered if you’re eating as well as you think you are? Research has found that people typically overestimate the amount of fruits and vegetables they eat, and underestimate the amount of grains, fats, and sweets. Luckily, food tracking can help by gathering accurate, useful information about where you’re doing well and where you could stand to improve. Many food tracking apps can also connect to movement tracking apps, like Fitbit, to give you an overall picture of your diet and exercise habits.

By keeping an electronic record of your daily food intake, you can reap three important benefits:

1. Hydration: Staying hydrated is key for your overall health, and it can also help you avoid mindless snacking, because sometimes your body mistakes thirst signals for hunger. Maybe it figures if you’re not drinking enough water it can convince you to at least eat some hydrating foods. Food tracking apps will help you see if you’re getting enough fluids throughout the day.

2. Increasing Your Fruit and Vegetable Intake: Eating enough fruits and vegetables is one of the best things you can do for your health. But if you don’t know what a serving is, or you don’t remember precisely what you’ve eaten throughout the day, you’ll likely end up skimping on these health-giving foods. A food tracking app will let you know exactly how many servings of fruits and vegetable you actually ate.

3. Resisting Temptation: We all have our weaknesses, and sometimes we all need a reminder that we’ve already indulged recently. In fact, several studies have shown that people who keep a food diary lose twice as much weight as those who don’t. Perhaps the act of writing down what we’re eating makes it less likely we’ll be in denial about our indulgences. On the flip side, food tracking apps may also let you know when it’s okay to enjoy an occasional treat.

So, what are some of your options?

  • My Fitness Pal is a popular food tracking app. It allows you to track your food and water intake, as well as your activity levels. This app has a database of over two million food items, and it can remember the nutritional value of recipes you enter.
  • Calorific may be your choice if you get overwhelmed by making every meal a math problem. Foods are divided into green, yellow or red, based on their healthfulness, and portion sizes are described visually so there’s no need to measure. 
  • HAPI Coach is a British-based app that connects you directly with your own personal nutritionist. You can take pictures of your meals and receive feedback from the nutritionist, who then rates your meal. You can also message the nutritionist for advice. Personalized attention like this is pricier than many other fitness apps, but cheaper than seeing a nutritionist in person, and a great choice for people who need a little support!

Have you ever used a food tracking app? How did it help you with your health journey? Share with us in the comments below!

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