fitness food

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By Olivia Lawnick, Student at Newberry College

Want to get fit? Take advantage of technology, and by that, I mean try these great FREE apps.

What do you have lose? Nothing, except some weight and bad food habits. Using an app can really help you reach your fitness goals. They are convenient to use and portable.

Many nutritionists suggest keeping a food diary … well, these are easier to maintain and electronic. These apps can give you a better idea of your eating habits, what and how much are you eating. They can also gauge the amount of exercise you are doing. With your eating and exercising quantified, it can help you set and reach your fitness goals.

Also, many can link with other users. You can feel accountable and motivated.

Here are some apps that I personally use and highly recommend:

Lose It!

Lose It is a great app with several features that are easy to use. You can track your calorie intake as well as your exercise. There is a scan option, so there’s no need to look up and search various parts of your meal.

Making a recipe? This app offers an option where you can “add” in your own dishes as a food entry. Not only do I get a calorie count for what I have just cooked up, but I can also save it for later use. The app also remembers your food logs, so you can quickly select the food you frequently eat. Another thing I like about Lose It is that it tracks more than just your calories, but also nutrient intake as well: carbs, fats, proteins, sodium, cholesterol and sugars.

Exercise can also be recorded with many different and specific options. They also have different paces and intensities for the activities. With this app you can easily see how many calories you have eaten, how many you have burned and how many you “still have left.” It also tracks your progress – daily, weekly and monthly reports are available.

Fooducate

I have just recently started using Fooducate and already love it. It differs from Lose It in that it can help you eat “good food.” When you scan or select a food item, it can notify you whether it is a GMO or is processed. There are also vegan and vegetarian diet options. This app offers more insight into the food you are eating than Lose It and can help you become a more conscientious consumer.

It also displays some additional nutrient information such as Vitamin A, C and calcium. Underneath the nutrient content there is also the highly informative product details section. That’s where you can find information on quality and if the food is processed. The app also provides alternatives, foods or brands that are better or healthier.

However, the exercise options are limited. The selection is much smaller and more vague. I would suggest using this app for the food information, but perhaps using it along with something else to better track your exercise.

Map My Run

This fantastic app is only used to track fitness and does not have food options. However, Map My Run definite must-have for those who like to run outside.

Before you go for your run, turn on the app. It uses a GPS to track your route. It will also gauge your speed and calories burned. It really takes the guess work out of outdoor exercising. The app also allows your friends to see your routes and encourages a lot of interaction. I have gained a lot of insight into my own running habits and have been able to improve.

There are plenty more health and fitness apps out on the market, and most of them are free. Try downloading a few and see what works best for you! Soon, logging in your food and fitness will become an easy part of your routine and really help you toward the results you want.