Have you started keeping a food journal yet for this week's Get Fit For 2010 weekly challenge? We've got a cool food journal that you can print out, but if you're a tech geek like me you might be scratching your head at the idea of putting pen to paper. Try Lose It instead — a free iPhone app that helps users manage their weight by tracking their calorie intake.
To start, you enter in your current weight, age, height, gender, goal weight, and how many pounds you want to lose each week to reach your goal (up to two pounds). Based on this information, Lose It creates a weight loss plan for you. For example: a 146-pound, 5-foot-2, 30-year-old woman wants to drop down to 130 lbs. by losing one pound each week. If she starts today, Lose It estimates that she can reach her goal by May 17, 2010, with a daily calorie budget of 1,439.
To see how easy it is to use,
From here, all you have to do is enter in what you eat throughout the day and Lose It pretty much does the rest. The app has a huge database of fresh, store-bought, and restaurant foods, and records the calories of the food items you've eaten into a daily journal for you. Calories eaten are subtracted from your daily calorie budget, giving you a running tab of how many calories you have left in the day. What's cool is that you can also input physical activity — any calories you burn will be subtracted from calories you consume, leaving you with an accurate reflection of your calorie intake for the day.
Although it's a daily food journal, you have the option to look at your goals over the course of the week too. This graph is really helpful because it gives you a visual representation of days when you might have gone over or under your balance. If you forget to log in any food or exercise, don't worry. It's really easy to add in items you might have forgotten from previous days. Also, if there are any foods or exercises that are not in the Lose It database, you can input the information into your account so it is reflected into your calorie counts.
I love how straightforward and simple the app is — it's a great option if you don't always have a paper food journal or you live on your iPhone. The only drawback is that it doesn't focus on overall healthiness. When it boils down to it, Lose It is a calorie counter. You can enter an unrealistic weight goal into the menu and no alarms go off, or if all your calories are from fat, you won't get any stern warnings either. There is, at least, a daily nutritional breakdown of your day, which helps you become more aware of what amounts of fat, protein, fiber, etc. you are taking in. Despite this flaw, I think Lose It is a great tool for someone looking for a food journal or a calorie counter tool.