There’s no shortage of nutrition advice on the Web. And now, once you decide to make healthier decisions, there are supportive smartphone apps that can help you make your new habits stick. In search for my own favorite, I found three nutrition apps for iOS or Android phones that take the cake:
Cost: There’s a free version, or pay $39.99 for premium features like tracking your blood glucose/pressure and meal planning.
How it supports you: Set goals and track your food and water intake. Scan barcodes in the grocery store, or integrate it with Fitbit, the Nike+ Running App and the Lose It! Bluetooth Scale. “I use Lose It!, and have for four years now” says Tammy McCoy, a working mother from Washington. “In the first year, I lost 50 pounds of post-baby weight with the help of the app. I like that I can scan foods — most restaurants are in the app — and I can add custom foods, like my favorite salad. It remembers my meals, and it’s easy to copy to the next day. It keeps me accountable.”
Cost: There’s a free version, or pay $9.99/mo or $49.99/yr for the premium version, which is ad-free and offers dietician-approved recipes.
How it supports you: With this app, you can also track calories from restaurants and the supermarket — it has more than 5 million foods in its database — and connect with your social network friends for support. “I track every meal and snack and the number of glasses of water I drink,” says Stephanie Simons Theodule, a teacher and mother of two in California. “My husband and I share meal info on it, and you can ‘friend’ people and send messages to each other about your progress or meal ideas.”
Cost: Free, or pay $1.99 for an in-app upgrade that includes options like extra support with gluten and food allergies.
How it supports you: Fooducate grades the foods in its database for their health and nutrition value. You can scan a product barcode to see a personalized nutrition grade (A, B, C, or D) and learn pros and cons about the item to “track the quality of calories, not just quantity,” the app’s website states. I also like that it offers recipes from the community and includes the meal’s calories and how long it takes to prepare.
Jeremy Cleland has been a spokesperson for several Silicon Valley startups, like Tesla Motors, and spearheaded global stories about technology featured in media like Vice, Time magazine, Forbes and Wired.com. He’s also the dad to a 5-year-old who is already more tech-savvy than him.