Logging your meals and exercise can provide powerful motivation and keep your fitness plan on track–all the while giving you a way to annoy your friends with details of your daily diet. Long ago, in the dark ages, let’s say about 5 years or so back, you went out and bought a little notebook and carried it around with you, totting up the totals throughout the day while referring to another book that had fat and calorie counts in it.
But now, of course, such rigorous, tedious research and the accompanying writer’s cramp have been replaced by technology. Many websites exist just for this purpose but happily for those who can’t remember what they had for lunch once they get home for dinner, there are plenty of mobile apps that let you enter as you eat. But which ones really work? Which make it easy for you to track diet and exercise and which are a pain in the Blackberry? And how well do they agree on their suggestions, like how many calories a day you should eat and how many did you burn off on that lengthy hike into Krispy Kreme from your car?
I’m going to try out a few and over the next few weeks, report what I’ve found. To get started, I narrowed my choices down to four iPad apps that ranked toward the top in popularity:
Livestrong (related to the megafitness-empire Lance Armstrong backs)
SparkPeople (connected to the website of the same name)
I had another that I was going to check out called “Carb Lover’s Diet”–put out by Women’s Health–but discovered before I could even get started that unless you eat the recipes they supply or the “approved” foods, it’s too unwieldy; you’d have to enter every food and its nutrients by hand. And it’s a shill for the food industry, as well.
So, here I go, into the land of exercising my flying thumbs! Suggestions welcome!