How important is food tracking and SOMA’s best tracking apps

They say that 80% of your weight management comes down to diet.  One of our founders is famous for his phrase:

How many calories do you actually consumer each day?  What quality are your calories?  How much protein do you consume each day?  Does this change on the weekends?  Do you need to change any dietary behaviours?

If you cant answer these questions accurately, you can`t expect to manage your weight or reach fitness goals. This article road tests three apps that you can use to help understand what you’re actually consuming each day.

ROAD TEST 1:  EASY DIET DIARY (AUSTRALIAN CALORIE COUNTER)

Rating out of 10: 9

Loved: create your own meal, Australian products

Needs work: more interesting statistics and better look and feel

We love Easy Diet Diary and one founder used it to get in shape for her wedding.  It contains Australian products, which is critical for ease of use, and claims to have 78,000 products in its data base.

It is easy to use, and is advert free.  We found that the barcode scanner is not particularly useful when you have a lot of fresh and raw food (that does not provide a barcode).

It takes some time setting up “meals” but when you do, it saves time to repeat those meals.  This is handy if you stick to a few options for each meal, and pre-load those meals into the planner.

Overall, this is a great tool for those wanting to track their calories consumed over time.

ROAD TEST 2: MYFITNESPAL

Rating out of 10: 9

Loved: interesting statistics and good user experience, progress photos

Needs work: not designed for the Australian market

MyFitnessPal integrates with a range of smart watches, so your exercise downloads into the food app, and you can track calorie in v calorie out.  It also has useful daily stats about how you are tracking against your daily goal.

You can also take progress photos and track how your body is changing over time.

MyFitnessPal is as useful, if not more useful than Easy Diet Diary, but it is not directly designed for the Australian market, so we did come across some food that was not in the system.

Overall we were pretty happy with its features.  It costs around $10 to download the app, which could deter some users.

ROAD TEST 3: TAKE PHOTOS OF FOOD AND SEND TO PT

Rating out of 10: 3

Loved: It is better than not tracking food, and keeps you honest

Needs work: It involves guess work from the trainer

Another method that some clients use is taking photos of all food they eat in a day, and sending their food photos to their trainer.  This is not as helpful as using a calorie app, as it involves guess work by the trainer to work out what might be in the food.

It is better than nothing, and could be sustainable for up to a week.

Do you have any health apps/ tech solutions that you love?

Share with us in the comments below.