One of my new years resolutions this year was to be healthier, which includes eating better. For the most part, I've been pretty health conscious for most of my life, but had just fallen off the wagon a bit and gained a little pudge after I introduced seafood, and then subsequently, other meats back into my diet after a 10+ year hiatus and went through my "OMG, I can eat like, ANYTHING now" phase.
Since diet accounts a lot for your overall fitness, even moreso than physical activity, I felt like a food diary of sorts would be helpful for that. Knowing me, I'd never realistically keep up with keeping an old school paper journal, so I hit up my trusty app store and downloaded the highest rated free food diary app there was -- MyNetDiary -- and it did not disappoint! I've been updating it with my diet and exercise daily/religiously since. Note: this is a review for the free version of the app. There's also a pro version with even more features.
You start off entering your basic info, like age, height, weight, weight goals, when you want reach your goal weight by, etc. My personal goal isn't to necessarily to shift my weight in any drastic direction, but to get fit and toned by making sure I'm putting the right foods and nutrients, and the right amount of it, into my body (I am, afterall, training for Tough Mudder!). I'm looking to shed some fat, gain some muscle, and become overall stronger and healthier. MyNetDiary is marketed as a calorie-counting weight-loss app and doesn't exactly have an option for my goal, but I still find their daily analysis of my diet and exercise really helpful and insightful.
Based on the data that you enter, it gives you tips on how to achieve your goals. For instance, if you're trying to lose 10 pounds by the end of summer, it will calculate how many calories you should consume a day versus the daily recommended average of 2000 calories. Also, after you've entered in at least 400 calories into your food diary in a day, it will give you a more in depth analysis on how much weight you'll lose or gain in a week and a month based on what you've consumed and the calories you've done. It also points out pros and cons of your diet, like too much fat, or too little calcium, and gives tips on how to improve your diet, like eat more fiber in the morning.
Entering in your grub. Below are the ingredients for a salad
An overview of the day's caloric intake
An analysis of the day's diet and exercise
Highlights of your day's diet and exercise
FYI, there are a few more features of this app that didn't particularly pique my interest, but might be of interest to others -- you can take before and after photos, take measurements, and there's actually a community behind this app so you can share tips and feedback with other people who may be on the same heath track as yourself. There's also a website that syncs up to this app. I visited it once recently and it wasn't impressive. It was actually kind of messy compared to the app, so I'll just stick to the app.
There's one other pitfall to the app -- the amount of calories burned and the nutritional value of the food that you consume are only loosely approximate. For counting calories burned, I suggest a calorie counting device of sorts, that takes your weight, age, gender, body fat percentage, heart rate, etc, all into account, because the app can't do that. In terms of food, it's already hard enough to measure as it is, but then there's also contributed content, which are food data contributed by members and aren't always accurate. I myself have mistakenly entered in wrong serving sizes for contributed content and had not know how to fix it. So don't use this app as the rule; just use it to eyeball and gauge your exercise and diet.
Despite the few flubs, I still think that this is a great app for anyone who wants to gain or lose weight, or simply just gain insight into their diet. If you have a smartphone, you're likely addicted to it and are on it pretty often, so you have no excuse not to update it. I have to add though, that for optimal fitness results, an app alone is not enough. I suggest reading about exercises and diets that will work in your favor, and even consulting a personal trainer and nutritionist if you can. Having all the knowledge, support and resources behind you will work better for you than blindly going about.
Now I'm on my way to getting getting toned and mud-swimmin' fit ;)
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About the reviewer
When I'm not Lunching, I'm a jeweler, and an all around, self-proclaimed web geek. My passions include social media, the interweb, technology, writing, yoga, fitness, photography, jewelry, fashion, … more
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MyNetDiary is the fastest, easiest, and smartest iPhone calorie counter. The list of features is large - over 30 screens, including FREE barcode scanner. Most importantly - MyNetDiary is very easy to use.
* Offline mode with streamlined food database - perfect for iPod Touch. * Improved barcode scanner for iPhone4 and iPhone 3GS with iOS4. * Support for multitasking and Retina display.