By Jean Copeland, RD
If you’ve ever gone to Weight Watchers you know how useful it can be to keep a diary of everything you eat. Food diaries help you stay mindful of what you’re consuming. In the past, food diaries had to be kept on paper, but today there are literally hundreds of apps to choose from. Not just used for weight loss anymore, food journaling apps have grown up to become genuine wellness tools. I’ve reviewed a few of the best ones below.
MyFitnessPal is the most popular food diary app out there. In addition to documenting your exercise and what you eat and drink, MyFitnessPal allows you to connect with others who use the app, too. Share experiences, recipes and ideas, and keep each other motivated! Free through iTunes and Google Play.
Cara may be the app for you if you want science-based health advice. Developed by physicians and experts in digestive health, Cara tracks your nutrition, symptoms, stress level, moods, medications, and any individual factors that you want to monitor. The app analyzes connections between your symptoms and possible triggers, then gives you action items to become your healthiest. cara-app.com
Recovery Record is designed to help you monitor your habits—meals you eat, thoughts and feelings you have—as well as your long-term goals. Like MyFitnessPal, Recovery Record connects you with other users to send and receive anonymous messages of encouragement. It also offers tips and reminders, and allows treatment providers to connect with their clients. From iTunes.
YouAte is for those of us who like taking photos of food! Simply snap a photo of everything you eat throughout the day and then review it later. See if the choices you’re making are helping you achieve your goals. From iTunes.
Lose It! is a fun weight-reduction app that calculates your calorie needs for weight loss and lets you track your foods and activity. It has easy-to-read diagrams that show how your calories are divided up between proteins, fats and carbohydrates, and it tracks your calories burned. loseit.com
MySymptoms is ideal for tracking your diet and monitoring symptoms. Similar to Cara, you can record medications, sleep, stress, exercise, bowel movements, water intake, energy level, etc. View trends, look for patterns, even make a report to give to your health-care team. Unlike Cara, MySymptoms won’t give you action items. skygazerlabs.com
Cronometer is great when you want to know exactly what vitamins and minerals you are over- or under-doing. It’s an easy-to-use app for tracking micronutrients, macronutrients, and your personal biometrics and fitness. cronometer.com
For information about Gifford resources to help you achieve your nutrition, health and lifestyle goals, visit giffordhealthcare.org/service/nutrition-counseling or call 802-728-7100.