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Healthy Eating Apps

What do you do when you have a ‘spare’ moment in the day? Do you check or play with your phone? Let’s be honest… this is what most of us do! These days our phones are with us when we eat, when we gym, while at work, when we’re out and the list goes on and on!  Instead of peering at Facebook or randomly scrolling through Twitter why not use your phone and today’s revolutionary technologies to help you live a healthier, fitter life.  Using the audio, visual or vibrate notifications, your phone can send you little reminders of what you should be doing! Here are some of the ways that you can use your phone to help you to make healthier food choices and improve your eating habits.

Apps for tracking every bite

There are hundreds of apps in this section, but MyFitnessPal is one of the most popular nutrition analysis apps.  It is a very accessible, easy-to-use app with a very extensive food database including everyday South African foods.  This free app tracks your calories for the day and calculates how much you would weigh in five weeks time if you continue to eat the same way you did on that day.  It also gives you a breakdown of the calories, fats, carbs and proteins as well as some vitamins and minerals of the specific foods that you log. For more detailed information you will need to get the premium package, which comes at a small cost.  With this subscription you can check out your weekly average for both fitness and nutrition as well as detailed charts and reports of your progress. MyFitnessPal can also be integrated with your Facebook and Twitter accounts so you can stay in touch with others looking to live healthier lives.

Apps for making better choices

One of the most exciting apps to come on the scene is the HealthyFood Switch App.  Nutrition label information can be very confusing… and so this app was developed to help people better understand it and make smarter food choices.  The App lets you scan the barcode of a packaged-food item and provides you with either a health star rating or a traffic light rating, as well as a breakdown of the nutritional information; such as the amount of energy, saturated fat, sugar, and sodium in the product.  The App even goes as far as suggesting healthier alternatives in the same food category.

Apps to help you hydrate

Apps to remind you to drink water during the day and track your hydration habits are great if you are struggling to manage your 6-8 glasses per day.  I enjoy Aqualert, but again, there are many apps to choose from.  Just by tracking your own water intake, you will be more likely to drink water.  And if you tend to forget about drinking water (which I find happens particularly on weekends) you’ll be reminded to on the hour, or if you prefer a different schedule you can set it to exactly that!

Apps to inspire

Pinterest is also a wonderful app to have on your phone for “playful phone time.”  It is a website that allows you to ‘pin’ things onto ‘boards’ that you have created and to categorise the pins.  Once you’ve added friends to your account you can follow them as you do on Facebook.  Following nutrition topics such as healthy snacks, recipes and cooking tips gives you fantastic ideas for future meals.  It is easy to get lost in time while on Pinterest but at least this isn’t a waste of time as soon you’ll have new ideas to make your daily eating healthier, more flavoursome and more fun!

Technology has become a big part of our daily lives, and it is important that we learn to use it constructively.  Try out some of these Apps and see if they can help you become a fitter, healthier, happier you!