Sunday, March 20, 2011
A relative wrote to us indicating as they are getting older, it is harder to keep the weight off. He thus started to track his calories every day using an online calorie counter. The next day I was listening to a podcast and the announcer said he had lost 40 pounds by just tracking his calories and the amount of exercise he did each day with an iTunes App called, "Lose It." So I downloaded the "Lose It" App and have it on my IPod touch. For about a week now I have been entering my foods for each meal and also the exercise I have done. It is really easy to use. You can search new foods to enter or it keeps track of the foods you often eat so they are stored and easy to reenter each day such as a glass of orange juice for breakfast. It tells you the number of calories you should eat each day and a recommended amount to eat to lose weight say a pound a week. Each day you have a Daily Calorie Budget and once you enter the food you eat, it keeps track of how many calories you consumed. It provides a colorful list of each food eaten at the meal, how much you ate and how many calories for eat food item and the total calories for that meal.
But a great feature is you also enter your exercise and these calories are subtracted from your daily total. Thus, it shows you immediately the benefit of exercise. For example, you eat breakfast and enter each food for a total of 600 calories. Then you go for a 30 minute walk which burns 100 calories. Now your net calories are 500. Once you enter the exercise you did and how long you did it for, the calories are automatically deducted from your daily total.
Unlike some diet calculators, the list of foods is extensive. Eat some Girl Scout cookies? They are listed. Eat lunch at Subway? Subway sandwiches are listed in the database of foods. One doesn't have to search and then substitute a food that seems like the one you ate.
A good feature is that it is on my iPod Touch which is easy to take with me and easy to enter the foods right after a meal or the exercise right after I've done it. I tried waiting until the end of the day but found it was hard to remember every item of food eaten. By carrying my iPod Touch with me and entering the food or exercise right away, I didn't forget anything.
Even if you don't have to lose weight, this App is fun to try and it does help motivate you to exercise more. It would be useful for maintaining your weight as you will have an idea of how many calories you consume each day and how many you burn. Those wanting to gain weight would also find it helpful. You could keep track of how many additional calories you need to be eating to gain a pound or two a week. (Yes, there are those out there who need to gain weight.)
For those concerned about the amount of fat in their diet, such as those concerned about heart disease, this App also provides a nutrient summary of your day and gives you the amount and percentage of fat, carbs, and protein. For those trying to up their fiber intake, this program track the fiber grams you consume each day.
If you have an iPhone or iPod touch, check out "Lose It" at the ITunes store.