It’s a new year and a new beginning! You may have made a New Year’s resolution to lose weight, eat healthier and exercise more. These are great goals, but even the most motivated person can lose steam and fizzle out by mid-February. To stay on track for the rest of the year, try keeping a food and exercise log. Tracking your food makes you more accountable for what you eat. “Is this cookie worth getting out my food log and recording it?” Maybe not! Tracking also makes you realize just how many calories there are in that meal at your favorite restaurant. When it comes to weight loss, knowledge is power!
Seeing your progress logged into a program is a constant reminder of what you have accomplished and gives you the motivation to keep going. You can keep a written log of course, but websites and Smartphone applications make it easier and enjoyable. Since you are always working on your Smartphone, why not make it work for you? Check out these (free!) apps and be on your way to a leaner 2011. Don’t have a Smartphone? No worries, many of the apps listed also have websites to log on your computer.
- LoseIt! - very easy to use, put in a weight goal and it determines how many calories you need each day to get to that goal. Also has a great companion website.
- SparkPeople Diet & Calorie Tracker – offers daily meal plans along with calorie tracker. Also has a good companion website with nutrition and exercise articles and healthy recipes.
- Calorie Counter by FatSecret – large food database, track your calories, log exercise to see calories burned and track your weight loss progress.
- Daily Burn – use your iPhone to scan UPC codes of the foods you eat! Offers training plans and graphs of your progress.
- Meallogger – keep a photo food journal and send pictures of your meals to a nutrition professional for feedback and guidance.