Easier Nutrition With the Help of Your Smart Phone: 4 Apps for Better Health

[This is a guest blog post submitted by Jamie Lee]

I’d be lying if I said I jog solely for the enjoyment of hitting the pavement and breaking a sweat. I didn’t train and run a marathon just for the fun of it. My underlying motivation was to lose weight, reduce my cholesterol, and lower my blood pressure. To guide my training, I used MapMyRun, a wonderful little app that allows you to map out your paths, log your time and calculate the calories that you burn.

It has been nearly four months since I completed the New York City Marathon. My training has tapered, and although I still run four to five days a week, I am logging far fewer miles. As a result, some of the muscle that I built up has melted away, my cholesterol and blood pressure have crept higher, and the importance of solid nutrition has become undeniable.

I still use MapMyRun on my trusty iPhone, but I am now also relying on nutrition apps that will enable me to keep my body healthy without the intensive high-mileage runs that I engaged in during my 18-week training cycle.

If you are like me and looking for an easy-to-use app or two for your phone or tablet to keep your health in check, consider these top apps for nutrition and weight loss:

Fooducate

Smartphone Apps for nutrition

Fooducate

Fooducate is at the top of the heap it when it comes to eating healthy and losing weight. It is available for iOS and Android devices and serves as a dietary partner, healthy eating educator, and cheerleader if you have health conditions, dietary goals, or allergens. My favorite feature on Fooducate is the barcode scanner, not because it details what is in the food that you may eat, but because it suggests healthy alternatives to consider before taking the first bite. There are a variety of paid offerings here, too, beginning with the Fooducate+Weight Loss Diet ($4.99) and Fooducate  Gluten & Allergens ($9.99), which are both available for Android.

Smartphone Apps for Nutrition

Lose It!

Lose It!
Lose It! brings calorie counting into the 21st century and directly to your iPhone or Android for free. You can set your goals for exercise, blood pressure, weight loss, and then track your progress to success. While it has bar scanning functionality, this app is intended to track eating habits, as opposed to Fooducate’s healthy alternative recommendations. That said, it does allow you to integrate with other popular health and fitness apps. For $39.99, Lose It! Premium gives you meal planning capabilities, and if you connect it to Jawbone Up or FitBit, it will adjust your calorie budget based upon your daily activities. There’s plenty more here for those looking for a deluxe nutrition and weight loss experience.

Cronometer
For meat-and-potatoes types who are looking to lose weight with the help of their iPhone or Android, but without the frills, look no further than Cronometer. You can track nutrients for over 10,000 foods, log your diet and exercise, and store this information in an easy-to-use online dashboard that allows you to analyze your results. Cronometer is simple, easy, and only $2.99 for iPhones and $2.97 for Androids.

SparkPeople
SparkPeople’s slogan is “Sparking Millions of People,” and it does so by allowing them to track goals from nutrition to weight to fitness, from the convenience of a suite of apps built for iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, and Android. You can utilize a virtual training tool, dubbed SmartCoach, or simply track health and fitness goals with 60-second check-in using SparkAmerica. Motivational quotes will provide inspiration, and I enjoy the additional information that it provides, like how to buy and store fresh produce.

I am seeing physical results from my diet, thanks to nutrition tracking and a more moderate exercise plan. You can too with the help of a smartphone and a few good apps.

Jamie Lee covers fitness and consumer technology for eBay, where you can find an almost overwhelming number of new and used smartphone models (like these) to get you started on your own mobile nutrition tracking.

[This post represents the opinions of, and is provided solely by, the author, a guest who is independent of WellnessFX, and not of those of WellnessFX.  WellnessFX does not endorse or verify the accuracy of the information contained in this post.  As with all of the posts on our blog, this post is for information only, and is not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship, nor does it constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind.  Any information in this post should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one’s own healthcare professionals. ]

The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.