Tracking your steps, calories, fluid intake on a fitness app can help you reach your health and wellness goals. Apps can help you keep track of your caloric intake and provide you with an analysis of nutrients. They can also enable you to record your fluid intake and number of steps taken. Some can provide your BMI, and waist to hip ratio which can be indicators of risk for chronic diseases.
Apps to Consider
Some of the more popular apps like Lose It! and myfitnesspal require you to enter data, like height, weight, age, and activity level and then provide you with a caloric level to reach your goal. The app will prompt you to enter your foods eaten for each meal and snack. There are even some apps like Better Body Image that show you based on data (not Photoshop) how you will really look with weight loss. This visualization can be a powerful motivational tool that can help you keep your goal in sight. Most apps have advanced settings that allow you to set other goals, such as the number of glasses of water consumed or grams of fiber.
Reaching Your Goals
Entering your food is very simple, there is a large database of common foods to choose from. For example; if you want to enter mushrooms into the app; in addition to the many types of mushrooms; you will have a choice of whole, sliced, cooked, raw, canned in juice etc and quantities of cups, tablespoons, each, or ounces. Also, most apps have built-in scanners to read bar codes found on food packaging that enters the nutritional data directly into the app when scanned. The large database of brand name foods and eating establishments provide the user with all of the nutritional information at their fingertips. Having this data readily available encourages you to make informed decisions about food choices.
Once you have entered your height, weight, and age, the calories expended per exercise should be pretty accurate. There is a large database of common exercises and also activities that may not be considered typical exercise for everyone. House cleaning and gardening fall into this category. However, these activities have the potential to expend significant amounts of calories. Why wouldn’t you include them in your energy expenditure for the day?
After entering your food and exercise for the day, the app will display the number of calories allotted for the day minus the number of calories consumed. It will make adjustments for exercise and provide you with your net calories consumed. In addition to net calories, the app provides you with the grams and percentages of fat, carbohydrate, and protein. Apps can be programmed to remind you to enter your meals or record your weight. Given continued use, they can provide you with a projected date that you should reach your goal!
The right app can be your virtual accountability partner! Wellness apps can provide valuable insight into your current habits and patterns. This increased awareness will help you stay on the track to wellness!