Weight Loss And Fitness App
Perhaps you’re an always on the go kind of person with a few flabby pounds you can’t seem to get rid of. Maybe you just want to watch what you eat or you want help maintaining that perfect weight you’re at now. Perhaps you’re just too embarrassed to seek help. Whatever the reason may be, I think I may have something to help with that.
Recently I took a look at an Android app called “Diet and Food Tracker” by Sparkpeople.com. It’s certainly a worthy app for a few minutes of your time. It’s a well-organized and easy to follow diet and health planner.
So what makes this app so interesting? It does more than calorie counting. The developer of this app was nice enough to factor in and encourage a daily dose of exercise as well, which can be a very important part of any health regimen.
Oh, the Settings…
So let’s take a look at the app. Congrats, you decided to take the plunge and download it. It’s easy to find on the android market, and best of all, it’s free! When you start the app you’re greeted with the introduction screen. The app will ask a basic set of questions like your age, weight, health conditions, weight goals, gender, etc. I was impressed that Diet and Food Tracker didn’t set unreasonable goals with snake oil promises of 20 pounds in two weeks. They limit your weight loss from half a pound to two pounds per week. Losing too much weight to fast can be seriously unhealthy, so I appreciated this.
If you need help or want a second place for your data you can also link the app to your Sparkpeople online account, or simply use it standalone. The decision is up to you. In this case I choose standalone. I am a very on the go person and when I finally hit a computer the last thing I am doing is checking my weight and diet. I’d rather have all that info in my pocket.
After setting up your account you’re sent to the “Today” screen. Here you’ll see some nice articles to read for your morning constitutional, the calories eaten today, and the calories burned. You get your info served to you with two nice line graphs and some simple text. Overall it’s easy to follow and to see what’s going on for that day.
Food for Thought
Now, you’re getting the nibbles and you need to get something in your stomach. Before launching towards the fridge like a mad cow you might want to check out the “Food” tab. Here is where you will log your daily eats. It’s a tad confusing at first glance but you get over it quickly after you realized how it’s designed.
This tab is best used if you plan ahead. You can select and add the foods you are planning to eat along with the calorie count and dosage for each meal. The developer was even nice enough to include a snack time. Adding food is cumbersome though. You search and find what food you will be eating, how much, what brand, and so forth, and add it to your daily meal. Hence, planning ahead… Adding your meal and foods can be a tad annoying and does take time. If you decide you enjoyed what you ate though, you can always copy the meal to the next day. There are only so many days I can stomach the same thing meal though. This process is a necessary evil for the app. It certainly isn’t my favorite part.
Feel the Burn!
Next we continue our journey on over to the exercise part. Are you excited? Are you pumped!?
After clicking on the fitness tab you’re greeted with the daily push-ups you’ve done. Not terribly exciting. But you’ll also get a run down of the time spent moving and calories burnt. Just like the “Food” tab, you enter in you exercises done and how long you did them and the app will guesstimate from there. Straight forward but it takes a couple seconds. Rinse wash and repeat day after day.
Weigh in Time Boys
The last important stop is the weigh in tab. Like a wrestler on game day, the app has you check your weight religiously. Step on the scale, shriek in horror, input your numbers, peek at your graph, rinse, wash, and repeat, next day… With any luck you’ll be watching that little blue line on that nice simplistic little graph going down in no time.
Of course, if you so choose, you can always adjust your options and settings later on. The “more” tab stores all this info. Curiously there is also some mysterious water setting I couldn’t figure out. I leave this as a mystery to you. The app isn’t clear at all what to do with this. But, anyway, you’ll have the options to change your personal info and settings, view your reports, and share your progress so far.
All in all in the app isn’t bad. It’s free so the price is great. The colors are very pastel and easy to read. I didn’t really experience any force closes across multiple devices, which is such a great thing on a hardware-fragmented platform like android.
I also had no trouble multitasking with the app as well. The information was harder to read on smaller screens though. There is some info to plug in to the app. In fact, get in the same mentality as your birth control; you’ll need to do it everyday.
Would I recommend this app? Yes, I would. Whether you are on a commercial weight loss program (i.e Weight Watchers, Medifast, Atkins, BistroMD, etc) or you are following your own diet plan, the Diet and Food Tracker by Sparkpeople can be a valuable tool. Not all people like to count calories, though. Play with it for a week and see how it feels with you. If you don’t get your mojo going from it, then move on. There are similar apps on the market.
Guest author Matthew is a Smartphone lover and technology addict who enjoys reviewing fitness and weight loss related apps. In his blog, he reviews weight loss programs and features discount offers for Medifast and Bistro MD coupons for 2011, two proven meal replacement and food delivery weight loss plans.